26th August- 2. September 2019
Our second research meeting for curators were in St. Petersburg and at the Ladoga Ornithological Station (LOS) of Biological Research Institute of the St. Petersburg State University, Russia with ornithologists Maria Matantseva and Sergey Simonov of the Karelian Research Centre. Tasks included planning the Nest content in this area and visiting potential exhibition venues in St. Petersburg.
In LOS we had guidance of Sergey Simonov of the ornithological work with ring-marking and counting birds in the field station and got to meet the other ornithologists working there. It was invaluable to see the work with the birds in this remote ornithological field station and gave us many interesting ideas and knowledge to develop in the project. Sergey also gave us an insight into the scientific work with birds of his partner Maria Matantseva and the general situation of birds in Russia. During the meeting we considered different options of how to carry out a Nest together in Karelia. We discussed the possibility of using LOS as a Nest location and letting artists work together with Sergey there on his scientific work on birds nest building in 2020. Due to both practical and thematic reasons we decided in the end to develop a Nest with Sergey and Maria in the nearby area, in the Olonets spring migration stopover in Southern Karelia. This is one of the largest halting places for birds in the North-West of Europe, where they both are doing research each year in May. During our trip to Russia we had also planned to travel to Sergey’s and Maria’s research institution in Petrozavodsk but were unable to go there in the end because of the problem of coordinating transportation. To travel to and from LOS demanded a military terrain vehicle to take us through the forest for a couple of hours. However, we got introduced by telephone to the artist Natalia Egorova in Petrozavodsk and decided to try and include her in the coming Nest in the Olonets fields.
In St. Petersburg we continued meetings within the curatorial team and visited the Natural history museum that had an impressive collection of birds and it was also visited as a potential exhibition venue.