This project presents the chronicle of Petrograd's life over 12 months of the revolutionary 1917. The exhibition is based on periodicals, archival records, memoirs, artworks and illustrations from magazines, newspapers, postcards, posters and photographs. The central piece of the exhibition is given to an installation by Boris Messerer, People’s Artist of the Russian Federation. The protagonist of the project is Petrograd itself, being the center of revolutionary events, fights and struggles, hopes and losses, faith and disbelief. The city became the gold standard and paragon for the new life and the revolutionary trendsetter.
Political events, the everyday and cultural life of the capital is illustrated with various visuals, such as event-related photographs; portraits of political leaders, writers, poets, musicians and popular theater, circus, movies and variety performers; cartoons, caricatures, playbills and posters. The pace of events in Petrograd in 1917, diversity of tones and positions are reflected in pamphlets, documents, media, diaries and memoirs. On top of chronicles, the exhibition offers authentic interior design items from Petrograd homes and offices, banners, warfare, military uniforms, as well as everyday clothes and theatrical costumes from St. Petersburg museums and private collections. The Revolution of 1917 turned regular life upside down and changed the perspective of on private and public matters as well as on what’s moral or immoral. When brought together, things that witnessed the Revolution help understand the complexity and multidimensionality of 1917 Revolution as a phenomenon.
A massive installation by Boris Messerer reflects the atmosphere in Petrograd’s streets. You’ll see the faces of those, who created the revolution, those who acknowledged it or opposed it. Boris Messerer is a renowned stage designer, who authored over 150 opera, ballet and drama productions for the Bolshoi Theater, Mossovet Theater, Mayakovsky Theater and Moscow Pushkin Drama Theater. His signature style is a combination of different genres and forms, such as stage design, painting, collage and installation.
This exhibition is organized with support of St. Petersburg Committee for Culture. The project was prepared by the agency of over 30 museums, archives and libraries from both St. Petersburg and Moscow, as well as private collectors.