ROSPHOTO continues the series of exhibitions within the Opened Collection project in honour of the Museum’s anniversary. The exhibition halls in the Main Building, 35 Bolshaya Morskaya Street, host the works of the classics of St. Petersburg photography, Boris Smelov, Maria Snigirevskaya, and Alexei Zelensky.

In the early 1990s, they established the Punctum group. The name was borrowed from the book Camera Lucida by French philosopher Roland Barthes: punctum referred to the ability of photography, by depicting an occasional detail, to awaken a deep feeling in the viewer. United by kinship and friendship, the authors demonstrated a high artistic level of their works already at the group’s first exhibition, To Be Continued, held in 1995 at Borey Gallery. Exploring the urban space of both modern and historical St. Petersburg, Smelov, Snigirevskaya and Zelensky sought to capture the elusive beauty of the moment.

In 2009, a large-scale retrospective exhibition of Boris Smelov was successfully held at the State Hermitage Museum. However, Punctum’s work as a group is on view at ROSPHOTO for the first time since 1995.

Boris Smelov, Maria Snigirevskaya and Alexei Zelensky were most active during the critical historical period of the 1990s. Their work has regained its relevance now when a change of epochs is underway, and a transition to a new reality highlights the need to preserve one’s own identity and cultural code.

The exhibition project presents over one hundred original silver gelatine prints, made between 1985 and 2005, from the ROSPHOTO collection. These works, immersing contemporary viewers in the atmosphere of that time, are considered classics today.

The exhibition Punctum is accompanied by a public programme, including interviews with the authors and lectures by curators and photography researchers.

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