22 APRIL — 20 JUNE 2018
April 21, 2018. A project by Liza Artamonova and Ilina Chervonnaya, participants of the third Gogova Foundation Artists Residency, will be displayed at the Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the Republic of Karachay-Cherkess Republic.
The project, entitled The Pearl Path Route, is a tourist itinerary, where existing artefacts and landmarks of Karachay-Cherkess Republic coexist with art objects that have been newly created by the artists. The project also includes a guide to the Route and a film about its creation.
"The authors of the The Pearl Path Route attempt to rethink the phenomenon of tourism as a standard set of sights and impressions, which are offered to the traveller. In his or her quest for knowledge of the world, the modern traveller – thanks to the efforts of the tourism industry – falls into the trap of stereotypes, so that the experience, which he/she has, ceases to have unique and genuine value. The history of a place is created before our eyes, cultural monuments are given new meaning, and the creation of contemporary sights and associated legends is powered by marketing technologies.
As a result, today’s tourist routes are a mixture of reality, fiction and potential expectations, so closely intertwined that they can no longer be separated. Anyone can create their own cultural landmark and make it appear convincing.
So modern tourist attractions no longer acquire significance from their cultural and historical context, but as a tool for sensing the value of the interconnectedness of life. The motives that drive the tourist-traveller generate a process, in which he/she is simultaneously participant, creator and critic", — Ilya Yakunin, Astronomer.
"We have followed the activities of the Gogova Foundation for some time and were always keen to be associated with it. We have a special interest in site-specific work, feel an affinity with the artists who have taken part in previous residences, and were impressed by the Observatory exhibition. But our particular interest is Karachay-Cherkessia. We love hiking and talk a lot about things to do with tourism, including how tourist thinking takes over our behaviour. A person travels and gets used to certain amenities and sights. The purpose of the trip is to get a standard set of impressions. But what if some sight is not on the map, so that it is left out of the list of "best places" where the person wants to spend time and money? Or, on the contrary, what if somebody spends time and money to visit a sight, and then finds nothing there?
The residency is a chance to think about these issues, but it’s also an attempt to get to know the region from the inside, to look at it with the eyes of an outsider. Projects like this are a way of gathering resources: they mobilize everything that you have learned, everything you know and know how to do. All of that gets used well and to purpose", — Liza Artamonova and Ilina Chervonnaya.