Mapping the Caucasus with you - 2013
The project Mapping the Caucasus with you stems from the desire to begin a dialogue between the peoples of the Northern and Southern Caucasus. In the 1970s and 1980s, the relation between the Soviet Socialist Republics in the Caucasus was far more open. With the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 and ongoing conflicts in the region thereafter, borders closed and information ceased to circulate in individual regions and between them. Even in the age of the global village, neighboring countries, cities and villages in this part of the world remain disconnected.
For Mapping the Caucasus with you, I approached individuals throughout the Caucasus, collecting their memories of the past several decades. These narratives lead to the creation of large paintings in which text and image visualize the layered and entangled histories of this region. Two performances took place, one at the Khariton Akhvlediani's Adjara State Museum in Batumi and a second at the National Librairy in Tbilisi. In these performances, my large paintings together with historic maps of the region provided discussion points between those present and invited guests who spoke, sang or were interviewed via live stream. Significantly, the audience participants all came from various communities who visibly felt a desire to share and take part in these discussions. Striking was their curiosity to hear each others’ memories and perspectives on the past and present. The project connected communities across regions for the first time in decades.
The public events & exhibitions in Batumi and Tbilisi were made in collaboration with Onno Dirker.
The project was funded by Fund BKVB / Mondriaan Foundation & the European Cultura/ Foundation /Step Beyond