On 22 November 2019, Dmitry Sirotkin’s exhibition “Winterreise. Sentimental Suite” starts its run in the General Staff building, opening a series of exhibitions of State Hermitage photographers.

The works of Hermitage photographers preserve the memory of the way the museum lived over the course of many years. Cycles of photographs devoted to practically all the diversity of museum life: everyday events and formal ceremonies, the restoration of works of art, visits by statespeople and cultural figures.

The new series will present works by photographers who primarily take pictures of museum exhibits for albums and catalogues. The main idea of the series is to demonstrate that they are artists, first and foremost. Each of them has their own creative oeuvre closely connected with the museum and Saint Petersburg.

Dmitry Sirotkin is a photographer, artist and book designer, living and working in Saint Petersburg. He began his professional career in 1994. He is a member of the Artists’ Union of Russia and since 2013 an artist-photographer of the State Hermitage.

Dmitry’s creative biography includes a number of personal and group exhibitions, and his works can be found in such major institutions as the Moscow House of Photography, the Bavarian State Library in Munich and the Saxon State and University Library in Dresden. Since the year 2000, Dmitry Sorotkin has been a constant participant in international book and art fairs.

“Winterreise” is a wintertime journey to Saint Petersburg accompanied by Schubert’s music and gently falling snow. In his work, Dmitry Sorotkin addresses the eternal theme of the philosophical contemplation of human existence. The photographic studies presented in the exhibition are an artist’s view of a world numbed by “existential cold”, a world in which life is devalued and reduced to the “bare foundation” while the human being is condemned to loneliness and emptiness. Wandering aimlessly in a shifting haze of embankments and squares, hastening who knows where or, on the contrary, frozen in contemplation, the denizens of the foggy, snowbound city have all become lost in space and time, captives of the Petersburg phantasmagoria.

One of the chief items in the exhibition is the album of photographs Winterreise, Sentimental Suite (Arca publishing house), the launch of which took place in the General Staff building on 25 December 2018. In it, the melancholy mood of Dmitry Sirotkin’s suite of photographs is accompanied in unison by the art critic Arkady Ippolitov’s musings on the soul of Saint Petersburg, its wonderful “youthful old-age”, about the snowbound, silent monochrome world and about the blackness brought out by the whiteness of snow and of the White Nights.

The exhibition has been organized by the Hermitage’s Editorial and Publishing Department (headed by Yelena Vladimirovna Zviagintseva)

The exhibition curator is Andrei Terebenin, head of the photography sector in the Editorial and Publishing Department.