A new private gallery “ZERO LINE” was opened in Tashkent on September 17, 2016. “ZERO LINE” means “starting point” and symbolizes a desire to determine new opportunities and prospects for the modern art, including in the Tashkent society. Such serious statement requires vigorous activity. Already at the very beginning “ZERO LINE” set for itself the following clear tasks, solution of which requires a serious integrated approach:
1. Assistance in formation of private and corporate collections.
2. Provide to artists a platform for research and acquaint viewers with the contemporary art.
3. Becoming a full-fledged subject of the formation of the artistic market of the modern art of Uzbekistan.
4. Creating an environment for cultural dialogue between representatives of art and viewers.
5. Assistance in development of the modern art discourse in Uzbekistan.
The ZERO LINE Gallery was opened by the “Picture as an Image of Time” exhibition, which presented works of painting, graphics and sculpture from several private collections. The exhibition of the gallery presented the works made mostly during the Soviet period that allowed to get acquainted with some aspects of forming of the Uzbek school of fine arts. Exhibited works allowed the viewer not only to get an idea of individual manner and genre preferred by masters, but also showed general trends in the visual art and the moods prevailing in the artistic environment at a certain historical stage. Thus, exhibits, which apparently were not united by genre, either thematically or chronologically, became connected by a single concept of “image of time”. As the founder of “ZERO LINE” gallery A.Sabirova noticed, “Although the exposition is in general retrospective, nevertheless, we managed to set a high level of organization of exhibitions in terms of both selection of quality of works, and the general concept and style of communication with viewer”.
The second exhibition opened in “ZERO LINE” gallery on October 28 “One hand clapping” was named in honor of Zen-Buddhist parable inducing to reconsider the concept of silence, which is important for this school of Buddhism. The organizers suggested the audience to get acquainted with Buddhism in its connection with both religious and modern art, perceiving various aspects of philosophy and graphic traditions. The central axis of the exposition was an amazing collection of Buddhist icons from a private collection. Thus, the organizers turned to private collection again, but at the same time they aimed to not simply display a personal collection, but to include it into the present context and today’s place, by the help of theoretical knowledge, experience and technical capabilities of the gallery. As a result the exhibition “One hand clapping” showed also how representatives of various generations of Uzbek art scene in their own way perceived graphic tradition, subject components of Buddhist art, as well as certain aspects of Buddhism philosophy. Within this exhibition works of such artists as M. Kagarov, L. Ibragimov, V. Akhunov, Sh. Abdullaeva, N. Negmatov, A. Gurevich, and D. Bakhritdinova, as well as documentaries by G. Vakhidova were also demonstrated.
The exhibition “One hand clapping” is a vivid example of how the formation of a concept and competent theoretical preparation can unite, seemingly, opposite poles: traditional religious and modern art, denying in the opinion of many people tradition and canons. Along with icons and cult small plasticity the exhibition displayed paintings, graphics and such forms of modern art as installation, video-art and performance.
If to talk about factors of successful representation of an exposition, it would be desirable to dwell upon such moments as ability to work with exhibition space, competent use of technical capabilities of galleries (lighting, media technologies), full informing viewers about the work in the gallery.
Original design solution of “ZERO LINE” gallery is an example of the modern exhibition space, which has such technical capabilities as system of general and pointed lighting, adjustable temperature control, projectors, sliding screens for demonstration of videos and presentations, television monitors, thanks to what gallery is an ideal place for implementation of various exposition concepts, holding personal and thematic exhibitions, implementations of curator projects. The founder of “ZERO LINE” I.Sabirova noted: “… I immediately refused the idea of “white-cube”. The design solution, as it appeared later, quite fits into feministic criticism of abstract and cold geometry of white-cube, which is contrasted with warmth of home interior”. So, the gallery owner aimed not only to organize comfortable exhibition space for the artist, but also to create an atmosphere of comfort and home warmth, where the viewer would like to spend time, where he would like to return in search of intellectual enlightenment.
The architectural-design solution also enables to transform space into a conference room or a hall for small receptions and presentations. Such events can be held in cooperation with international cultural centers, corporations, firms and enterprises. Such cooperation is absolutely acceptable practice for a private gallery enabling not only to provide their space, but also to use the practice of collecting of art objects among representatives of the establishment, because today collecting of art objects is a recognized practice of investment on one hand, and preserving cultural heritage on the other.
The essential point of successful show is preparation of press releases and detailed articles revealing the concept of exhibitions, publication of interesting stories and theoretical information, thematic events, as well as personal tours of the exhibition for visitors.
Despite the opinion that modern art is still not understood and little recognized, the example of the last shows testified that: informing the viewer, disclosure of the concept and explanation of necessary theoretical aspects of formation of the exposition gives the chance to the viewer to think and do not deny what he doesn’t understand, but to try to comprehend and sometimes come back for more penetrating study. Certainly, important value is played also by initial interest, to cause of which is one of the tasks of an art gallery.
Advertising and publicizing of gallery activities mainly take place in Internet space. The personal website of the gallery – http://www.zeroline-gallery.com/ contains information about current shows and events, references to articles, press releases and notes in the press. The gallery, in addition to show activity, carries out sales of works of art and reproductions (photos) from shows. For convenience of visitors the website of the gallery contains a shop, where everyone can get necessary information about objects for sale and make the order.
“ZERO LINE” has personal pages on social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, VKontakte). We should not ignore the important role of social networks in social life of a modern person. Regular announcement, publication of interesting posts, answers to questions, dialogues with viewers in virtual space are important factors in increasing of the audience and popularity of the art gallery.
To understand how to ensure a long and successful existence of art gallery, it is necessary a careful research work, studying of not only preferences of certain groups of the population, but also understanding of the general social and economic situation in the country. Such research of the society, along with formation of the environment, where creatively oriented subjects of the society could be manifested, are the major reference points determining activities of “ZERO LINE” gallery.
Victoria Erofeeva, art critic