PATARA gallery


installation, dimensional variable strobelight, audiomonitors, curtain

The exhibition shows a closed, inaccessible gallery. It’s display-windows are covered with a not ironed typical post-Soviet curtain which is constantly in slight movement and illuminated by strobe-light. The exhibition is accompanied by the music of the imprisoned Georgian Techno-artist Michail Todua.

The term „iron curtain“ is a metaphor used to describe a strict separation and traces that reach back to the early 19th century, originally referring to fireproof curtains in theaters. Today, Georgia endures more cultural, perhaps spiritual, conflict, but less truthful: a tug of war between the past and the future. In countries where the Orthodox Church has a strong influence, homosexual hatred is prevalent, a zero-tolerance drug policy is locking up people for trace amounts of soft drugs, the club culture has become political due to the fact of its sheer existence. It represents the future possibilities of Georgia, a liberal society released from the pressure of the Soviet era.

Now 33 years old Michel Todua has been in prison for over five years. While spending his life as a promoter of DJs and parties, he was stopped randomly on the street and taken to the local police station for drug testing. Todua was detained in the Tbilisi Department of Correction without legal or financial help and was sentenced to nine years in jail. While he’s now successfully making and releasing music from within the strict confines of his prison cell, thousands of people have been locked up under the same kind of circumstances and not been granted the similar degree of welfare.