The Revolution Is Just Around The Corner, 2006
(with Mamuka Samkharadze and Nodar Tabatadze)
During my stay in Tbilisi I conducted research on the transition of the street kiosk and the way people developed and fabricated displays to sell their goods on the street. The inventive and autonomous way of constructing the displays is part of the economic history of Georgia of the last decade. I got intrigued by the ethnographic museum in Tbilisi, a museum that was developed by the Russians and abandoned after they left. At the moment mainly western tourists are visiting this museum, located on a hill with an overview on the city. 'Visit the whole of Georgia in half an hour' is the slogan of this museum and they ordered 'authentic' architecture from all over Georgia in order from small to big, from simple to luxurious. I developed an idea on the evolution of the displays from one piece of paper, a stick, a small table, self designed and developed inventive constructions into a standardized Coca-Cola kiosk. When the economy and regulations for selling goods are developing at the current speed, all the improvised and handmade displays will disappear out of the city within the next years. I decided to collect and preserve some examples of displays and tried to get them into the ethnographic museum.
After I visualized the evolution of the display in a series of drawing and photographs I decided to make a collection of the authentic displays. I encountered people with special displays to question whether it was possible to make a exact copy of their display and if they would like to exchange their display for my copy. The exchange itself is an important moment in the process. The two exchanged displays and satisfied owners reveal bits about the complicated situation between the West and the rebuilding of Georgia at the moment. The owners from Tbilisi were amazed by the new standardized copy, and the otherway around I was fascinated by the character and improvised design of theirs. There is a strong longing for the ‘West’ in Georgia and at the same time ‘the West’ is curious about and fascinated by the East European countries. This mutual fascination and attempt to exchange ideologies in combination with the aim to rebuild Georgia was an important focuspoint for this work.