Night, Street, Lantern, Pharmacy- Johannes C. Gerard- Aleksandr Blok- Netherlands- Russia

Interpretation and reflection of the poem Night, Street, Lantern, Pharmacy by the Russian poet Aleksandr Blok . It was written in October 1912 and it is one of my favourite poems by Blok. The video is as well a experiment for to combine two different ways and styles of interpretation into one film. With urban scenery of St. Petersburg at night and the metaphoric and abstract interpretation of the poem by the theatre group STAGE DFT (St. Petersburg, Russia). At the same time it´s a homage to St. Petersburg.
The idea for a visual interpretation I got during a streetcar ride through St. Petersburg late at night.


Aleksander Blok (Александр Блок) (1880-1921) was the foremost of the Russian Symbolists, who changed the face of Russian letters from the late 1890s through until the Russian Revolution, leading Russian literature into a ‘Silver Age’ after the great works of the previous century. Even the poem is very short it is not easy to translate into another language. There are various English translation which differ quite a lot from each other . So I tried to make a visual interpretation of it.

Night, street, lantern, pharmacy,
a meaningless and dull light
Even if you live another quarter of a century
All will remain the same. There is no exit.
You´ll die – then you´ll begin all over again
Night, the canal´s rippled icy surface
pharmacy, street, lantern

Johannes C. Gérard, Germany Born 1959. Studied at School of Printmaking and Design , Cologne, Germany and at Dun Laogharie School of Art and Design, (IADT) Dublin, Ireland. During his art career lived and worked among others in Ireland, Spain, Argentina, Taiwan, Australia, India and Russia. . Currently lives in Berlin, Germany and The Hague, The Netherlands Since 1981 participation in exhibitions, projects, video/film festivals including : Europe, Far East and South Asia, Australia, North and South Americas and Africa. 2007 photography, installation, printmaking became main disciplines. In 2012 first video installations. In 2014 first video films. At the same time became interested in performance arts. Since than conducted several video and performance collaboration projects with artists from Taiwan, Russia, Netherlands and Germany. 2016 developed together with the theater teacher Denise Dröge a concept for an interdisciplinary and participatory performance/workshop for school children (Here & Now). In 2017 developed this performance workshop further for adults audience (Unfolded & Unwrapped). In 2016/2017 made a series of videos (Anticipating You) related to the poems of the Russians poets Alexander Blok and Anna Akhmatova.

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