The Children’s Center for Historical Education “Bolotnaya st. 13″
Branch of the Museum of Political History of Russia
© Nadezhda Kudryavtseva
Address: Bolotnaya st. 13
Metro: Ploschad Muzhestva
Tel.: (812) 297-42-59
Museum hours: 10:00 – 18:00
Closed: Thursday, last Monday of the month
The Children’s Center for Historical Education occupies a unique building of an early 20th century wooden summer residence in Lesnoi, one of the city’s northern suburbs. The residence survived only because the Central Committee of the Bolsheviks’ Party had its important secret meeting here in Autumn 1917. It was in this building that Lenin, Dzerzhinsky, Stalin, Kalinin and other party leaders decided to organize October Armed Uprising.
For the century-old house this legendary meeting was but a small episode. Nowadays young citizens of St. Petersburg come to Bolotnaya street to experience various periods of the 20th century history of Russia. The house has seen it all: pre-revolutionary middle-class summerfolk, Soviet orphans, the Siege of Leningrad. Right next to the Center one can see a tower-block that used to be home for a famous Russian scholar Dmitry Likhachev.
The Children’s Center for Historical Education is a significant cultural venue in the North of St. Petersburg. Children come here to study, attend workshops, and celebrate Christmas and Maslenitsa festival; the house is also available as a prom and birthday party venue.
The project visualizes the changes that children undergo in the process of becoming adults.
The evolution and development of a child are related to insects’ metamorphoses; the installation’s characters are something between insects and children at various stages of their evolution and growth. The installation consists of more than twenty sculptures mounted on a branchy old tree in the museum garden. Larvae hatch from eggs looking like swaddled babies. They sleep and become bigger, growing arms and legs (six limbs altogether); the creatures then turn into toddlers – they get naughty, run over branches, go on the swings and study the environment around them like pre-school kids. They grow tousles, enter puberty and then mature, grow wings and fly away from their home-tree. The installation is accompanied by sound-effects: the creatures laugh, cry and mutter something in an unknown language. Sound files were created by a Finnish audio-artist Petri Laakso.
By the end of the festival the exhebition will become a part of the permanent exposition of the museum.
Alexander Reichstein (Russia – Finland)
© Alexander Reichstein by Mauri Tahvonen
Alexander Reichstein was born in 1957, in Moscow. He has lived and worked in Helsinki (Finland) for more than 20 years. His art work has become an important part of the Finnish art life. In 2008 Alexander received the Finnish State Award. His large-scale exhibition projects combine pop-art and academism; they entertain children and provoke sophisticated audiences. Alexander Reichstein explores various topics, concepts, materials and techniques, remaining true to his method based on a unique principle of communication between art-objects and audience.