I took an early morning, 4 hour, flight from the center of Siberia, Novosibirsk city (Новосибирск), to the European city of Saint Petersburg (Санкт-Петербург) for a cultural explosion! One of my first destinations was Erarta Museum and Galleries of Contemporary Art (Музей и Галереи Современного Искусства Эрарта). I first learnt of Erarta when I visited their Satellite gallery in NYC.
My friend met me at the airport and we headed to her home, located in the North end of the city. We leave the airport and enter the metro station, Prospect Prosvescheniya (Проспект Просвещения), to find the longest escalator I have ever seen. As we take the 2.5 minute ride into the deep tunnels of Petersburg, my friend explains it is necessary to prevent flooding from the complicated Venice-like river web above ground. After 20 minutes traveling under ground I arrive on Vasilievskiy Island (Васильевский Остров). Erarta is located a little away from the center of the city. I had to take a bus number 6 from the Station Vasileostrovskaya (Василеостровская). You can find travel directions here.
Very kind young people has explained to me what is on view and where to go. Museum is organized as 2 parts: museum collection (counts about 2000 works by modern artists), and the second part, called galleries, includes a number of organized exhibitions, located in the other wing.
4th and 5th floors I found to be my favorite, installations and paintings have larger formats and displayed with more space to breath, compare to the confetti of art in the lower floors. On the 3rd floor I spent the most of my time though, there are two video rooms, in one of them different artists were asked to talk about different colors, describing them, explaining their use and importance in a painting or to the speaking at the moment artist.
The other video room was even more fun. A very wise idea to make paintings alive was very attractive to me. Curators of the museum would select some of the works from the museum’s collection and make a story-video about it. I could be a cartoon using the characters of one painting, where at the end they would freeze, and that would be the end painting. Or there would a short movie, filmed to tell the story about this painting, it’s idea. When I just came in to the video room there was a group of children watching, it is always more fun to watch cartoons with them you know. I really liked such cartoon about the painting “Dining Alone”, a very funny one.
When you are a little tired, you can visit Erarta’s cafe. Have a coffee while looking at art on the walls of cafe.
I enjoyed my time at Erarta. If you will go to St.Petersburg, stop by Erarta and experience contemporary russian art, you will not be disappointed. Perhaps one day you will see some of my works exhibited there as well.
Erarta Museum and Galleries of Contemporary Art
Line 29th, 2 Vasilyevsky island, Saint-Petersburg 199106 Russia
Working hours 10:00 – 22:00, Day-off : Tuesday