The Soviet Symbolism:
Memory Versus the Self / Autumn 2021
How do we remember the past?
Compared to other post-Soviet cities, many Soviet symbols and monumental sculptures in Tbilisi have been renamed, dismantled, radically reinterpreted or have even disappeared. The photo on the left shows a close-up of a hammer-and-sickle sculpture that once adorned a bridge in Tbilisi and disappeared in the 1990s due to aggressive de-Sovietisation policies. The photograph was certainly not intended as propaganda, but it does convey the values of Soviet life by combining Soviet symbolism with the city panorama. The photo on the right shows a cast-iron railing from another bridge that survived. What role do symbols play in conveying and processing history and memory? And how should these symbols fulfil a social function in public life? The exhibition will show impressive artifacts from the AA collection and will be supplemented with archive photographs and groups of works by contemporary artists.