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Gatchina State Museum Reserve

Address: Gatchina, Krasnoarmeysky Pr. 1
Tel.: 8 (812) 958 0366
Museums hours: 11:00 – 19:00
Closed: first Tuesday of every month
On 14, 15 and 21 September 2013 to visit The Gatchina State Museum Reserve you need to buy an entrance ticket.

The Gatchina Museum Reserve is one of the most peculiar suburbs of St Petersburg. The museum consists of the Gatchina Palace and Park and the Priory Palace. The Gatchina Palace was built in 1766 for count Grigori Orlov who was a favourite of Catherine the Great and an ardent hunter. After July 1783 it was the favourite residence of Paul I. After his death it was owned by every Russian emperor. Alexander III made it his official residence for 13 years. Before the World War II the palace used to be called ‘the second Hermitage’. In postwar times it housed military establishments. Some of the restored halls opened for the public as late as on 8 May 1985. The museum has a unique collection of portraits, sculptures, porcelain, bronze figurines, costumes, steel arms and guns. With its ten towers and a 135-metre long underpass and the Echo grotto, the palace reminds one of a medieval castle. It is faced with famous local limestone that changes colour in different light and weather. An orthodox cross crowns a tower that houses the family church of the Russian Emperors (still in operation). A 34-metre Flag Tower provides a beautiful view of the lakes, islands, and bridges of one of the first landscape parks of Russia. The Birch House and Venus Pavilion are the rare examples of the wooden park constructions of the 18th century. The Priory Palace, built for the knights of Malta, is the only preserved rammed earth conduit of the end of the 18th century in Russia.

A Brief History of Collapses

A Brief History of Collapses is a two-channel video that traverses the spaces of the restored Museum Fridericianum in Kassel and the ruined Dar ul-Aman Palace in Kabul along two parallel tracks, exploiting the similarities in their architectures to explore both similarities and differences in the histories, myths, intentions, uses, values and crises of the two buildings and the cities for which they stand. The work was commissioned by dOCUMENTA (13).

Mariam Ghani (USA)

Mariam Ghani’s research-based practice spans video, installation, performance, photography, and text. Her exhibitions and screenings include the Rotterdam and CPH:DOX film festivals, dOCUMENTA (13) in Kabul and Kassel, MoMA in New York, and the Sharjah Biennial 10. Recent texts have been published by Filmmaker, Mousse, the Radical History Review, Triple Canopy, and the New York Review of Books blog. Ongoing collaborations include Index of the Disappeared (with Chitra Ganesh), Performed Places (with Erin Kelly), and the Afghan Films online archive (with pad.ma). Ghani holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from NYU and an MFA from SVA, and currently teaches at Pratt and NYU.