Posted: 1 month ago

Re-visiting Orientalism - Goethe-Institut Georgien Presents Exhibition with Andréas Lang

Goethe-Institut Georgien in cooperation with Georgian National Museum presents an exhibition of the Goethe Center Baku with Andréas Lang in Tbilisi History Museum from April 8th till April 27th, 2021.
"The visual arts have played a crucial role in the centuries-old dialogue between Europe and the Orient, initially in documenting nature and lifestyles and later as a poetic and sometimes romanticized, exotic picturing of North Africa and the Middle East. The upheavals of the 20th century—beginning with World War I and the subsequent demise of the Ottoman Empire—forced modern and contemporary art into a more critical engagement with these regions.
Andréas Lang juxtaposes historical Orientalist paintings with contemporary sceneries full of political and social connotations. In his palimpsests, contemporary impressions are superimposed on effaced historical material. While this seductive aesthetic approach preserves most of the mysteries of the Oriental past, it also reveals the conflicts and contradictions of contemporary society.
The artist carried out his research not only in commonly depicted locations such as Tunisia, Turkey, and the Persian Gulf but also in the Southern Caucasus, where the Ottoman and Persian cultures clashed with the Russian and later Soviet sphere of influence, which further produced its own particular form of Orientalism in art, music, literature, and architecture.

The exhibition, inspired by Lang’s residency and a solo show at the Kulturakademie Tarabya in Istanbul, is a work in progress and was launched as an online project followed now by this “in situ” installation in Tbilisi. Exhibitions in Baku and further oriental cities are planned."
The curator is Alfons Hug, Director of Goethe Center in Baku.
Artist statement is as follows:
"In my work, I reveal the different layers of history, mythology and the present to create a narrative image: a form of visual archaeology, at times blending or colliding with immanent social, political and ecological realities. In this way, the picture also becomes a place for the imaginary and its projection. It appears at times like a stage- or film set, pending in limbo, somewhere between reality and imagination, past and present.

After a phase of intensive research, I travel to the places in question to produce images. In my most recent projects, the archival and research material became an actual part of the exhibited work. In the project "Re - Visiting Orientalism", I decided for the first time to combine those layers and superimpose them in critical compositions. The work becomes a subversive deconstruction of the Western Orientalist perspective by using its aesthetics and creating a palimpsest of the now and the Orientalist imaginary.