From the editors
CULTURE IN A "FOREIGN" SPACE: AN INTRODUCTION
TO GENIUS LOCI KALININGRAD AND KOENIGSBERG
KALININGRAD IN THE YEAR 2020 - A NOT QUITE FICTITIOUS CONVERSATION
DESTINATION - KALININGRAD
FROM KALININGRAD DICTIONARY
MAP OF THE CITY
FORMA URBIS. SYMBOLIC PARALLELS
IN OR OUT
THE RAILWAY STATION AND ENTRANCE TO THE CITY OF KALININGRAD
BINARY STATES OF "K" CITY
Eugeny Umansky, Karpenko-Karpenko
IN THE CENTER
Andrei Monastyrsky, Sabina Haensgen
EMPTY CENTER K.
FOLLOWING SILENT WORDS
FA+ (Ingrid Falk & Gustavo Aguerre)
THE MYTHICAL FOUNDATION OF KALININGRAD
PRETERITION: KNEIPHOF ISLAND
THE BRIDGES AND "THE PREGEL'S ODOR"
John Craig Freeman, Greg Ulmer
IMAGING KALININGRAD: THE SEVEN BRIGES OF KOENIGSBERG
FORGOTTEN KANT AND THE KANT-BRAND IN KOENIGSBERG
KANT'S BRIDES: A READYMADE PHOTOGRAPHIC CHRONOTOPE
THE CATHEDRAL AND KANT FOR EVERYONE, OR IS GOD FEARSOME WITHOUT MORAL
THE CASTLE OF SOVIETS
THE ROYAL CASTLE
A WHITE SEAGULL ABOVE THE CITY: THE SYMBOLS OF THE OLD NEW CITY
WRITING OF DREAMS
LIGHT UP DOM SOVETOV
THE HOUSE OF SOVIETS
THE MOST PROFOUND SECRET OF ONE KOENIGSBERG LAWYER: HOFFMANN
A LEGEND ABOUT FIVE LITTLE ULRICHEN AND FERRYMAN ANDRE
KOENIGSBERG-KALININGRAD. THE TASTE OF MARZIPAN
THE COUNTRY OF PENSIONERS - OR THE GERMANS
CONCRETE ELEMENTS OF KALININGRAD
THE UNDREAMED OF CITY
TOWN PLANNING MATHEMATICS
MOSKOVSKII PROSPECT & THE SHADOWS AROUND ALTSTADT
OUR TOWER Ivan Chechot
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)
THE AMBER ROOM
BASTIONS IN DIAMONDS AND EMERALDS
THE HOUSE OF MACHINERY: THE RECONSTRACTION AND EXPLOITATION OF THE POPULATION
V.I.P. (Very Interesting Person)
PLACE OF EXECUTION
TRACES OF A VIRTUAL HISTORY IN A VERY REAL CITY
CHRIST THE SAVIOR CATHEDRAL
LIFE AND EGGS (A sketch about trams)
A STROLL THROUGH THE CENTER
IN THE FLOW: FOUNTAIN SEASON
WILD WEST OF RUSSIA
ANIMALS IN KALININGRAD AND A MOSAIC
KOENIGSBERG'S SPIRITUAL HERITAGE IN TONS, ITEMS AND SACKS. From the history of lost and found cultural heritage
WE ALL ARE GOING TO BE THERE
MONUMENT TO 1200 GUARDSMEN IN KALININGRAD
MATTER AND SPIRIT
FRAGMENT OF A SYMPHONY FOR SLOW READING: IVANOV AND HIS SURROUNDINGS
ATTIC OF RECOGNITION
MAN AND WOMAN
THE SMALL SCULPTURE "GIRL"
ON THE STREET
Igor Isaev, Dmitrii Demidenko
THE FIRE HYDRANT
Kalle Brolin, Kristina Muntzing
THE WATERFALL HERACLES' BOLT
V.I.P. (Very Interesting Person)
NATASHA POTERYASHINA. Inteview
TO BE IN THE MOOD FOR PACKING
Dmitrii Bulatov, Pavel Savel'ev
ACEPHALUS: OPTICAL MODELS
LIGHT THE CRYSTALS OF KALININGRAD!
THE BRIDGE THAT THE "RUSSIANS COULDN'T PULL DOWN"
THE ROAD TO BERLIN: FROM EPIC TO BANAL. Interview with Valerii Bugrov
HOAR-STONES AND BOUNDARY SYMBOLS
MUSCOVITES ARE HANGING
BEFORE THE CITY
THE FIRE HYDRANT
Aleksandr Popadin / Kaliningrad, Russia
The path to the fire hydrant was not easy for me.
At first I thought that it was a pole for tying up horses. So, these things stand on the pavement, and you, being a resident of the 19th century, ride up to it, dismount and tie up your gelding. Some sort of a parking spot. But Kharkovskaya Street was built in 1921-1927, when residents of the 19th century had become residents of the 20th century. When horse-drawn carts were replaced by bicycles and cars, this thing remained standing. Something is wrong with it.
To tell the truth, since then this gadget has lost its top and metal casing, hence revealing its valves. So, it is a complicated engineering construction and not a parking spot. Well!
Then, on another object I could make out the German word Wasser (water) and the cast-iron muzzle of a Chinese fire dragon (this was on the glade at the end of Radishchev Street, beneath which an air-raid shelter had been located). Then I discovered the dividing connector for a fire hose. In every school there were and still are those red wooden boxes, where senior pupils thrown their cigarette butts and which contain a rolled up hose with intake connectors at the end. The same kind of a connector was observed on the cast-iron pole of a human form with two hook-ups on its shoulders. The way to a fire-hydrant was not easy. Behind it stands a fire-warden, a shining iron fire helmet, taken from cartoons and musicals. There are complicated nets of tubes and pipes that appear on the ground surface in a special hydrant costume. There are many of them, because a third of the town was destroyed by fire during the Middle Ages. So preventative measures had to be been taken. These measures stand behind the fire-hydrant topped by a fire-warden with a helmet. And what stands behind me? There is something: a red fire box in the school. I was a member of the organization "Young Friends of the Volunteer Fire Brigade" (YFVFB), which handed out badges for the ten kopeck annual fee. I was also a member of the competitive team of the YFVFB. First we trained at the fire station of the Oktyabrsky District, and then we took part in regional fire-prevention competitions for the District. We were allowed to skip classes in order to train, which was a good incentive. I climbed into a second floor window with a water cannon. There was a hook on the step-ladder, and it could be fixed to a window sill. It was shaky enough when you climb it hastily. In the third year we were allowed to take part in demonstration performances (at that time we were already young bulls at the age of 17, in the tenth form).
During training I learnt some things about the job of fire-fighting, a parallel world to ours. For example, if you believe in films, then in those days fire-wardens rehearsed and performed in brass bands while they were not at work (a wonderful blending of the musical and operational arts). Nowadays, in the century of boom-boxes and CD players, fire-fighters train and master billiards playing; they no longer torment others with their voices. This, in my opinion, is not a bad thing.
Actually, there is a special metaphysics in the profession of fire-fighters. It is when you are an agent of inter-natural conflicts, and can suppress one force with the help of another. You are able to make a mystery of the meeting of fire and water dragons. So, a hydrant is a post on the city territory for starting a metaphysical fight. It is a techno-sculpture nowadays. But only a few of them are left. Years and centuries had passed and in the 1920s German community services invented an underground hydrant.
Once, in the middle of summer, I witnessed a red fire-engine driving into our small side-street. A person without a helmet, in ordinary clothes with a fag-end in his mouth got off it with a fire-hose in his hand. He winked at the confused kids who were playing there, cleaned the dirt from a small hatch with the help of a poker, removed the hatch and inserted into the hole a MGH (firefighter slang for "mobile ground-based hydrant"). Then he set a fire hydrant wrench into a small metal latch nearby, turned the wrench, and washed away the dirt around the hydrant with a stream of water from the MGH. Then he disconnected it, winked at me and said: "Fire hydrants of the Berlin pattern need to be checked once a year, as do their connectors. Do you see the signs on the wall? FH - fire hydrant, HC - Hydrant connector." Only after he had pointed out the signs did I notice them. It is interesting, all the letters and figures had their own meaning!
Having disconnected the MGH and closed the connector, the man drove on to the next hydrant, while I was still examining the hatch. The German hydrant of the Berlin generation was so unimpressive and non-artistic that I realized that everything becomes worse and worse in our life. Everything is going the wrong way. It is transformed into signs and stories. Where did the fire-wardens, chimney sweeps, and lamp-lighters go? Where do the trifles of town life go? Do they become characters and details for the tales and recollections, which all seem to be the same?
Translation by O. Zaiachkovskaia