Monday, June 4, 2012

On May 24, the opening of our programme undergo. the parallels was celebrated. 41 artists from 12 countries shared their artistic expressions with all the visitors in selected underground passages in Tbilisi.

undergo. the parallels was realised in the frame of our EU project SPACES, promoting artistic action in the public space and the recovery of urban public spaces for art, culture and residents. SPACES took place in Armenia, Moldova,Georgia and Ukraine.

More information here

The opening took place on May 24th in Rose Revolution / Republic Square underground passage.

Underground passages at: Baratashvili Bridge; Kolmeurneoba Sq.; Kashveti Church / 1st public school; Opera and Ballet State Theatre; Rose Revolution /Republic Sq.; Kostava / Belinski Str.; Heroes Sq.; Vake Park; Kipshidze Str.
Participating artists:
Agnieszka Pokrywka, Alex Axinte / Cristi Borcan as studioBASAR, Alicja Rogalska, Andrea Schneemeier, ART Laboratory, Frauke Schmidt / Jan Paul Herzer / Max Kullmann, Giorgi Kvinikadze, Hans Rosenstrom, Helmut Kandl, Irina Kurtishvili / Andreas M. Kaufmann, Jonathan Karkut / Julie Scott / Torange Khonsari as Public Works, Katharina Stadler, Keto Logua, Konstantine Mindadze, Kote Sulaberidze, Ludwig Kittinger / Fernando Mesquita, Magdalena Kuchtova, Mamuka Samkharadze, Mariann Opplinger / Sophie Hoffer / Koka Vashakidze, Natalie Nebieridze, Nuka Megrelishvili, Oliver Ressler, Romana Schmalisch, Stefan Rusu, Tamar Gurgenidze, Tamuna Karumidze, Tilmann Meyer-Faje, Vasili Macharadze, Mariam Besiashvili / Inga Samkharadze / Tamar Caduneli / Ruska Abesadze
David Chikhladze, Koka Ramishvili, Niko Tsetskhladeze, Mamuka Tsetskhladze, Lia Shvelidze, Gia Rigvava, Oleg Timchenko, Mamuka Japharidze documented in Archive Material.


The notion of a “public space” together with an “Art in a public space”, has acquired a new significance in the last period worldwide. The word “public” means democracy, and includes “clearness”, “openness”, “involvement”, “participation” and “responsibilities” not only from the governmental side towards people, but between people in general as well. Discourse about Art in a public space, is not only definition of the word public, but it is also realization of the idea of democracy.

The exhibition project “undergo the parallels” was held in about 10 underground passages of Tbilisi, images can be seen here. 

An exhibition project "undergo. the parallels" took place in Tbilisi pedestrian underground passages. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, these underground passages have experienced different stages of existence: first they were completely abandoned and became dangerous places of muggings and robbery. The outcome of this was that people entered them more and more seldom, choosing to cross streets loaded with traffic arbitrarily, which led to a significant death toll. Later, these undergrounds became places where alternative, unofficial selling points arose. The more efficient sellers developed kiosks, shops, gambling places etc. Some of these underground passageways developed their own life, parallel to "normal" city life in the open air. These passages somehow turned into spaces of meeting and communicating, the youth are gathering in gambling houses, some musicians and students meet to play and listen to the music, the shop keepers are in close contact with the passengers and potential customers.

Today these undergrounds are still under development, in some of them new “organized” commercial infrastructures are built, some of them are under the danger of collision, also there appeared some passages which regardless of their necessity, has lost their practical function, and became place for garbage, or turned into public toilets.

There were two direct goals to be achieved with the project „undergo. the parallels“: practical and artistic.
In term of practical goals we hoped to animate the population of Tbilisi to more frequent usage of underground passageways. For these artists will work directly on site in the passageways, some of the works will be displayed during the whole project period, but also temporal actions and performances will be held in different passageways... Project guide, which inform about all the activities, will be spread out to general population.On the one hand activities carried out during the project will animate pedestrians to enter the passageways and on the other hand they will give an input to officials for improvement of the given situation.

On the artistic level, site-specific works (light installations, sound installations, photography, street art etc.) produced especially for the passageways will address socio-political and concrete practical issues mentioned above. Tbilisi and Georgian audience is not used to art in public space and in participatory art. With the project "undergo. the parallels" we aim to confront the general public with unconventional ways of perceptions of art and engagement with it. Some artworks as street art, light installations, produced during the project, could also remain on-site and act as a long-term attraction in both practical and aesthetical ways for the passageways.


This project was funded by the European Union through the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme

Project was realized in the frame of the EU project SPACES

Tbilisi project “Undergo. the parallels” was also supported by Ministry of Culture and Monument protection of Georgia and Tbilisi Center of Cultural Events.

Special thanks to: 
The Silk Road Group, 
Tbilisi Central Archive and 
Central Archive of Audiovisual Documents, The National Archives of Georgia