St. Petersburg, Russia


2006.  I see St. Petersburg, a place of my birth (then Leningrad) for the first time in 14 years.

Strangely European, yet defiantly Russian, this place remains an endemic collision of beauty, poetry, and music with darkness, agony, and intoxication.  It has always been overwhelmed with hopes and dreams, thus any disillusionment here is only natural.  Beneath its seemingly polished beauty there are free floating and interacting pieces of various pasts and present.  It is this peculiar confusion of tenses that this place presents, makes images loose any significance of adhering to a certain linear narrative or chronology, instead seeking to create their own set of relations free of sequential display of facts.

Second Thoughts, as afterthoughts and images of thoughts expressed in different tonalities, is a story that is neither expected nor intended to be an objective account of a place, but rather seeks to transform things that one sees and remembers of the past and turns what seems to be familiar and mundane into uncommon experience. It is, in fact, a mere approximation of a particular world, a world of perhaps my own blurred childhood memories, recollections and fears, a world of marginal inhabitants of the place, who often are in between being obsessive and lost, but continue by going through the motions of living, in which their world is already dead but they are forced to live on it without conviction until outer events catch up with inner ones.

In the end, as time distances myself from this place, I realize that these images have both to do and nothing to do with Petersburg, as this place perhaps like any other big city possesses a common acute sense of great hopes and dreams, isolation and disillusionment, loss and sadness, collision of old and new.

I think, even though there may be many exceptions, that at a certain moment a story chooses you and won’t leave you in peace, and that is what happened to me here.