"Kaliningrad Art Space" represents the artworks of 15 artists, who work in different media such as painting, graphics, photograph, video, audio and performance.
"Kaliningrad Art Space" is the independent art project which was born as a part of the German contemporary art festival '48 Stunden Neukölln'. The project group KaliBer (Berlin) and Art-Vorota (Kaliningrad) cooperated one year ago to prepare this exhibition. We plan to show "Kaliningrad Art Space" in Germany and Russia in the future. The main aim of our project is a representation of contemporary art of Russia, moreover, that little and in a some way unthinkable European part of it. In the past, Kaliningrad region used to be a part of East Prussia and Kaliningrad used to be called Koenigsberg. Thus, this place shares a common prewar historical background with the rest of Germany.
As the great catastrophe of the twentieth century, the Second World War had separated the story of this city in a crucial way. Following the end of the War, The region turned into a territory strategically important for the Soviet Union. As we know, the city had been attacked by British aviation, so the centre of it was destroyed almost entirely. On top of this, the Soviet government, for political and ideological reasons, had decided to not reconstruct the original image of the city. The aims were the exact opposite, as they wanted to build something new and completely unrelated to the historical and cultural background of Koenigsberg. We would like to emphasise that Kaliningrad of that time was the field of a battle fought between the past, present and the future, it still reminds us about this historical contradiction in its complexity.
The modern Kaliningrad continues to be a special place in some way both for Russia and Europe. The city, as an exclave situated between Poland and Lithuania, may be called both a stranger and a neighbour in a paradoxical way. We have to add that the inner life of the city is full of paradoxes as well. That is why the main theme of the festival Shadow made us think about these kind of notions as self-identification, a mixing of cultural layers and even different ways of escapism. We focused on the young generation of the contemporary artists of Kaliningrad because we would like to hear the voice of young artists who have already had this specific mental and physical distance from our soviet past. To make it clear, we would like to add that this factor gives us some fresh perspective of perception of Kaliningrad including its local atmosphere, a romantic track of inevitable sadness and even an uncertain economic situation.