Gulnara Ishmuratova, Art Critic
Exhibition area is a space for creativity and experimentation that requires bold solutions and ideas. In this regard, it is advisable to offset the boundaries of classical exposition towards the strengthening its artistic expression, the search for non-traditional methods of exposition.
In October of 2013, a group of Tashkent museum professionals and exposition specialists have participated in the project of the Goethe Institute in Tashkent – “Modern Exhibition Design” under the guidance of the German expert, Leila Tabassomi. It resulted into the exhibition “The Crossroad Weaves” held within the framework of the regional project “The Time Machine. Museum of the XXI century” that was organized by the Goethe Institute in Tashkent and the Uzbek Academy of Arts.
The working group consisted of the exhibition curators – Gulnara Ishmuratova, Lobar Mirzabaeva, artist – Tatiana Fadeeva in collaboration with German curator Barbara Heinrich, who has proposed one of the options on modernization of the museum spaces with maximal inclusion of new tendencies in contemporary expo-design, identification of new approaches in the concept of exposition as an art within the general context of modern culture.
One of the halls of the State Museum of Arts of Uzbekistan was used as a sample, where the works of an outstanding artist Alexander Volkov are displayed. His creative work takes a special place in the history of Uzbek art. This artist was closely related to the cultural environment of Tashkent. His home, family and workshop were located in Tashkent. This city was a constant subject of his paintings. Therefore, the primary tune of the exhibition was the artist’s picture of “The Streets of Old Town” of the fund of the State Museum of Fine Arts. Simple geometric shapes of the houses with decorative local planes, the brightness of colors, intensifying in depth, attract attention by their integrity and amazing energy. Prospective construction is designed for immersion of the viewer deep into the picture, which is one of the “secrets” of the artist’s work. This was the keynote in the exhibition layout, which aimed to make the audience found themselves in the ambience, where they could feel the atmosphere of Tashkent at the early XX century. That impression was intensified by the general audio track of the street noise.
The authors of this project have deliberately given up the idea of demonstrating several paintings, proposing instead the idea of creating an alternative exhibition of one picture only. Since at present the art is increasingly experiencing new influences, the project used modern multimedia means of visual and verbal display of information. This enables a broader perception of exhibition material, leaving a vivid, long-lasting picture in the memory of exhibition visitors.
The structure of exhibition and the layout of objects were made in a non-traditional understanding of classical exposition: arrangement of space was built diagonally using the modules that reflect the shapes of the houses on a street of the old town. Each module has a specific function: easel module, module with spices, modules with archive photographs of the beginning of the XX century, module with the audio broadcast of the artist’s poems and two suspended modules containing a biography of the artist and his quotes about art. This is an illustration of what had preceded the creation of the painting: Eastern bazaar, aroma of spices, caravans, people in everyday clothes of that period, etc. Characteristically, each module is designed not only for adults but also for children’s audience.
The “Crossroad Weaves” project as an attempt of “re-exposition” of the museum was equally interesting to the art specialists and artists, as well as to the general public, which made this exposition more targeted and able to merge the cultural and scientific capacity of the museums with the needs of modern society.