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




Photo by J. Koester, 2004

BEFORE THE CITY


Anders Kreuger / Stockholm, Sweden


In April 2004 I carried out some artistic fieldwork in Kaliningrad together with the Danish artist Joachim Koester. We took long walks together, researching the fabric of the city.

Prior to that, my last visit was on official business in 1994. In those days I worked for the Nordic Council in Lithuania, and Kaliningrad somehow also became part of my brief. Before that I had only been in virtual contact with this area, through my studies in Baltic linguistics at the University of Stockholm during the 1980s. Old Prussian, the language of the pre-German population as it was preserved in three editions of Martin Luther's catechism and a few other text fragments, was part of my curriculum. I remember feeling a strange affinity with the inflections of this archaic extinct language, the last speakers of which reportedly died in the plague of 1709. But I remember very little of the actual grammar and vocabulary taught in that course.

During the early 13th century, the site that was to become the city of Konigsberg was at the intersection of areas inhabited by two Baltic Prussian tribes, the Sambians to the north and the Natangians to the south. After the Crusades in Palestine had definitely failed the powerful religious orders, fearing they would become redundant, turned their attention to the eastern shores of the Baltic. These were among the last pagan territories of Europe. The Prussian tribes resisted Christianisation and assimilation by the German-speaking knights of the Order of the Cross, but in the end they ultimately succumbed.

We do not know how long the Baltic Prussians had lived in these parts or if there was anyone here before them. The safest option is not to award any particular ethnic group "indigenous" status in the area historically known as East Prussia, but to assume that everyone is a relative newcomer here. This has always been someone's enemy territory. It is as if the territory itself were the enemy of anyone who settles here.

In fact it is not too difficult to imagine the site of Konigsberg/Kaliningrad without any buildings or people on it. The city gives us plenty of opportunities to remember that it is a relatively recent presence on these steep hills and watery meadows. Nature here seems capable of simply shaking off human inhabitation. Few other urban environments seem so shaped by the natural relief and hydrological patterns of its substratum. Natural creeks gush through the center and the suburbs and throw themselves down into the sea.

The usual way for visitors to look at Post-Soviet Kaliningrad is to identify it as a site of cultural loss, with an amputated history. True, some of the grassy wastelands are empty of buildings because the city was bombarded during the war and the ruins were subsequently demolished. But other wild areas were simply never urbanized and have always looked as they do now: untidy, unkempt, unconquered.

From all the pictures Joachim took in Kaliningrad, he and I selected two for presentation here. They both convey something of the city's fundamental weakness, its defeat in the face of the weedy wetlands that are forever its main adversary. I believe that the wooded area not far from the railway tracks leading up to the Northern Station used to be the Volksgarten ("People's Garden"). Like most of the Kaliningrad Region, at least the parts we saw from the train window en route to Lithuania after our visit, it is now a full-scale piece of land art, where nature asserts its hegemony over cultivation.

Die Stadt-Wiesen ("The City Meadow") is what the Germans called the territory between the two branches of the Pregel River, just behind the Old Town. The city ends here with a concrete block of flats, like a protective wall, after which there is a zone of half-secret pathways through the dry reeds, burning rubber tires, discarded condoms and other desperate attempts at taming a threatening stretch of permanent nothingness. No one can complain that these particular plots of land have been "destroyed." The geopolitical normative that decries or defends the post-World War II fate of East Prussia does not apply to these pictures and what they portray. No one can credibly claim ownership of these "parks" and "meadows". No one knows how to name them properly or how to traverse them without drenching their feet in stagnant water.


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