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Students’ Day in the Hermitage


On 4 October 2020, the Hermitage Theatre was the venue for the traditional Students’ Day, a celebration held on the first Sunday in October to mark the opening of the new educational season in the State Hermitage’s Youth Centre.

This year, its main theme was the exhibition “Zhang Huan. In the Ashes of History” presenting works by one of the most famous contemporary Chinese artists.

As usual, the event began with a welcome from the museum’s Director, Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovsky. This year he recorded it on video. In his speech, the Hermitage Director noted that at the moment we are able to persuade ourselves once again that art and the museum can become “a medicine for illness, in particular for that hysterical illness which the pandemic gives rise to.” In his talk, Mikhail Borisovich made particular mention of some of the exhibitions that have opened recently in the Hermitage, such as Alexander Sokurov’s “Rembrandt. Dedication” and “Zhang Huan. In the Ashes of History” that provided the central theme of the celebration.

The talk about that exhibition was taken up by its curator, Dmitry Ozerkov, the head of the State Hermitage’s Department of Contemporary Art. He spoke about the main processes involved in preparing the display, the methods used to create the works and the exhibition’s significance for the Hermitage.

As is customary, the heads of the sections within the Students’ Club spoke to the students, presenting their own programmes and lessons. This year, some courses new to the club were presented: “The Image of the Hermitage in Fiction”, “Saint Petersburg and the Hermitage” and a “Philosophy Club”. Staff of the Youth Centre also spoke about the open authorial seminars that will begin after the New Year holidays.

After the official part of the occasion was over, the guests viewed the exhibition “Zhang Huan. In the Ashes of History” in the Neva Enfilade of the Winter Palace.

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