ROSPHOTO State Museum and Exhibition Center presents the exhibition project Intentional City, dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the birth of the great Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky. The exhibition will open on 20th February 2021.

The exhibition features the eponymous cycle of photographs by Valery Degtyarev, one of the oldest living photographers of Saint Petersburg, whose works are kept in the collection of ROSPHOTO. 

The exhibits are original prints, made with the use of complicated printing techniques. They were taken between 1998 and 2008. Large format photographs depict corners of old Petersburg pierced by northern light, glimpses of entrance hallways lost in the city labyrinths and reimagined by the author’s gaze, and some profound portraits of people, reminiscent of the characters of Dostoevsky. 

The exhibition offers one of the most recent large-scale photographic interpretations of the urban topography described by Dostoyevsky in his literary works. Valery Degtyarev’s photographic series continues the tradition that was started by Leningrad photographers in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Valery Degtyarev was born in 1937 in Leningrad. He took up photography in 1969 and participated in a number of amateur clubs. He presented his works in more than 300 exhibitions. He is a three-time winner of All-Union art exhibitions, the bronze medalist of Europa-83 and Europa-93 international exhibitions in Spain. He was awarded the bronze medal at the VDNKh (Moscow, 1982), the silver medal at Agidel-1982 (Ufa), the crystal medal at World of contemporaries (Grodno, 1983). He won prizes at international exhibitions Sea of Peace and Friendship (GDR, 1976), Small Format (Warsaw, 1976), Sweden — Soviet Union (Gothenburg, 1976), 7th Salon of Fine Art Photography EXPO-97 (Poznan). In 1995, the Saint Petersburg Union of Photojournalists named him the best photojournalist.

The exhibition is accompanied by a video interview with the author, in which he shares his experience of wanderings in the city and his thoughts on the intentional beauty of old Saint Petersburg.