Artists: Ewa Axelrad, Karolina Breguła, Mamuka Japharidze, Taus Makhacheva, Mariam Natroshvili & Detu Jincharadze, Alicja Rogalska, Sabina Sallis
Curated by Katarzyna Sobucka
Europe House Georgia & Center for Contemporary Art Tbilisi
7 - 16 November 2015
This project introduced and expanded on a socio-political conceptualisation of mythology; it was an exploration of both modern and traditional myths and accompanying ideologies, stereotypes, prejudices, contemporary cultural expressions and urban legends; the interplays between these facets of myth and more conventionally defined ones, such as psychedelia, magic, rural belief systems and primal cultural expressions, were delved into.
The participating artists drew from their perceptions and interpretations of contemporary as well as archaic and folk mythologies rooted in the cultures and histories of their respective countries.
Myth aimed to portray and reiterate new interpretive takes on embedded cultural traditions, with distinct emphasis placed on the contemporary period during which the artistic transformation of myth took place. Quoting Roland Barthes, who claims that anything can become a myth and be infused with all the potency and mystery of a myth, the project explored the intersections between myths of old and contemporaneous myths prevalent and powerful for us today.
The artists explored how myths help to explain the alien and incomprehensible elements of our world, masking, reproducing and cementing social injustices, or expressing and realising deeply hidden longings. They addressed issues relating to the social instantiations of mythology, folklore, and cultural history.
The project thus explored how myth’s operations service to reinforce social patterns and modes of social life. It investigated where the tendency to mythologise is initiated in the human and his/her social collectives. It investigated myths’ functions – both social and psyche-based – and conveyed (as above) how these functions have complicit ramifications for social-economic organisation.
Myth confronted the viewer with questions about their own countries of origin, bringing to the fore the various spectres present in those countries’ histories. The socio-economic transformation of public life in Poland, for example, had resulted in a variety of (re)interpretations of events from the past, reappraised critiques of the present, and imagined visions of the future.
The work had a constructive or reconstructive element, insofar as it encouraged the artists to reinterpret and renew those formerly upturned myths through artistic expressions of new myths, now centred around pluralism and multiple identities.
A series of short residencies took place in Tbilisi, including workshops and lectures run by the participating artists. While in residency, the participants worked with local artists, collaborating with them to produce works that were then presented in an exhibition.
Myth was presented as a part of Artisterium 2015, Tbilisi's annual international contemporary art exhibition and event programme; the exhibition/event programme is curated by Magda Guruli.
Supported by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.