The authors of the monument are the sculptor Yevgeny Rotanov and the architect Ivan Kozhin. The poet walks, leaning forward, as if he remembers the lines from the poem “The Twelve”: “Wind, wind! A man does not stand on his feet.”
Social networks immediately impacted the monument. Bronze Block has been compared to the Dementor from the Harry Potter saga. They called it the Pisano Block. “RG” and the God Literatury.RF site tried to find out what was going on.
Olga Markaryan, head of the initiative group for the installation of the monument:
– It was planned to erect the monument for the 130th anniversary of Blok, and even then the sculptor Yevgeny Rotanov offered different solutions to the image of the poet. The Blok Museum hosted an exhibition of models of his work. One of the models was brought to the exhibition by the Museum of Urban Sculpture. It was this version that became the prototype of the current monument.
With the monument, they were late for the 140th and even 100th anniversary of the poet’s death. On a memorable day, August 6, 2021, in front of the Museum-Apartment on Dekabristov Street, the former Officers’ Street, they planted the lilac “Alexander Blok”, bred in honor of the poet. Blok loved these flowers. In the former officer’s, the lilac bloomed in the first summer.
The installation of the monument was possible thanks to the initiative below. In 2018, director Andrey Lunin prepared the Alexander Blok Days festival in St. Petersburg. Having listened to the blockers, Lunin turned to the city architectural committee with a letter. Lunin planned the action “Wandering Monument” within the framework of the party, the collection of signatures. But two months before the opening of the festival, Lunin passed away. We continue his work with the team of his theater “Synthesis”. Where to place the monument? They considered the Nevka embankment near the former grenadier barracks, where Blok spent his childhood and youth; Blok’s favorite outskirts: Ozerki and Lakhta; streets on the Petrograd side near the Vvedenskaya gymnasium, where Blok studied. But we settled on the most obvious choice: Decembristas Street.
In December 2021, a detailed draft of the monument to Rotanov’s work was ready. In March 2022, the project was presented to the experts of the city planning council. They discussed which path Blok should take. The sculptor believed that the city. Opponents – that of the city. Toward the end of his life, this movement, “going into the dark of night,” only intensified. But they voted for the optimistic option: to the city. In January 2023 the monument was inaugurated. Since then, everyone has been arguing. Everyone is surprised by the steep slope of the figure. And an image that is not a portrait, although actually with elements of a portrait.
Ekaterina Barbanyaga, organizer of the children’s contest “Reading the block”:
– Blok has not had such sad glory for a long time! Perhaps since the publication of the poem “The Twelve”, when even his friends turned their backs on him. But what kind of tragedy is this with the monument that the entire St. Petersburg army was alarmed? The monument “for some reason” falls or flies, the head is disproportionate to the body, you get up, it seems that it hangs above you. In general, from all sides “not so.”
Each has its own block. Should a sculpture in a public space reflect an average idea of it, or can it be an artist’s statement, a work of art? The new bronze block, “going through the winds of St. Petersburg”, was installed in one of the cult districts of St. Petersburg – Kolomna. Not far from the apartment where Blok spent the last nine years of his life and from where he left on his last trip. It has always been part of the city space, now it is visible.
The more new statements about the poet, the longer his eternity lasts.
The monument is, in fact, the last item in the St. Petersburg trilogy “about Blok” by sculptor Yevgeny Rotanov and architect Ivan Kozhin. The first monument – to the young Blok – appeared in 2002 in the courtyard of the philological faculty of St. Petersburg University, next to the “rector’s wing”. The poet is depicted as lean as a reed, with a shock of curly hair. This is the memory of the “university” block, childhood years in the “rector’s wing” and students.
In February 2020, in the BDT building, the authors presented another “Bronze Block”. The image of the poet in the form of a theatrical mask. According to the main artist of the BDT, Eduard Kochergin, it is precisely this sculptural portrait of Blok that most closely matches the mood of the poet’s years of work in the theater in 1918. On a bronze mask depicting the half face from Blok, there is the darkness of the new time, the frivolous “Snow Mask”.
And so Block grew. He towered over Decembrist Street in a “terrifying drop” position, in a dimensionless coat. Through the young and thin, through the theatrical and ghostly, he reached the fateful year 1921. A year of sickness, hunger, frustrated nerves, and the inability to “hear the music.” Alexander Blok cannot be trapped in a single image, especially in bronze or plaster. The new monument is not a tragedy, but another image of the poet, very much in the spirit of the decadent culture of New Petersburg.
If you want a classic and comfortable Blok, go to Moscow, Spiridonovka, 6. Admire the beautiful monument to the poet by sculptor Oleg Komov and architect Vladilen Krasilnikov, installed in 1993.
The more new statements about the poet, the longer his eternity lasts. The longer Blok stays with us.