CYLAND MediaArtLab premiered two documentaries by video artist Eléonore de Montesquiou on June 5, 2015 at the White Hall of the Taiga Space in St. Petersburg. These films draw upon multiple complex themes and feature a Russian family, whose descendants were politicians, experimental artists and even intelligence officers.
“Notes” is a film about revolution, music and democracy. It begins with the Russian Revolution in 1918 and ends four generations later with a pioneer of electronic music. The film is based on reminiscences of Aleksander Dimitrievitch Zinovieff, governor of Saint Petersburg from 1903 to 1911 and on talks with his great-grandson Peter Zinovieff, inventor and composer of electronic music in the UK in the 1950-60s.
“Relatively Small Circles” is a film portrait or rather a monologue of Kyril Zinovieff. He was almost 100 years old when we discussed his feelings and opinions about Russia. Now he is 105 years old, and it is about time that I share these moments with all.
Aleksander Dimitrievitch Zinovieff was born in 1854 and lived in Narva, Estonia and Saint Petersburg, Russia. He was governor of Saint Petersburg from 1903 until 1911 when he joined the Council of State (Duma). At the outbreak of the First World War, Aleksander Dimitrievitch Zinovieff was appointed Director of the Red Cross for the Northern Region. He was imprisonned in Kronshtadt in 1918. Liberated, he stayed in Estonia before emigrating to Western Europe. His réminiscences were written in 1922 in Rome.
Peter Zinovieff was born in 1933 in England, both his parents were Russian. He started experimenting in electronic music with the first computer music studio in the world in the 1960s. Later, his company EMS produced a large number of synthesisers including the VCS3. Peter is now an electronic music composer living in the UK.
Kyril Zinovieff was born in 1910 in Saint Petersburg. He was a child during the Russian Revolution, when his family fled to Estonia and then moved to England. A British intelligence officer, Kyril Zinovieff wrote historical essays about Russia and translated Russian novels.