Kidnapping Mountains (Show)

A mythical and brutal dreamscape, Kidnapping Mountains at Netwerk center of contemporary art looks at the multiplicity of languages, cultural affinities, and identities found in Geography’s case study of complexity otherwise known as the Caucasus. Through printed matter, sculpture, and ritualized topography, the exhibit explores the linguistic, social and political phenomena of a region swinging between the extremes of realpolitik and science fiction.

The installation consists of various-sized peaks from 1.5 x 1.5 x 1m to 4.7 x 4.7 x 3.2m, wood, covered with wooden veneers and mirror.

Mountains of Wit. Wall painting, 27 x 255 cm, 2009.
Горе от Ума (Gore ot Uma) is a famous 19th-century play about Moscow manners by Aleksander Griboyedov, a close friend of Pushkin’s and diplomat to the Czar in the Caucasus. The play is translated in English as WOE FROM WIT or THE MISFORTUNE OF BEING INTELLIGENT. By changing the Е in the original Russian title to an Ы,the title becomes MOUNTAINS OF WIT and the urban premise of the original work is hijacked by a Caucasian setting equally imaginative and historical, one which played an influential role in Griboyedov’s life and death if not his work.
Resist Resisting God. Mirror mosaic, 150 x 100 cm.
To Mountain Minorities. Wall painting, 31 x 450 cm, 2009.
The original expression CHVEN SAKARTVELOS GAUMARDJOS is roughly translated as LONG LIVE GEORGIA or VIVE GEORGIA. By changing the A of Sakartvelos to a U to make SAKURTVELOS, the phrase becomes LONG LIVE KURDISTAN and the unresolved geopolitical identity of one mountain people is replaced by that of another.
Dig the Booty. Vacuum-formed plastic, 91 x 64 cm, 2009.
A transliteration of an aphorism across Latin, Cyrillic and Farsi, in homage to the vicissitudes in the Azeri alphabet.
AaaaaaahhhhZERI!!! Screenprint, 70 x 85 cm, 2009.
A tribute to the Azeri alphabet, which changed three times in the 20th century – first from Arabic to Latin in 1928, then to Cyrillic in 1939, and finally back to Latin in 1991 – causing immense damage to the cultural heritage of the republic, not to mention making generations of Azeris immigrants within their own country.
Kidnap Over-Here. Screenprint, 120 x 176 cm, 2009.
The Georgians living west of the Likhi mountain range, considered to be the natural border between Europe and Asia, refer to themselves as the "over-here’s" and to those living on the east side of the range as the "over-there’s".
Camels. Lambda print, 49 x 33.5 cm (framed), 2007.
Cheremshah. Lambda print, 49 x 33.5 cm (framed), 2007.

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