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
Manuela / Kaliningrad, Russia
Natasha Poteryashina. A Kaliningrader from the North who sunbathes at 52 degrees Celsius. Her age does not bother her; her sleep can be interrupted only by reading. She is the most inimitable and uniquely dowdy fashionable woman of the city: bright and full of dignity, promenading daily along the central city streets. An artist's model ... an actress... a philosopher ... a lady... absolutely devoid of confusion...
Natasha Poteryashina (N.P.): First of all I must say that I was born in a different city. And without feeling sorry about it, I am happy to call myself a northerner - to the age of five. I was born in the town of Kotlas, Archangelsk Region, on 7 July 1950. Yes, I was born in 1950; I may speak frankly about this, it is not at all a burden for me. My aunt studied at the Leningrad Planning and Economy Institute. After graduation she was sent to work in Kaliningrad and brought the entire family here. I have been living here since 1955.
Manuela (M.): Have you got a big family then?
N.P.: Well, my family is "inferior" - as they said when I was entered higher education. I was brought up by my grandparents, and my Mom went to settle the "virgin lands" in Kazakhstan.
M.: What about your private life?
N.P.: Well, some sort of husband ... I have no husband. No children. But what gives me inspiration is the fact that I have a darling.
M.: What do you usually drink in the morning?
N.P.: In the morning I drink very strong tea. If I am lucky, it can be flavored with lotus, green tea, green with jasmine. And in everyday life I drink Hyleys Tea.
M.: How many hours a day do you sleep?
N.P.: You know, I am spoilt with the sleep. I have always lived alone, so I can afford it. Only reading can interrupt my sleep.
M.: Do you read a lot?
N.P.: Recently I have been reading a lot of philosophical literature, and in one American book on comprehension I found the phrase: "a library is an extra-genetic means of survival." We live with what we have been brought up with only in principle, and we can get from books what we can acquire. Yes, I read a lot. I had a wonderful grandmother. She was the head of a library distribution center. She began reading to me when I was six months old. As a result of this reading when I began to talk, I spoke in verse.
M.: Do you remember any of them?
Snow was falling on the threshold,
A cat was making a pie,
And while he was making and baking it,
The pie flew away like a brook
I read a lot and reread books...
M.: And what is your favorite book?
N.P.: In Search of Frescos, a book about prehistoric paintings.
M.: What kind of education did you receive?
N.P.: I am a philologist. And I received some other education.
M.: For example?
N.P.: I am an information analyst, a traditional one. I worked at the Research Institute (AtlantNIRO) as head of a group for analytical and statistical processing, at the information department of patent research. Then I studied at the Patent Institute in Moscow. I received a degree with honors from the Chamber of Commerce. Then I worked as a lawyer specializing in intellectual property protection here in Kaliningrad.
M.: What alcoholic beverages do you prefer?
N.P.: I like light semi-sweet red wine.
M.: Do you smoke?
N.P.: I smoke strong cigarettes. I smoke a lot. I have a chronic deficit of nicotine; there is never enough nicotine for gypsy blood. My father was a Gypsy.
M.: Are there any household chores that you enjoy doing?
N.P.: Once I used to like making cushions. I had a lot of them, then I sorted them and I had cushions on the floor. Once I spoiled a red silk dress while ironing and made a lot of cushions from it.
M.: Was it a long dress, with a train?
N.P.: No, not long - but it had a lot of frills.
M.: Is your house messy very often?
N.P.: I am a very emotionally sensitive person, and since messes irritate me I try to keep everything in order. And what I call order is also beauty for me.
M.: Do you wear make-up?
N.P.: I do not wear make-up at all. I used to wear it, even following French recommendations. I used a French compact for providing a natural glow. But I no longer do this.
M.: Do you have any of "grandma's beauty secrets" that you have made use of?
N.P.: I have my grandma's hairstyle. It is a family hairstyle. My grandma used to have it, as well as my aunt, so do I.
M.: How much time does it take you to get dressed?
N.P.: I would not measure it in terms of time, but in terms of effort... It takes a lot of effort ...
M.: Have you got a lot of clothing, jewelry, purely feminine accoutrements? Have you got a favorite among them?
N.P.: I like surrounding myself with favorite things. I love all my things. For example, the coat I am wearing. It is from Paris, a coat that Parisian ladies wear. It was a present from Parisian friends. It can only be worn with a skirt, should be buttoned up, and legs and head stick out - only legs and head... Or a black knitted dress that allows for a lot of variations. It is a good thing...
M.: And your favorite color?
N.P.: Perhaps my selfishness manifests itself here, as I immediately began to consider what suits me most. Blue, pink, yellow?
M.: If you were asked to arrange your own fashion show, what would it be like?
N.P.: I used to be a manager and worked as a deputy director, but this did not and does not restrict my nature. I have always wanted to be diverse. And the most horrible thing is getting used to oneself and other people getting used to you, when they cease perceiving you. Image, style and manner of speech should provide a certain impetus leading to an act, to an action, to an idea, and to an emotion. I am for diversity. I am for self-comprehension and for the skill to present it. I would like to be very different according to my mood. This is what my fashion show would be like.
M.: What is epatage for you?
N.P.: Epatage can be either an opening of nature, or it can also be feeble imitation.M.: Have you got many friends?
N.P.: Yes, I have lots of friends and have one close female friend. On September 1, 2005 we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of our friendship. She graduated from the faculty of Physics and Mathematics at the Kaliningrad State University. Her husband is a professor, who breeds squid. They have three children. We meet as two understanding and matching personalities. We never speak about family matters; we speak about literature, painting. I have opportunities to attend exhibitions and have things to tell her about. I am a guaranteed entertainment for her, as she cannot afford to go where I can.
M.: Which is the latest exhibition you have visited?
N.P.: I visited the Virtual Public Lectures Center ten days ago in the Art Gallery. It is run by Yulia Abramova, a girl who painted me when I worked as a model at our University. I have always visited exhibitions. I even attended the exhibition "Moscow - Paris" in 1981. Visiting Moscow on a business trip, I bought a ticket to the exhibition on my first day in the capital and only managed to go there immediately before my departure.
M.: What is television for you?
N.P.: I do not watch television at all. My aesthetic perception is very acute, as is the construction of image in my consciousness. Hence, television interferes with my mental activities. I read, imagine things. I do not mean certain programs that I come across like any citizen. It is very difficult for me to perceive TV. I do not perceive it.
M.: What are your favorite routes for walks?
N.P.: I go to the Royal Gates, on Bagration Street. I visit the Sculpture Park, near the Cathedral. There is a small sculpture there that is very precious for me. There is an inscription on it, the author is not mentioned, but I think it is John Dunne, an English poet: "A beloved woman is the soul of a loving man." I enjoy going there. Today I have been to the Upper Lake, where people feed seagulls. It was nice.
M.: What is your attitude to the recent changes in the general appearance of our city?
N.P.: I think it is changing as much as our life allows change. And it does not allow much. One would like to get more... The day before yesterday I went to Kant's grave. There are a lot of flowers there - roses, carnations - and it makes me happy.
M.: Do you feel under the weather?
N.P.: Yes, I do. I am a sun, I love the sun. Once in Kazakhstan I sunbathed at 52 degrees above zero. And I was not burnt. This is how much I love the sun, and the sun loves me.
M.: How do you express yourself now?
N.P.: In my works I write about everything absorbed from my previous trips, walks and reading. This is my work. I take it very seriously. One manuscript is very personal. The other one, "Gardens of Pandectae" (Editor's note: pandektes in Greek means a universal doctrine), is philosophical, describing the approaches to existence that retain existence and allow it to flourish. I hope it will be published.
M.: Do you consider Kaliningrad an intellectual city?
N.P.: How should an intellect manifest itself? It should show itself in everything. The theatre is distressing. I do not go to the Drama Theater. I know the "Drugoi Theater" (Different Theater). I am captivated there by the very approach to the material: poetry and ballet. The library is very important for me. I am indifferent to cinema now. I used to attend the "Cinema University" at the the "Oktiabr" movie house. It was run by Igor Savostin. I enjoyed going there. I used to love the cinema.
M.: If you had a chance to choose a different time, a different city, what would you choose?
N.P.: I believe I have absorbed what is called the Baltic. I want to live in the Baltic. And I want to live here now. I have absorbed the past, I know about it. If I want to, I can imagine myself in it, but I do not want any other time. I have absorbed everything that is contemporary for this time. Everything is accessible to me.
M.: What is your cherished dream?
N.P.: It is to go to Kazakhstan to see my Mom.
M.: Have you ever been hurt or offended?
N.P.: There is an ancient saying: "One can destroy the solidity of one's life only with one's own hands". I exclude all offences. Only I myself can give rise to all my troubles. I have never been offended.
Translation by N. Andreeva