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Catching the Instance

A new exhibition by Dmitry Konradt of his iconic images of St. Petersburg rock musicians is now on view.

Published: May 22, 2013 (Issue # 1760)



  • Andrei The Pig Panov (r) performing with his band Avtomaticheskiye Udovletvoriteli in the early 1990s.
    Photo: Dmitry Konradt

  • Akvariums Boris Grebenshchikov, photographed in 1987.
    Photo: Dmitry Konradt

Dmitry Konradt, one of the citys top fine-art photographers, was there with his camera to document most of the historic moments as well as the liberating spirit of St. Petersburg rock music during the Leningrad rock explosion of the 1980s.

Now focusing almost exclusively on abstract and eerily beautiful photographs taken in the courtyards and alleys of old St. Petersburg, Konradt is displaying some of his iconic rock images featuring Russian rock legends such as DDT, Akvarium, Kino, Alisa, Auctyon, AVIA and Sergei Kuryokhins Pop Mechanics at an exhibition at the Timiryazev Library that opened last weekend.

Whether Russian rock exists or not is still an open question for me, but it can be said with some confidence that in the 1980s, it did, Konradt said, speaking to The St. Petersburg Times ahead of the opening.

I am not sure about now. Back then it was the combination of a [specific] time and place, he said. We witnessed it and managed to capture a few things.

Called From Konradts Rock Archives of the 1980s, the exhibition includes 28 photographs of leading Russian rock musicians active in that era. Some are dead, some have disappeared and some went on to become big national stars.

Originally, the exhibition was created for Finnish audiences and was held at the Pick Me gallery in Helsinki to coincide with the release of Pietari on rock, a book about Leningrad rock music written by Finnish writer Tomi Huttunen and illustrated with more than 60 photographs by Konradt, who was credited as a co-author.

That exhibition, which included 31 works, then moved to Helsinkis Stoa Cultural Center, where it began a tour of Finland, including stops in Tampere, Turku, Kuopio and Oulu. The copies of the photographs for the touring show were made by the Finland-Russia Society.

The works were selected based on two principles: On one hand, they had to illustrate Tomis book to a certain degree. On the other hand, I wanted them to be good photographs, Konradt said.

[Tomi] told me, We need this person, and I looked to see if I had good images of that person from my point of view as a photographer. To me, purely photographic qualities are important notwithstanding the rarity of the situation or the identity of the subject. I tried to be not only a chronicler, but also a photographer.

Konradt said he has included several atmospheric photographs to convey the mood of the 1980s Leningrad rock scene for the original exhibition, which is now on view in St. Petersburg.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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