“Polish Culture Spring – 2013” in Vologda and Cherepovets

“Polish Culture Spring – 2013” in Vologda and Cherepovets

26-28 April 2013 Vologda and Cherepovets were holding a few events within the framework of an international project “Polish Culture Spring”. The cultural initiative of Polish Institute in St Petersburg (Consulate General of Poland in St Petersburg department) to organize the campaign was supported by the governor of the oblast. The program of the project included exhibitions, concerts, cultural meetings, memorial events.

Exhibition “Where East meets West” opened the project: in the South-West tower of Vologda Kremlin, one of the exposition sites of Vologda State Open Air Museum, there was a display of photo materials presenting the story of the unique monument of the medieval culture - the frescos of Holy Trinity Chapel of Lublin Castle. Built in the XIV century the gothic Catholic church was painted in the XV century by Russian craftsmen in traditional Russian Orthodox style. The paintings were made in 1418 at the order of king Vladislav II Jogaila. The polychromatic paintings based on Byzantine iconography art combining with West European architecture and religious traditions became a great example of mutual penetration of two Christian cultures – Catholic West and Orthodox East. Lublin Chapel is a curious symbol of tolerance and mutual respect as well as unification of the people who used to live on the land of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Since 1820 the chapel was used as a prison, the frescos covered with a layer of lime. It was only in 1899 when under the plaster the paintings were discovered. In 1903 specialists of the Imperial Archaeological Committee started to work there. Altogether the restoration of the frescos had lasted almost 100 years – from the time it was opened to 1997. Now Holy trinity Chapel in Lublin is included into the list of the European cultural heritage.

Within the framework of an international project “Polish Culture Spring- 2013” Vologda was visited by a famous Polish writer Janusz Leon Wiśniewski, the author of the bestseller S@motność w Sieci. A press conference of the writer as well as the meeting with Vologda readers took place in Vologda Regional Universal Scientific Library by the name V.I.
Babushkin, the public in Cherepovets could also meet Janusz in Central City Library. During the talk Janusz Wiśniewski told how he came up with the idea of his first novel, he also gave a presentation of his new novel Na fejsie z moim synem.

An exhibition of Elena Kyseleva “Poland. The chosen names” was opened in Vologda Regional Universal Scientific Library. It displays the portraits of famous people of Poland – writers, musicians, social workers. The author of the exhibition – a painter and a graphic artist, Union of Russian Artists member, prizewinner of International Exlibris Competitions, member of Cultural Association UNESCO-Burgenland, Austria, member of the Graphic House, Grafikens Hus, Sweden, member of Professional Creative Association “Comradeship “Free Culture”. The works of the artist were demonstrated at more than 40 personal and 150 group exhibitions in Russia, Poland, Austria, Germany, France, England, the Netherlands, Sweden, the Check Republic, Finland, South Korea, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Italy, and the USA.

One more exhibitory project was launched in Vologda Regional State Philharmonia of V.A. Gavrilin. At the exhibition “Music of Krakov” there is a demonstration of the works of a St Petersburg artist Sergei Kovalsky. Sergei Kovalsky is a member of more than 100 exhibitions in Russia, Europe and America. His works are kept in the collections of St. Petersburg's Museum of Non-Conformist Art, State Russian Museum, Museum of St Petersburg History, and others. His cyclus Total transparency is one of the attempts to save information through the method of parallel combination of photographic documentation of musical images: flora and urban surroundings, musician and flora. These works demonstrate the core of meta-elementalism, the direction which the photo artist is developing. The majority of the pictures are the portraits of musicians, who are not specially sitting for the artist but just playing music. Sergei Kovalsky can catch the moment when the musicians are completely revealing themselves. To fill the picture with the “sound” the artist is using special visual effects which reflect the tone of this or that instrument and deliver energy of the musicians themselves.

The performance of the vocal ensemble AFFABRE on the stage of Vologda Regional State Philarmonic Hall of V.A.Gavrilin and in Cherepovets City Philarmonic Hall became the musical component of the international project. This chamber company was created in Poznan in 1983. Its members are the educates of two famous Poznan choirs under the management of S.Stuligrosh and E. Kerchevsky. The ensemble is a prize winner of many prestigious festivals, musical contests, it gained popularity both in Poland and far beyond its borders. They represented Poland within the framework of well known international exhibitions in Sevilla, Hannover, at the Polish Culture festival on the island of Taiwan, Polish Culture Weeks in Beijing and Algeria. Repertoire of AFFABRE includes adaptations of old music and classical works, folk music of different nations, musical jokes, Polish pop hits, French chanson and Italian songs.

The main event of the “Polish Culture Spring – 2013” was the festival opening of the memorial sign to Joseph Conrad – a Polish author who wrote in English, who lived in Vologda in 1862-1863. The idea to have in Vologda the memorial sign belonged to Consulate General of Poland in St Petersburg. This event signalizes the result of cooperation of Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland, Vologda oblast government, Vologda city administration and Polish Institute in St Petersburg.

The memorial to Joseph Conrad is set up in Kozlenskaya street, on the place of the house where in 1860 the family of the future writer lived: his parents, Apollon and Evelina Kozhenevsky, were deported to Vologda for their part in Polish liberation movement. At that time Jozef Kozhenevsky was a child but now he is famous all over the world as Joseph Conrad. He made a great contribution into adventure fiction, he loved writing about the sea, to which he devoted many years of his life.

The author of the memorial sign project is an architect Vjacheslav Bukchaev, people’s artist of the Republic of Buryatia, prizewinner of State Prize of RSFSR, actual member of Russian Academy of Arts, member of Russian Architects Association, professor of International Academy of Architecture, actual member of New York Academy of Sciences. At the bas relief of the memorial sign there is an ocean wave with an eagle flying above it, which symbolizes the power of spirit and a will to win. According to the author, the figure of the bird should trigger an association with a Catholic cross as a reminder of the writer’s Polish roots.

The festival opening ceremony was visited by Oleg Vasiliev, Vologda oblast deputy governor, Mr Martsinjak, consul general of the Republic of Poland in St Petersburg, Mr Miler, director of National Heritage Department of Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland, Mr Karpinsky, director of Polish Institute in St Petersburg, writer Janusz Wiśniewski, member of the Polish delegation, Vadim Tsepa, Vologda deputy major, head of the Department of Humanitarian Policy of Vologda city administration, and Vjacheslav Bukchaev, people’s artist of the Republic of Buryatia.

The opening of the exhibition “Joseph Conrad. Between the land and the sea” in Vologda Regional Universal Scientific Library became the closing event of the international project “Polish Culture Spring – 2013”. The exhibition demonstrates different publications found in the library funds dedicated to Poland: works of Polish writers, literature about Polish history and culture, books from rare funds, they were published in the XIX century and now hardly can be found in any library. The books exhibition serves as a harmonic addition to the informational exhibition: around the walls there are writing boards with a detailed story of Joseph Conrad’s life. This exhibition prepared by Museum of Literature in Warsaw together with the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland is gifted to Vologda Regional Library.

Mr Martsinjak, consul general of the Republic of Poland in St Petersburg, noted that this “Polish Culture Spring” was bright and many-sided. Vologda citizens and guests of our city had an opportunity to learn more about different aspects of Polish culture: to visit art exhibitions, concert of the vocal ensemble, meet a famous writer Janusz Wiśniewski, find out about the life and works of the classical writer Joseph Conrad. The success of this international project is a guarantee of further fruitful cooperation between the Republic of Poland and Vologda oblast.

BUK VO “Informational-analytical centre of culture”

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