© 2019 IRINA KURTISHVILI

HOTEL ORIENT / HAUS DER KÜNSTLER

Exhibition / Georgian State Museum of Literature / Tbilisi  (28.11.2014 – 18.01.2015)

EN

"There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism." Walter Benjamin

 

All over the world historic cities have a district, a square or a street which for their architectural values gain a certain importance, mostly indicating the disposition, the level of common culture of its inhabitants and so makes an unforgettable impression towards all citizens. Thus the main avenue named after Rustaveli is considered to be such place in the city of Tbilisi. Its neighborhood with its stylistic architectonical variety in a human scale creates a harmonic impression the avenue. Unfortunately, during the December-1991 – January-1992-Events, the abovementioned district was badly damaged. Many important buildings had been destroyed in a barbarian civil war. Georgian national values became the victims of political ambitions. As a result the stressing psychological factors, mixed feelings, indignations and hopeless situations created the need to unite immediately after peace all professional forces in order to rebuild the destroyed district – amongst others the iconic HOTEL ORIENT, which at last had been used as an “Artists House”. Over the subsequent years a big hole in the center of Tbilisi remembered to this trauma.

 

The Hotel Orient is about to be rebuild in a way that ignores the former cultural importance of the place. Prior that recollection would vanish we have realized a scenographic exhibition that would be able to bring the citizens of Tbilisi awareness of the significance of Albert Salzmann’s best known edifice and its use over approximately 125 years. The HOTEL ORIENT / HAUS DER KÜNSTLER exhibition in the Georgian State Museum of Literature re-reconstructs an imaginary building that now has disappeared for good from the Tbilisi townscape. 

CURATOR: Irina Kurtishvili, Cologne

DE

"Es ist niemals ein Dokument der Kultur, ohne zugleich ein solches der Barbarei zu sein“ Walter Benjamin

 

Die Ausstellung berührt einerseits ein für die Stadtgeschichte von Tbilissi wichtiges historisches Thema, andererseits aber auch die Gegenwart, etwa die aktuelle Debatte über das neu entstehende „Museum of Fine Arts“. Im Mittelpunkt steht das einst in Georgiens Hauptstadt auf der Rustaveli Avenue existierende ikonische Bauwerk (gebaut 1867 von Otto Jacob Simonson), welches in den 1980er Jahren das Zentrum georgischer Subkultur wurde. Zunächst als Kreisgericht genutzt, wurde das Haus von dem Architekten Albert Salzmann 1895 zum Luxus-Hotel rekonstruiert. Zur Jahreswende 1991–1992 wurde das Gebäude zum Opfer bürgerkriegsähnlichen Auseinandersetzungen und 1994 unterlag es dem dubiosen Abriss. Was bleibt von einem Gebäude, wenn es aus unserem Blickfeld einfach verschwindet? Darauf versucht die Ausstellung eine Antwort zu geben. 

 

Die Ausstellung HOTEL ORIENT / HAUS DER KÜNSTLER zeigte Artefakte, die ihren inhaltlichen Schwerpunkt an der Schnittstelle von Kunst und Architektur haben. Das Ausstellungsdesign im Erdgeschoss war eher museal und dokumentarisch angelegt; Die Korrespondenzen, Alben, Kunstbücher, Dokumentarfotografien, architektonischen Zeichnungen und Modelle wurden unkommentiert gezeigt. Im Obergeschoss dominierte eine freiere Inszenierung, die auch dem szenografischen Experiment genügend Raum gab und Ausstellungsdesign und künstlerische Installation vereinte. Zugleich wurde zu historischen wie auch aktuellen Ereignissen Bezug genommen, was zu vielschichtigen Kompositionen aus Malerei, Zeichnung, Skulptur, Licht und Akustik führte. Es entstand eine imaginäre Hotellobby, in der der Betrachter beim Durchschreiten eine Art visuelle Zeitreise erlebte.

ARTISTS: Merab Abramishvili, Gia Bugadze, Gia Edzgveradze, Karsten Ehlers, Mamuka Japharidze, Keti Kapanadze, Karlo Kacharava, Andreas M. Kaufmann, Lewan Kharanauli, Luka Lasareishvili, Irakli Parjiani, Koka Ramishvili, Guia Rigvava, Alim Rijinashvili, Lia Shvelidze, Annett Stenzel, Oleg Timchenko, Mamuka Tsetskhladze, Niko Tsetskhladze, Guram Tsibakhashvli, Levan Tchoghoshvili, Kote Jincharadze, Iliko Zautashvili

The original building “Hotel Orient” was an L-shape palazzo with elevations to the Golovinski (Rustaveli Avenue) / Postcard, 1909 / Photographed by Sandro Sulaberidze

In December 1991 during the street fighting between the supporters of President Gamsakhurdia and his opposition the building was severely damaged and burnt down / HOTEL ORIENT after the civil war, January 1992 / Photographed by W. Kurtishvili, 1992

Big hole in the center of Tbilisi, 1999

The new building at this place, which won’t be finished until next years. Architects: Archil and Giorgi Kurdiani / Museum of Fine Arts, under construction / May 21, 2014

GEORGIAN TV ABOUT EXHIBITION / SUBJECT:

 

ARTAREA TV 15 January 2015 (5:21 min)

MAESTRO TV / The discussion about new building / 18 July 2013 (6:57 min) / only Georgian

EXHIBITION VIEWS:

Rooms 2 & 3: The project archives of the architect Wladimir Kurtishvili (1935–1996), sketches, notes, manuscripts and selected correspondence, 1992 –1995

Room 3: Competition1992: Location and binding site plans, (red-marked Hotel Orient / Artists House) sketches and HOTEL ORIENT architectural model by Wladimir Kurtishvili, 1992

Room 2: DESPATCH, sound installation by Karsten Ehlers and Annett Stenzel, mixed media, detail: Morse telegraph, 2014 / RUB OUT THE WORD, object by Iliko Zautashvili, 2014 

courtesy of the artist

Room 1: LE MUSÉE IMAGINAIRE, homage to the vanished building / PARADIES by Merab Abramishvili (1957 – 2006), oil on panel, 100 x 100 cm, 2006, estate of the artist; FAUST by Irakli Parjiani (1950 – 1991), ink on paper, ‘80s, curtesy of Gia Gokieli collection and Gala Gallery

Room 2: DESPATCH, sound installation by Karsten Ehlers and Annett Stenzel, mixed media, details, 2014

Room 3: MIJNA (Verge) by Guia Rigvava, mixed media, 180 x 288 cm, 1987, courtesy of the Georgian National Museum

Rooms from 5 to 8:  HOTEL ORIENT lobby lounge / In1974 the building was given over to the Georgian Union of Artists and afterwards ran as the Artists House. The hotel rooms were refurbished and turned into exhibition halls

Room 4: HOTEL ORIENT, light installation by Andreas M. Kaufmann, 2014

Room 4: An important historical artefact – unique album – report of the building damage, dated on 1992 and contains 48 sides: ground plans of the individual floors, facade design, cuts, decoration details etc. 43 x  62 / 62 x 86 / 113 x 62 cm

Room 4: DESPATCH, sound installation by Karsten Ehlers and Annett Stenzel, mixed media, 2014, light box: London signals: the light has been switched off.

Room 4: Photographic documentation of the building after the December 1991–January 1992 events / from W. Kurtishvili and Sakinformi archives (The State News Agency) / National Archives Georgia, Tbilisi

Room 6: 10th Floor Group: performance by Timchenko and Tsetskhladze, single-channel video, b/w, sound, 9 min, 1991 / Two costumes from the 80´s by Niko Tsetskhladze, courtesy Archil Darchia collection / Artist's diary from the early ‘90s by Karlo Kacharava (1964 –1994), estate of the artist

Room 7: PASSPORT by Luka Lasareishvili, (homage), 164 x 128 cm, 1989 / WAR FROM MY WINDOW by Koka Ramishvili, photographic documentation mounted on aluminum, 32 x 40 cm, 1991–1992, courtesy of the artist

Room 7: PASSPORT (homage) by Luka Lasareishvili, detail

Room 6: 10th Floor Group: Mural paintings by Mamuka Tsetskhladze, Lia Shvelidze and Mamuka Japharidze, 21 drawings, mixtechnik on cardboard, 100 x 70 cm /100 x 50 cm, 1987, courtesy of the artists

Room 8: Two-channel video Installation by Kote Jincharadze, b/w, sound, 5'20 min, 2014 / 11 drawings by Alim Rijinashvili, ink, felt-tip on paper, 20 x 30 cm, 1996–2004, courtesy of the artists

Photography by Sandro Sulaberidze

EN

The project HOTEL ORIENT / HAUS DER KÜNSTLER was originally conceptualized for the Georgian Pavilion at the 14th Architecture Biennale in Venice. The project was not commissioned, there it was recommended for adaptation to comprehensive museum’s exhibition. Many thanks at this point to all the partners, co-organizers and sponsors for their engagement for this project. Many people have been involved in the production of this exhibition and publication. I would like to thank them all, but particularly the artists, photographs, authors, collectors, and my team for their passion and expertise.

DE

Das Projekt HOTEL ORIENT / HAUS DER KÜNSTLER wurde ursprünglich für den georgischen Pavilion an der 14. Achitektur Biennale in Venedig konzipiert und nicht aufgenommen. Die ursprüngliche Idee wurde zu einer Ausstellung erweitert, deren Umsetzung und Inszenierung zu einer raumgreifende Installation geführt hat. An diese Stelle einen herzlichen Dank an die Partner, Co-organisatoren, Sponsoren und all diejenigen, die am Zustandekommen des Projekts mitgewirkt haben; insbesondere bei allen beteiligten Künstlern, Fotografen und Leihgebern, den Autoren und meinem Aufbau-Team für ihre Leidenschaft und ihr Enthusiasmus.

Exhibition venue:
Georgian State Museum of Literature
8, Giorgi Chanturia Str.
0108 Tbilisi 
Tel. +995 032 299 86 67 / +995 032 293 28 90