“I was so hooked when I read it, so decided to create a romantic series of images and call it ‘Black and White Magic of Saint Petersburg.’ But how you create magic? How to translate it? You can’t just say to people ‘this is magic’. They have to feel it.
Marcel Proust taught me that the only way to communicate and to share what I was feeling with others is the use of the metaphor. The metaphor of the magic was to create it by the way of the process of solarisation.”
With halo-like outlines around forms and areas, they somehow disperse in a smooth humid atmosphere, just like the one of St. Petersburg, and makes the images more romantic. It is if they have been rocked by the wind, penetrated by the air, swallowed up in space.
The series was created 1995-1997.
“There are, Nastenka, though you may not know it, strange nooks in Petersburg. It seems as though the same sun that shines for all Petersburg people does not peep into those spots, but some other different, new one, as if bespoken expressly for those nooks, and it throws a different light on everything. In these corners, dear Nastenka, a quite a different life is lived, quite unlike the life that is surging round us. But such as perhaps exists in some unknown realm, not among us in our serious, overserious, time. Well, that life is a mixture of something purely fantastic, feverently ideal, with something (alas! Nastenka) dingly prosaic and ordinary, not to say incredibly vulgar…”
Translated from the Russian by Constance Garnett. In: Dostoevsky, Fyodor. White Nights. London: Heinemann, 1970, p. 15