GO EAST blog

this blog follows the road movie research of estonian performance artist katrin essenson and swiss performance artist matthias ruettimann across the former states of the sovjet union. mai - july 2016   

how to get lost in "Peter"

Tuesday 24 May - you want to get lost? - Here's the manual: 

Go to the next Metrostation. Throw a coin to choose the direction. Take the next train in this direction till the second last stopp. Get out of the station and choose the next person that catches your attention. Follow the person as long as possible. Then choose another person and follow as long as possible. Then another and another.

If you find back to your hotel one day, try to track the route.

Here is the report:  

17:52 Nevskiy Prospekt station M2 direction Kupchino

18:32 Zvyozdnaya station Arrival. 

19:40 square in front of Zvyozdnaya station: Young man in shorts, white tshirt, eating an ice cream, carrying a plastic bag. Goes to a parking lot, checks his car, goes to a flat.

19:49 Zvyozdnaya ulitsa 88: Man disappears in elevator and stops on second floor.

20:08 woman in police uniform, app. 25 years old. Walks to Zvyozdnaya ulitsa and takes a bus. Gets out of bus at the next station, walks along a path together with five young men in same uniform.

20:19 Dunaysky Prospekt 7k2: woman disappears in student home. Access only for residents.

20:24 woman, black trousers, black coat, black shoes, black blouse, white polka dots on the collar, wearing a black handbag and speaks into a mobile phone. Walks down Zvyozdnaya ulitsa.

20:39 enters metro station Zvyozdnaya and takes M2 direction Parnas.

21:27 Metrostation Parnas: woman leaves station goes to a bank, exits the bank, walks along street, enters Dixi Supermarket, exits supermarket, walks over parking lot and takes another street.

22:14 ulitsa Saretschna 37/2: woman disappears in an elevator. (See photo at the bottom)

Finally you did not get lost but you discovered undiscovered sights, worth to be seen.


 Where you lost the guide at 22:14

Where you lost the guide at 22:14


View on Neva from hermitage

what you see on a tour through Hermitage - just masterpieces


Shelter and hiding places

Don't be afraid to travel in Russia. In St.Petersburg travelers find shelter and hiding places every 20 to 50 meters in each road. Just duck and cover if there is a danger.

new forms of praying

Praying in Auferstehungskirche

visiting the "Auferstehungskirche" called the bloody church, because emperor Alexander II has been murdered on the spot where the church has been build, so visiting this place you discover new forms of praying. It seems to be an international spiritual movement that does this uprising form of praying and asking for salvation.

how to spend a day in "Peter"

Katrin blind in front of st.petersburg mosque

"Peter" is the nickname for St.Petersburg and here follows a manual how to spend a day in this city. Let's take yesterday, Monday 23 of May. 

Start your morning by running through the wide chaussee's, take up the rhythm of stop and go on the crossings guided by the red and green traffic lights. Collect any words you may catch as f.ex. "Y Adam" or "smatritsch". You don't have to know the meaning, or do you? 

Choose any spot as f.ex. the Tauric park not far from embellied Smolny Cathedral, and practice some meditation until your worried and busy mind calms down.

After breakfast go to the streets and follow without thinking your impulses. Get lost in the yards , passages, alleyways and backyards. Don't care about where to go, there is no better place as where you are.

Meet your partner at 2 pm and start practising. 15 minutes slow motion in the summer park. Another 15 minutes speak out everything that comes to your awareness. 

Close your eyes and let you guide 30 minutes throughout "Peter". Touch the monuments, here the girl speaking on her phone, feel the fresh air coming from the Baltic Sea, get worried about people observing you, merge your hand into the cold soft water of the fountain who sounds as a light summer rain, feel the changing of light and shadow on your retina, feel the threat of the roaring traffic, climb up stairs and enter the abrupt silence of a cool entrance hall. Then after 30 minutes change roles and become the guide. Discover what it means guiding a blind person through the adventurous landscape of the city. 

Change again roles and now try out more hazardous places as the fast going swinging gates of the metro, the 100 meter long escalators bringing you to the guts of the "factory" as you imagine listening to the quickly running and hammering trains in the tubes, jump still blind into the wagons when you hear the sizzle of the doors that hopefully opens, get smashed to your neighbor when the train accelerates unpredictable and after a long ride gain the surface again where your guide leads you over a busy square to a house that receives you with the smell of smoking sticks that reminds you of old somber churches, then be aware of this very special moment after 30 minutes blindness when you open the eyes. Don't turn around to see where you are just look at that what is in front of you, the bricked glass of the open window, the small green plant in its pot on the windowsill, the bushy garden in front of the house, the huge neoclassical entrance to a metro station, decipher the name of the station saying it out loud: Dostojevskaya.

Have a rest and a chat with your partner. 

Meet a local at 7 pm in Mokhovaya ulitsa, see a students performance in the national school for actors.

And second day in "Peter" is done.