Sunday, November 02, 2008




Bakhchisaray State Historical and Cultural Preserve 
28.09 2008 - 28.10. 2008.
Opening - September 27, 2008 at 16.00.

Organizers: Bakhchisaray State Historical and Cultural Reserve / Moscow Museum of Modern Art / The State Museum of Contemporary Art Thessaloniki / Contemporary Art Center BM (Istanbul), Gallery "Collection" (Kiev)

Curators: Maria Tsantsanoglou (Greece), Beral Madra (Turkey), Olga Lopuhova (Russia), Oleg Bayshev (Ukraine)

With the support of PROEKT FABRIKA Centre of creative industries, ISTANBUL METROPOLITAN MUNICIPALITY KULTUR A.Ş., fund for Art Projects

The Crimea has long been a crossroads of diverse cultures, a place where many nations and peoples have come together. It has provided inspiration for artists, writers, poets and musicians since antiquity. Drawing attention to the unique historical heritage of Bakhchisaray and the cultural diversity of the region, and its interaction with neighbouring countries, the organizers of the present project see art as a universal language capable of bridging gaps both between people and between peoples. Despite the ambiguity of the current political situation in the Crimea and deep historical differences, it is hoped that this exhibition will find common ground between the national and cultural entities involved and point towards the possibility of harmonious coexistence. Bahchisaray State Museum, the adjacent park, the Turkish cemetery, Sokolinaya Tower and other historical and cultural surroundings will offer spaces for the site-sensitive projects of the participants. The project will bring together leading artists from Greece, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey, countries which have been closely linked to the Crimea for centuries.


Nikos Alexiou is presenting a work based on patterns and motifs from the floor of San Marco Cathedral in Venice. It is a project that puts the artist in the position of an archeologist who draws what he has found rather than simply making a photograph, in order to understand it better. The artist has worked hard with a similar project in the Iveron Monastery in Mt. Athos where he lived for four months. To some extent Nikos Alexiou is influenced by the work of the Ukrainian monk of the 18th century, Vassily Grigorovich Barsky, who travelled to
 Mt. Athos and copied patterns he found in the monasteries. Bringing images from San Marco to Bakhchisaray is a gesture of offer and recognition to a highly artistic environment of great historical importance.

Elli Chrysidou, impressed by the Falcon Tower of the Palace, creates a mystical kingdom of birds that leave their traces without showing themselves. The invisible side of birds is the first strong impression that people get when visiting this very unusual tower which housed the Palace falcons. These traces are reinforced with drawings not exactly of the birds themselves but of an indeterminate memory of them through space.

Babis Venetopoulos is a video artist working with the technology of digital images and thus with its obvious possibilities to deconstruct the image through the flexibility of the digits causing stunning transformations. In his work for the Bakhchisaray exhibition, the artist presents his aesthetic view of incarceration and distortion
 with the image of young turning old and getting transformed into a bird. This is shown in two cages in which a young man and an old man have the movements and the eyes of birds. Above all, he examines the effect of time on human existence.

Richard Whitlock will show STANDING WAVE, a sculpted relief of shiny metal, representing the liquid surface of a pool, which he has made specially for the ‘Divan Hall’ of the Palace.He will also show two pictures of indoor spaces of the Bakhchisaray Museum, composite photographs from which, in the Byzantine tradition, linear perspective has been eliminated.


Murat Morova will exhibit a wall drawing with the Turkish title “HUSTLE AND BUSTLE”.  The figure masterfully created with the technique of calligraphy by the artist displays the indecisive movement between being crashed by the weight of the world or giving up to carry it.

Melih Görgün will exhibit his video and sound installation “DEATH IS ON THE OTHER SHORE” that tackles the question “How can an individual submitting or resisting to the confusing ambiguities of the globalisation capture the changes and transform it to a positive energy or to a self-determined position?” This work discreetly creates the ambiguous environment to react to this question.

Nazlı Eda Noyan will exhibit five digital prints with the title “FINELY EMBROIDERED” with a video supplement displaying her grandmother’s embroidery pieces with Intricate, flowery, abstract and beautiful motives that were left unfinished. Her prints show how she completes these pieces with her hand work: detailed, social, abstract and sad.

Sıtkı Kösemen will exhibit portrait photographs of a family. Kösemen’s photographs can be called as hybrid documents, a description that emphasizes the combination of research, journalism, documentation and artistic intervention. His photography series on individuals may depict a cross section of a complex society, but the intentional simplicity of rendering allows them to remain open to multiple interpretations.


The Ukrainian Crimea, once the zone of influence of the Greeks, Ottomans and Russians, is now at a dangerous intersection of the new imperial interests and possible new clashes.

Aleksandr Gnilitsky in his work GREAT WASHING creates a symbolic metaphor of a harmonious unity of countries participating in the project, putting in a common space of symbolic attributes of Ukraine, Greece, Turkey and Russia.

The work of Maksim Mamsikov MARINE BATTLE creates the image of a paradise resort in Crimea, but this "paradise" is illusive and any sharp movement can interrupt its existence.

Aleksandr Roitburd dedicated his work to the tragic fate of the artist in the twentieth century, creating two portraits of K. Korovin and F. Shalyapin in explanation of the sculptural group at the entrance of country house of K. Korovin in Gurzuf. Russian painter K. Korovin lived and worked for many years in Gurzuf (1910-1917). In 1910-1912 he built his studio-cottage "Salambo" to his own design. In Soviet times it was used as a rest-home, and since 1947 is has been the Creativity house of the State Art Fund.

Oleg Tistol in his picturesque installation THIRD ROME depicts with irony
the imperial ambitions of current residents of the Crimea, who gave this name to the pathetic Gurzuf casino.


The installation of Nikita Alekseev "A LIVING STONES" deals with the Krymoross monument, the only monument to have come down to us, and in almost perfect condition, which relates to the worship of a mysterious people living on the Crimean peninsula between about 1700 - 1850 AD (XX - XXI centuries of the old era). The inscriptions on the monument have been reconstructed with the Atman-subkvark method of Hukuty - Fandakbashi but although the language and writing of Krymoross have been successfully investigated and decrypted by C. Lu, these inscriptions almost defy interpretation. Among the 101 stones, can be found such inscriptions as: "Living stone, allocating oil and gas", "Living stone connected to the Internet", "Living stone, listening to the rose", etc.

Vadim Zakharov, together with the long-time hero of his works Pastor Zond, will show photographs taken in the Crimea done in a late ‘90s style translating their neutral "private" detention into a profound philosophical reflection on life and our place in it today.

Konstantin Zvezdochetov has long worked with the relocation of historical subjects and the subjects of art history in the aesthetics of cartoons of the Soviet journal "Crocodile". Created in this style and filled with a mass of new connotations, phantasmagoric paintings with bright ornaments and heroes unimaginable in reality appear in Bahchisaray museum to re-create its fantastic atmosphere – something between the "Thousand and One Nights" and Russian fairy tales by Afanasyev.

Andrey Filippov, in his REFLECTIONS ON TIME "revitalizes" the old fountain of Bahchisaray museum, located near Sokolinaya tower. We will wonder whether the sounds of the water in this audio installation are lamenting the bygone glory of Bahchisaray, or hard times to come.

Special guest of the festival from Germany Haralampy Oroshakov will attempt to appropriate the historical Bahchisaray palace complex by impressing the seal of his family earldom on various elements of its decor.


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