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
Aleksandr Ponomarev / Moscow, Russia
The enclave, being enclosed, needs links to the rest of the world. Kaliningrad has such connections that begin at airports, railway stations and bus depots. But the main link to the outside world is by sea.
Hurrying to the harbors like spermatozoa, ships enter channels and fertilize the region with goods and people, which the region then produces and sells. The port, harbors, docks, ships, and Kaliningrad channel - they are honking, tempting, noisy gates that open to the Baltic, the ocean and the world.
There should always be people crowded around gates. All levels of society fuss about, realizing their social functions. The authorities are responsible for the "locks." The officials come to a ship and open the lock either to the outside ("Bon Voyage!", ladders are pulled up, cast off, a honk) or to the inside ("Welcome!" What have you brought? Where is your money? Come here, we have all kinds of sounds and smells!)
Once in the 1980s I went to sea and brought back from exotic countries bananas and other delicious things (now they are cheaper than cucumbers, but in those times they were beyond even rich Soviet citizens), and when we came to Kaliningrad, impatiently leaving the territory of the port through the control post, we arrived at the place that sailors called "the patch." Here we were met by attractive, not very attractive and ugly girls, who refuted the main principles of the Soviet ideology, namely: A. No sex; B. The morals of a Soviet sailor cannot be shaken; C. A sailor earns a lot. The service worked effectively. They knew what we did, how much black and white money we had. Certainly, after a half-year voyage there was no longer grey substance but other liquid circulating in our heads, and, under its pressure, we left for a snug place. And when we came passed back through the control post with empty pockets, several bottles of "Bely Aist" cognac (its long bottles were easily hidden in pockets) and with cloudy hung-over minds, we wondered whether or not there would be something wrong "over there"…
Now, as I wander the streets, it seems to me that the faces of some hair salon, hotel and confectionary owners remind me of the faces of those love priestesses who, at the "patch" were pioneers of growing market relations in the sphere of consumer services. The gate opening process has its duration. The process of leaving the territory and heading off to vast expanses is lengthy. Ships are not seen off in the same way as the trains.
The Pregel river, the navigable channel… Along the river side relatives and friends drive their cars, leave behind the ship, come up to the water, wave their hands - "Bye!"- and it passes slowly. You can recollect, discuss, and observe the scuttled ships whose navigation days are over, poor things that stand still and rust. Or you can watch the women, who live their settled lives with some obvious aim (unlike you), standing on the deck and you realize that the aim of your motion does not belong to you any more. It is common and merges with the course of the increasing speed of the ship.
Primorskaia Bay, Kaliningrad Creek and then Baltiisk, Morskoy Channel (this is actually "the gate") and Gdansk Creek is ahead … and here is the Baltic Sea.
Kaliningrad port and its environs evoke many humorous stories, which I will recount for you.
1. I am an officer of the elite banana fleet and am on watch. The ship is at mooring 2,which is the best place. There is a control post nearby. The ship is full of Ecuadorian bananas -Chiquita, Bonita - all in all 4000 tons. Earlier, a sailor of the banana fleet was allowed to take about 10-15 kilograms of bananas through the control post according to a special document - a "fruit list" -- and he could treat anybody. For instance, he could send them home. But now this is not allowed. Everything is thoroughly controlled and even banana skins are counted. Now Russia is the banana's home country, but in those times bananas were a luxury, especially for children. And here a group of school-children arrives. They are on an excursion to the port, and our ship is served for dessert. They are attracted by the captain's bridge and by the holds and so on, but a mute question in the kids' eyes lets us understand that these are not the things for which they came. But what about the strict rule? We make a decision. We invite all the kids to the mess-room and suggest concluding a treaty: "You can eat, here, as much as you can, but only here, and not a single piece, not a single skin is allowed to be taken from the room. Agreed?" - "Yes!" - "And we will provide you with this pleasure." We had plenty of ripe bananas. Deck-hands and mechanics had some bananas for the supervisors. We knew how to make green bananas ripe within hours with the help of carbon dioxide from a fire extinguisher, a cellophane bag and temperature. Besides, while checking the holds it is necessary to separate yellowish bananas from green ones, because while they ripen they produce a chain reaction which is not allowed to happen. So we brought the yellow delicacies. The happy time lasted about an hour; the skins were handed in and counted, stomachs grew. Leaving the ship and port, the kids were happy. The excursion was a success. Maybe some of them decided to become sailors or dock workers after that. Most certainly, some of them occasionally recall the banana festival at the Kaliningrad Port. Incidentally, Leonid Sazonov, the captain of the "Academic Vavilov", told me that around the time when he studied at the navy institution, and the cadets, who never had enough food, ate bananas while training in our port on fast ships. Maybe we had met before.
2. Cruel Intentions
There are girls standing along the channel. They are very tempting. They know where we have come from with bananas and other goods - mohair, crimplene. They pull up the skirts, wave their hands and shout: "Bananas! Come here, come here!" The mood improves.
3. The food Program
By the mooring. It was winter and very cold. The watch was organized to catch "saw men." That's what we called the dock workers, who stole from the holds meat, which had been brought by our ship from Argentina. Frozen meat was transported at the minus twenty degrees Celsius, and it was impossible to carry enormous pieces. But these clever guys managed to secretly bring huge saws into the holds and tried to saw pieces off icy gammons. Sometimes we caught and beat them, but it was not clear for what.
We were leaving, everything was ready, and the authorities were on deck already. But everyone had been waiting for the electrician for an hour already. Here he comes. Everybody on the deck roared with laughter as he, walking zigzags, automatically headed to the ship. Climbing up the ship's ladder, his strength and power left him. He sat and looked at us with sadness in his eyes. The frontier guards allowed us to go down and carry him onboard. The officials made serious understanding faces and, reeking of alcohol from the captain's stores, descended to the pier. The ship left at once.
5. Three on a chain
The World Ocean Museum. I live in the shower room of the control post with Yashka, a legendary lop-eared loud dog (I rescued him from the hold of the rusted "Vityaz"). I am on the site where I make sculpture from old huge ship chains. These leftovers brighten the cultural territory of the growing museum. My assistant is a welder, a former submarine officer and Lithuanian, who got a big dose of radiation when his atomic submarine bumped into an American one. We weld the chains, then lift a five-meter arch by a crane, and suddenly it falls down almost on our heads due to a broken link. After that we celebrate our second birth at his place and he says: "Alex, I cannot understand a single thing that you do, but I swear that this is the most interesting job in my coastal life. This is modern art, close to the people." Unfortunately, several years later my assistant went on his last voyage, and there is no way back.
Time flows. Frontier territories still attract me. I go to sea again, and I stand on deck again. We head towards Antarctica, passing the harbor- Volnaya, Industrialnaya, Tovarnaya - the gates are open. It's breezy. I absolutely don't want to understand anything about modern art, I just want to live, tossing on the waves, to be interested only in two things: "The Starry sky over me and the moral law inside me."
Translation by O. Zayachkovskaya