Telling Time. Contemporary Photography and Video Works from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Germany. The exhibition looks at the far-reaching processes of change symbolized by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, through the eyes of artists from the former Soviet Union. It focuses on an artistic reflection on this 'turbulent' period, and is to be viewed as an empirical approach to a complex theme. Developed by Jule Reuter together with local curators, the exhibition presents 16 photographic and video positions: diverse reflections on processes and experiences of change in seven former Soviet states and in Germany. Four important themes come to the fore: family, identity, urban change and politics.
curated by Jule Reuter (Berlin) in cooperation with local curators in participating countries
The exhibition, “Turbulent World – Telling Time”, looks at the far-reaching processes of change symbolized by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, through the eyes of artists from the former Soviet Union. It focuses on an artistic reflection on this “turbulent” period, and is to be viewed as an empirical approach to a complex theme.
Developed by Jule Reuter together with local curators, the exhibition presents 16 photographic and video positions: diverse reflections on processes and experiences of change in seven former Soviet states (today counted as part of Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus) and in Germany. Four important themes come to the fore: family, identity, urban change and politics.
The central theme of family is exemplified in the documentary photographic series of Irina Abzhandadze and Christian Borchert. Other artists (Erbossyn Meldibekov/ Nurbossyn Oris, Vladimir Kupriyanov, Igor Savchenko) use photographs from old family albums as a point of departure for their artistic work. Using the biographies of their parents’ generation, these artists raise questions about the time, place and style of photography, and prompt reflection about the role of this medium in both private and public contexts.
Confrontations with personal histories also raise the issue of personal identity. In this case, “telling” means recounting one’s own story – and the artists Tina Bara/Alba D’Urbano and Oksana Shatalova achieve this goal in very different ways. The artistic self-portraits by Alevtina Kakhidze and Talgat Asyrankulov present powerful images of a hybrid, post-Soviet identity.
Another group of photographic works (Shailo Djekshenbaev, Oksana Shatalova, Viktor Marushchenko, Viktor An) deals with urban change and the affects on society of declining production and shrinking cities. While Marushchenko documents the degrading working conditions in the illegal mines of Ukraine, Viktor An’s 1989 photographs of the ecological catastrophe in the Aral Sea reiterate the origin of some of these problems.
Two large-format video works by Olga Chernysheva and Koka Ramishvili shed light on the political sphere and its rituals. By coincidence, these works come from exactly those two countries in the region that faced off militarily in 2008 over a conflict of interest.
With all these elements, this exhibition takes a special approach to the often painful and troubling experiences of this period, presenting many impressive artistic contributions that confront and reflect upon turbulent times.
The exhibition includes about 200 photographic works and five video works.
Participating artists: Irina Abzhandadze (Georgia), Viktor An (Uzbekistan), Talgat Asyrankulov (Kyrgyzstan), Tina Bara/Alba D’Urbano (Germany, Italy), Christian Borchert (Germany), Olga Chernysheva (Russia), Shailo Djekshenbaev (Kyrgyzstan), Alevtina Kakhidze (Ukraine), Vladimir Kupriyanov (Russia), Viktor Marushchenko (Ukraine), Erbossyn Meldibekov/ Nurbossyn Oris (Kazakhstan), Koka Ramishvili (Georgia), Igor Savchenko (Belarus), Oksana Shatalova (Kazakhstan)
Catalogue: A tri-lingual catalogue (German, Russian and English) contains brief texts by the curators on works from their countries, as well as introductory essays by historian and Slavist Barbara Christophe and head curator Jule Reuter.
An exhibition of the Goethe Institutes of Eastern Europe / Central Asia.
Created in cooperation with the Akademie der Künste
After its launch in Berlin, the Goethe Institute exhibition will travel to Moscow, Minsk, Kiev, Tbilisi, Tashkent, Almaty, Bishkek, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk and other cities.
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Image: Erbossyn Meldibekov/ Nurbossyn Oris (Kazakhstan)
Press conference: 10 July 2009, 11 AM
Official opening: 10 July 2009, 6 PM
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