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   St. Petersburg, City of Water and City of Shadows - works by two Russian artists, Andrey Chezhin and Alexey Titarenko, on Water and its psychology in the urban environment of Peter the Great's capital built from the marshlands of the Neva river.

Andrey Chezhin, Untitled from the Nevsky Baptistry Series, 1994
Courtesy of Nailya Alexander, Washington, D.C. and N.Y.

St. Petersburg was built early in the 18th century. A city having a European look thus appeared in Russia, a country steeped in ancient tradition. According to a legend dating to the time of its construction, the city is destined to go down with the waters of the river on whose banks it has been built, taking away as it does so all of the city's pains and sins. St. Petersburg, indeed, was flooded again and again until the dam to protect it began construction in the 20th century. Before that, floods used to wash away houses and, with them, any remnants of reason, leaving city dwellers with a mindless fear... Andrey Chezhin belongs to his native city.

Irina Tchmyreva
From Andrey Chezhin - The Nevsky Baptistry

Andrey Chezhin, Untitled from the Nevsky Baptistry Series, 1994
Courtesy of Nailya Alexander, Washington, D.C. and N.Y.

Alexey Titarenko, Untitled from the Black and White Magic of St. Petersburg Series, 1995
Courtesy of Nailya Alexander, Washington, D.C. and N.Y.

All of Alexey Titarenko's photos seem to be permeated with the perspiration of this mad, phantasmagoric city. Water sprays fuse together, turning movements of individual people and of whole human masses into flows of water and time as the frozen beauty of St. Petersburg's architecture is reflected in the water. Silvery water drops suspended in the air are like dust shaken from a curtain hanging over a theatre stage. Water finally becomes part of his photographic process.

Irina Tchmyreva
From Alexey Titarenko, Time Standing Still

Alexey Titarenko, Untitled from the City of Shadows series, 1993
Courtesy of Nailya Alexander, Washington, D.C. and N.Y.



For further information contact Frank Rose at exhibits@fotofest.org


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