From the editors
FOREWORD

DESTINATION
Aleksandr Sologubov
CULTURE IN A "FOREIGN" SPACE: AN INTRODUCTION
Ivan Chechot
TO GENIUS LOCI KALININGRAD AND KOENIGSBERG
Wolfgang Eichwede
KALININGRAD IN THE YEAR 2020 - A NOT QUITE FICTITIOUS CONVERSATION
Aleksandr Sologubov
DESTINATION - KALININGRAD

PHRASE BOOK
Aleksandr Sologubov
FROM KALININGRAD DICTIONARY

MAP OF THE CITY
Anatolii Bakhtin
UGLY KOENIGSBERG
Elena Gladkova
FORMA URBIS. SYMBOLIC PARALLELS
Valery Orlov
IN OR OUT

SOUTHERN STATION
Ivan Chechot
THE RAILWAY STATION AND ENTRANCE TO THE CITY OF KALININGRAD

CROSSROADS
Aleksandr Popadin
BINARY STATES OF "K" CITY
Eugeny Umansky, Karpenko-Karpenko
KATYANASTYA

IN THE CENTER
Andrei Monastyrsky, Sabina Haensgen
EMPTY CENTER K.
Pavel Nastin
COURTYARD-WELL

COMMUNICATIONS
Artem Advokat
GRAFFITI
Elena Tsvetaeva
FOLK GRAFFITI
Marek Wolodzko
FOLLOWING SILENT WORDS
FA+ (Ingrid Falk & Gustavo Aguerre)
THE MYTHICAL FOUNDATION OF KALININGRAD
Aleksandr Sologubov
MICROTOPONYMY

PRETERITION: KNEIPHOF ISLAND
Aleksandr Sologubov
THE CATHEDRAL
Aleksandr Popadin
ERECTING BRIDGES
Ivan Chechot
THE BRIDGES AND "THE PREGEL'S ODOR"
John Craig Freeman, Greg Ulmer
IMAGING KALININGRAD: THE SEVEN BRIGES OF KOENIGSBERG

STOA KANTIANA
Anatolii Bakhtin
FORGOTTEN KANT AND THE KANT-BRAND IN KOENIGSBERG
Aleksandr Sologubov
KANT
Olga Lopukhova
KANT'S TOMB
Erika Wolf
KANT'S BRIDES: A READYMADE PHOTOGRAPHIC CHRONOTOPE
Ivan Chechot
THE CATHEDRAL AND KANT FOR EVERYONE, OR IS GOD FEARSOME WITHOUT MORAL

THE CASTLE OF SOVIETS
Aleksandr Sologubov
THE ROYAL CASTLE
Igor Sacharov-Ross
WINE CELLAR
Dali Rust
A WHITE SEAGULL ABOVE THE CITY: THE SYMBOLS OF THE OLD NEW CITY
Joanna Sandell
WRITING OF DREAMS
RAKETA
LIGHT UP DOM SOVETOV
Aleksandr Sologubov
THE HOUSE OF SOVIETS

GERMANS
Ilya Dementiev
THE MOST PROFOUND SECRET OF ONE KOENIGSBERG LAWYER: HOFFMANN
KudaBegutSobaki
A LEGEND ABOUT FIVE LITTLE ULRICHEN AND FERRYMAN ANDRE

Peter Wunsch
KOENIGSBERG-KALININGRAD. THE TASTE OF MARZIPAN
Aleksandr Sologubov
THE COUNTRY OF PENSIONERS - OR THE GERMANS
Martin Huettel
QWERTZ

MOSCOW PERSPECTIVE
Olga Sezneva
CONCRETE ELEMENTS OF KALININGRAD
Agnieszka Wolodzko
HABITATION UNITS
Werner Moeller
THE UNDREAMED OF CITY
Oleg Vasiutin
TOWN PLANNING MATHEMATICS
Mark Borozna
MOSKOVSKII PROSPECT & THE SHADOWS AROUND ALTSTADT

OUR TOWER Ivan Chechot
KRONPRINZ
Elena Tsvetaeva
THE TOWER-REDAN "KRONPRINZ"
THE KRONPRINZ TOWER. Projects for the National Centre for Contemporary Arts by Students of the Institute for Theory and Design in Architecture (Braunschweig, Germany)
OUR PRIDE
Aleksandr Sologubov
AMBER
Aleksandr Sologubov
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
Ivan Chechot
THE AMBER ROOM

BASTIONS
Avenir Ovsyanov
BASTIONS IN DIAMONDS AND EMERALDS
Rostan Tavasiev
LITTLE BRICKS

THE MARKET
Ivan Chechot
THE HOUSE OF MACHINERY: THE RECONSTRACTION AND EXPLOITATION OF THE POPULATION

V.I.P. (Very Interesting Person)
Elena Tsvetaeva
SERGEI TIMOFEEVICH

PLACE OF EXECUTION
Bert Hoppe
TRACES OF A VIRTUAL HISTORY IN A VERY REAL CITY

CSC ROC
Aleksandr Sologubov
CHRIST THE SAVIOR CATHEDRAL

TRAM
Aleksandr Sologubov
LIFE AND EGGS (A sketch about trams)
SKART
LUCKY TICKET

MEETING POINT
Aleksandr Popadin
THE BULLS
Ivan Chechot
GAUL'S FOUNTAIN
Ivan Chechot
A STROLL THROUGH THE CENTER
Aleksandr Popadin
IN THE FLOW: FOUNTAIN SEASON
Aleksandr Popadin
NINE
Elena Tsygankova
WILD WEST OF RUSSIA

THE ZOO
Irina Kozhevnikova
ZOO
Ingeborg Strobl
ANIMALS IN KALININGRAD AND A MOSAIC
Elena Tsvetaeva
KOENIGSBERG CATS

MEMENTO MORE
Avenir Ovsianov
KOENIGSBERG'S SPIRITUAL HERITAGE IN TONS, ITEMS AND SACKS. From the history of lost and found cultural heritage
Aleksandr Sologubov
KALININ PARK
Aleksandr Popadin
WE ALL ARE GOING TO BE THERE
Aleksandr Sologubov
MONUMENTS
Irina Kozhevnikova
MONUMENT TO 1200 GUARDSMEN IN KALININGRAD
Roger Palmer
BRIEF MEMORIALS

MATTER AND SPIRIT
Aleksandr Sologubov
MYSTICISM
Aleksandr Popadin
FRAGMENT OF A SYMPHONY FOR SLOW READING: IVANOV AND HIS SURROUNDINGS
Evgenii Umanskii
ATTIC OF RECOGNITION
Aleksandr Sologubov
STOVES
Dmitrii Vyshemirskii
MAN AND WOMAN
Lana Vyshemirskaya
THE SMALL SCULPTURE "GIRL"

ON THE STREET
Evgenii Umanskii
CHANUKAH
Aleksandr Popadin
CUBIC PAVEMENT
Igor Isaev, Dmitrii Demidenko
SEWER HATCHES
Aleksandr Popadin
THE FIRE HYDRANT
Irina Kozhevnikova
TRADITIONS
Kalle Brolin, Kristina Muntzing
POTENTIAL PLACE

Aleksandr Popadin
THE WATERFALL HERACLES' BOLT

V.I.P. (Very Interesting Person)
Manuela
NATASHA POTERYASHINA. Inteview

ATMOSPHERE
Aleksandr Sologubov
TO BE IN THE MOOD FOR PACKING
Aleksandr Popadin
ALL-WEATHER KALININGRADIANS
Dmitrii Bulatov, Pavel Savel'ev
ACEPHALUS: OPTICAL MODELS
Mark Borozna
LIGHT THE CRYSTALS OF KALININGRAD!

THE HARBOR
Evgenii Kazannik
PORT
Aleksandr Ponomarev
THE GATES

SUBURBS
Avenir Ovsyanov
THE BRIDGE THAT THE "RUSSIANS COULDN'T PULL DOWN"
Elena Tsvetaeva
THE ROAD TO BERLIN: FROM EPIC TO BANAL. Interview with Valerii Bugrov
Aleksandr Popadin
HOAR-STONES AND BOUNDARY SYMBOLS
Aleksandr Popadin
MUSCOVITES ARE HANGING
Anders Kreuger
BEFORE THE CITY



BINARY STATES OF "K" CITY: ON THE SYMBOLIC TOPOGRAPHY OF THE CITY


Aleksandr Popadin / Kaliningrad


Koenigsberg versus Kaliningrad. Historical bucolic versus the prose of commonness

First of all, the city itself, its status and name have a certain symbolic nature, a certain pairing of the whole that apologists for the city's renaming are attempting to address. For them Koenigsberg is a symbol, the historical and social phenomenon of a vanished city that combines in itself an idealized version of the European city with the typical everyday human psychological phenomenon of the idealization of the past. The citizens of Kaliningrad acknowledge that they have acquired much from the heritage of Koenigsberg: the structure of the city streets, an urban scale, a few almost intact districts that were built in the early 20th century, a number of historical buildings... and yet this is not enough to feel like the true successors of the cultural and historical rights to Koenigsberg. This lack of "natural inheritance" induces many citizens of Kaliningrad to view historical Koenigsberg bucolically. With the passage of time this perception increasingly loses touch with the specific historical reality of the existence of a concrete city; instead it becomes more and more and more mythologized in the public consciousness. [1]

Finally, a ruin is always more picturesque that any Soviet city, especially if it is a virtual ruin of a historical city.

Koenigsberg remains a phantom-city, a ghost of Hamlet's father who is expected to tell the truth, and being such it is appreciated at present. Thus, the phantom status gives the expressions of Koenigsberg a special strength beyond credibility. Today, however, "beyond the grave Koenigsberg" is mainly a shadow lying on the face of Kaliningrad and lives on only through the recollection of the non-existent and of the assumed. For natural reasons Kaliningrad was created as a Soviet city and experienced all the corresponding birth traumas. The USSR had extensive experience in building large numbers of cities on the steppes over 70 years. The only difference was that there was no steppe here - in either the physical or the historical sense. To be more exact, it was an anti-steppe. Something rare for the USSR occurred when the anti-steppe began to resist the new affair. While a steppe is a space of anti-historicity, the historicity of the "former" city began to resist the egalitarianism of Soviet city building and started to impose its own individual way.


Photo by А. Popadin, collage by K. Baryshev, 2005

All the aforementioned symbolical equations must be balanced by different realities in order to be completed.

For a demythologized view it is necessary to find formulas for the possible adequacy of the two "virtually-real bodies," Koenigsberg and Kaliningrad. I would like to emphasize that I myself do not understand whether it is possible to speak about K+K as a single city, whether it is highly necessary - or even possible - to differentiate between the two, or whether it should be a hybrid, a centaur. From the point of view of an outsider, let's say a New-Yorker, our hardship in weighing two cities on the point of a needle (which one weighs more?) may seem like the phantom pains of a missing limb, however….

Indeed, the point is not even the name: Kaliningrad or Koenigsberg. As regards the name, it is clear to me that the renaming of Koenigsberg to Kaliningrad in 1946 was a great lie that was quite typical of for its time.[2] But TODAY the renaming of Kaliningrad as Koenigsberg would also be a great lie. I can accept this renaming, but I believe it should only take place later, when the opposition of the two Ks is not as acute. And it should not be the "historical defeat" of Kaliningrad by Koenigsberg, but a certain dialogue of equals. The renaming should be the result not of the weakness of the Russian status of the city but, on the contrary, of its strength.

At present Koenigsberg in its caliber, the scope of its "historical mass" is undoubtedly greater than Kaliningrad - if one considers it in terms of the "historical line of achievements." Going further, you can design a formula of symmetry of the two "virtually real bodies" of Koenigsberg and Kaliningrad. The main merit of Koenigsberg lies in the historical completeness of its former fate, which has been locked for ever, sealed in scope, and cut with a scalpel. And this merit is opposed by (or supplemented with?) vitality, the true immediate existence of Kaliningrad, which is mainly lacking history, which is mythological (whose spell, according to the concept of Max Weber, has not been broken), and which badly comprehends itself in the same manner as teenagers. But it is real, initially incomplete yet accomplished, and that is why it is open to the future. This very relationship with the future is the main thing that links the two cities, renders them necessary to each other. And, unbelievably, it forces them step by step to become a single city. Koenigsberg has no future of its own. If Kaliningrad does not take it along to the future, it will remain in the past. On the other hand, Kaliningrad has almost no past of its own. If Kaliningrad goes into the future without Koenigsberg, will this future be full-fledged? It seems such an experiment during the first 50 Soviet years of the "new Soviet city" provided the answer to this question.


Kant and Kalinin: A gesture and argument (which resembles the title of a book by a contemporary French philosopher)

The two main character-symbols of the city, Kant and Kalinin, make up an electrolytic-galvanic pair. One is most substantial in his spirit (philosopher - is it something about spirit?) and minimalist in regard to his passions of outer life: Order und Ordnung. The other was wild in his youth, was a professional revolutionary in his maturity and was feeble and weak-willed in his old age. What ideas he had besides Bolshevik pathos - nobody knows. If at the moment of tension one places between them a certain historical object, for example a city, it will be covered by a film of symbolic galvanic-effect. Both characters have life-size bronze statues in the city, but with different implications. Kant's statue was taken from the sculptural decoration for the pedestal of the monument to the "Soldier King" (Friedrich Wilhelm I) in Berlin. Kant is a part of a large retinue; in its first row are generals, while in the second row there are thinkers and other humanitarians. According to the author of the sculpture, Kant debates with his contemporary Lessing, evidently about aesthetics. Then it was decided to cast a separate figure of Kant for placement in Koenigsberg. The figure of the philosopher was removed from its original military/state context and acquired its own new historical dimension, its own cultural and sculptural autonomy. The figure lacked this previously; it acquired it only in connection with the post-World War I crisis of development in East Prussia, when there was a need for a symbolic figure of distinguished achievements. [3]

Moreover, the sculptural Kant has experienced misfortunes that would suffice for a novel. At first the monument was placed near the Castle. During the War, after the bombing of Koenigsberg by the Royal Air Force, Marion Countess Doenhoff asked the city magistrate for the permission to take the sculpture to her family estate for safe-keeping, far from napalm. She took it and before the Red Army's arrival, the Countess buried the statue in the park and then rode away from the Soviet soldiers on a white horse (!). She returned to her native land in 1991, but she found neither the sculpture nor the estate. She collected some money from here and there for a new monument, added some of her own money and returned to the city what she took for safe-keeping 50 years before.

The philosopher's gesture is backed up by a gesture of love, living memory and cultural responsibility. But Kalinin's gesture is directed straight to the mass of people; Socialist Realism did not have any other directions in sculpture. And, to be more exact, it is directed to the people of Kaliningrad, the citizens of this particular city named after him. It is a welcoming gesture for those arriving in the city (Kalinin stands opposite the railway station) or a gesture of blessing for those departing.


V. Scherbakov. "Head-dress of Mikhail Ivanovitch Kalinin. From a set of anniversary postcards of 1975", 2005

The Kalinin monument has not experienced any adventures, it has not even encountered the hatred of anti-Communists and Democrats, who from time to time vent their sarcasm regarding the Lenin statue. Kalinin has not been honored with such hatred. According to the recollections of the descendants, he was quite an ordinary person, and his monument is quite ordinary.[4] It does not stir up any emotions.

Let it be, who cares. All the same, the city of Kalinin is surrounded by the city of Kant in the same manner as in the Asian game "Go": the one who surrounds and "embraces" the other wins.


The Castle and the House of Soviets

The main metaphysical pair of our city still awaits awakening. A robot is going to arise from the King's Mountain. It will turn its head towards each of us - Godzilla seem like a chicken in comparison with it!!! It is going to wake up, it is going to show us... ...The Koenigsberg Castle emerged as a material embodiment of power, of possession (of the land). The idea of power is central to metaphysics, the idea of protection (fortification) was central to its physics. Any castle of that era was an expansion, a fortification of the colonized area, a fort. The Order Castle on the Pregel River was not an exception. When the city around it grew, the Castle, having transferred the name to the city, became the symbolic and administrative container of power over this land, an architectural embodiment of this power.

The House of Soviets is the brother-enemy to the Castle. It is an anti-castle, the forced reaction of Soviet power to the Castle that stood in this place. A stone flower, a symbolic building for an ideal power (i.e., Soviet power, for those who have forgotten).[5] And that is why the real power was unable to live in it: it did not want to. As a symbol it is unpleasant and poorly designed for living. At the same time, the genome of power remained in both the architecture of the Soviet building and in the spirit of the place. This building is flag that denotes an area of possession. In light of this consideration, the area has two fundamental paths to the future: a new life will either build in this place the next power building (or will reconstruct the House of Soviets for its needs), or the "power genome" will be uprooted by the next construction, and then this land - the Kaliningrad region - will be devoid of the power chromosome and will become…

My symbolic imagination is powerless to go any further. What would this land have become if the Order Castle had not been founded at the junction of two arms of the Pregel River 750 years ago?

Another reflection of the interdependence of the pair "Castle/House of Soviets" are the myths about dungeons, about underground life - life after life. In the case of the Castle, it is underground Koenigsberg that has certainly appeared and was only able to exist "in the myth of Kaliningrad."[6] Underground Koenigsberg, the subterranean city has a nucleus concentrated in its underground character, in particular within the vaults of the Order Castle. It is from here, from these many-leveled vaults and underground passages that a different city started to sprawl outwards, according to the myth, under the crust of the city above. And this different city had arches with water dribbling in them, low galleries and hidden trapdoors. It is from here, from the "center of underground life management" that such management should logically and naturally be carried out. It is here (more rarely than the Cathedral) that the imagination places the reference point of the underground net of coordinates.

The myth about the vaults of the Castle was transformed by the Soviet "anti-brother" - the House of Soviets - into legends about a many-storied bombproof shelter built near and under the House of Soviets with the aim of defending future inhabitants from the dangers of a nuclear winter. Indeed, there should be such a shelter according to Soviet standards, so perhaps this is not a myth.


V. Scherbakov. "Illumination of sarcophagi by neon lamps or reconstruction of the silhouette of the Royal Castle on the facade of the House of Soviets", 2003

The destruction of the Castle blocked access for many contemporaries to this underground city for ever, and no doubt the Amber Room is shining there with its underground light... but where, exactly, is it?

Perhaps the citizens of underground Koenigsberg and the city fathers are aware of it. Let's ask them:

"Immanuel, answer!"

No reply.

"Mikhail Ivanovich, answer!"

No reply either.

But there is nobody else to appeal to.

Perhaps to one's imagination.



[1] In modern Germany Koenigsberg represents the phenomenon of "lost property" for part of the population. While Kaliningraders view Koenigsberg more as an independent socio-mythological entity, German citizens view Koenigsberg as an integral part of the lost East Prussia. The shifting of focus from a "municipality" (in the first instance) to an "area" (in the second instance) automatically colors the emotion of the "lost property" with nationalist and political hues, cultivating revanchist emotions among some Germans.

[2] But why is it "the city of Kalinin"? It is my city, not his. The fact that his name was taken as its root was a pure accident: the donor that was available at that time happened to be placed in the square. A matter of sheer luck.

[3] It was also in 1924 that the famous portico Stoa Kantiana was opened near the Cathedral.

[4] He became such after the 1930s; before then he was a very active revolutionary, and it is surprising that he lost so much by the end of his life.

[5] The House of Soviets was designed by the Institute GIPROGOR. Iurii Motorin, chief architect of the design, received the USSR National Award for it.

[6] In the genuine Koenigsberg there was no myth about underground Koenigsberg.


Translation by N.Andreeva


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