The Processes. Darnitsa Bread Factory

Video Artist: Vika Ilyushkina
Country: Year: Duration: 16 min 0 sec


sound by Wouter Van Veldhoven 


Video documentation of the process of making black bread production, its maturation, dough fermentation at one of the oldest bakeries in St. Petersburg, “Darnitsa”, which fed residents during the Siege of the city 1941–1945. As a result of gentrification, the old plant was closed in 2012 and Darnitsa has moved to a new building due and is fully computerized now. 


It consists of 3 parts: 

  • Part 1 (18 min) — the processes: mixing, kneading, molding, baking and unique mechanisms in action. 
  • Part 2 (5 min) — the processes of fermentation 
  • and Part 3 (11 min) — Darnitsa factory: architecture & mechanisms  


“Darnitsa” is a unique factory for the production of bread, a monument of constructivist architecture. The round shape corresponded to its content. All production processes moved along a circular conveyor. Electro-mechanical machines have now been entirely replaced by computer production. 


The installation provides an opportunity to view the old process of the unique production of black bread (all its technological stages) 


This plant operated during the Siege of Leningrad and saved the lives of many people. Engineer Georgy Marsakov, in the late 1920s, developed a new type of mechanized bakery following the concept of production on the principle of a circular conveyor stage. The whole process of baking bread moved in a spiral of a circular constructivist building. Flour raised to the top was kneaded into dough, then baked in ring ovens, and the finished bread was unloaded along inclined slopes into the bakery. 


Now the Darnitsa plant has moved to a new building due to gentrification and is fully computerized. Documentary filming was made in 2012. The dynamics of the processes of fermentation and kneading of the dough, baking bread, the operation of the mechanisms of the circular conveyor is enhanced by the sound compositions of sampled magnetic tapes (one of the first ways to work with sound in electronic music) by the composer Wouter van Veldhoven. 


Vika Ilyushkina

Born in 1971 in Leningrad, USSR.

Victoria Ilyushkina is a media artist and curator. She graduated from the Academy of Arts Russian in Saint Petersburg, where she studied art history and theory, hold a degree New Media program of the Pro Arte Institute.

Currently she is the program curator of the CYLAND Video Archive and International Cyfest video programs.

As an artist, she presented her video works at numerous solo and group exhibitions such as On My Way parallel project to the 56th International Art Exhibition in Venice, Manifesta10 Parallel Program “The Other Home”, at The State Russian Museum, at The Hermitage Youth Education Center, “Russia contemporary exhibition” Galerie Gmurzynska (Sweetzeland), Anna Akhmatova Museum, Al gallery in St. Petersburg, Russia; Iragi Gallery (Moscow), Gislaved Kunsthalle (Sweeden) etc. 


I try to transfer the subconscious into day-to-day life through the plasticity of motion, to reveal the hidden psychological processes. Dance and teamwork with the choreographer has become a fundamental element of my work. . In my films I address modern dance including it into daily environments as a contrasting element.