Wednesday, October 11, 2017

ART: Art Villa Garikula / არტ ვილა გარიყულა - Metamorph - Bolgarsky Palace in Venice

Story that has spanned more than a century: from Bolgarsky summer residence in Akhalkalaki village to the first regional Center for Contemporary Art in Georgia. Garikula – Center of the Arts project of the newly established art center presented Georgia first time in Venice at the 9th International Architecture Exhibition in 2004. Bolgarsky summer residence was built in 1885 by Tbilisi born civil engineer of Polish descent, Vasili Boglarsky for his beloved wife. Apart from this house, he constructed several public buildings in Tbilisi including Military Cathedral in the centre of town (which does not exist anymore) and engineered a new water system for the famous Motley Baths in the Old City.

The summer residence was equipped with heating system and plumbing and boasted with wonderful wine cellar, as well as Champaign production and canning. The delicious output of Bolgarsky estate, could have been bought not only in the Russian Empire’s parent state but in Paris as well. After the establishment of the Soviet Rule, with the beginning of Red Terror Bolgarski was declared people’s enemy and subsequently executed. Estate was plundered. A boarding school was opened in the Bolgarky residence, but to everyone’s dismay, later closed, abandoned and used as a hay barn in a village.

Art villa started in late 90s of the last century as an artists’ squat based in Bolgarsky Palace, a derelict and desolate building which was cleaned and put in order with the help of artists, architects and students from Tbilisi State Academy of Arts led by the educator and painter Karaman Kutateladze. The process of rehabilitation was carried out in accordance with the new functions of the cultural heritage. Later, its result was turned into architectural project Garikula - Center of Arts. The latter presented Georgia first time at the Venice Biennial of Architecture in 2004 titled METAMORPH. The project showcased the metamorphosis of the Bolgarsky Palace from the abandoned heritage into its new future as the Centre for Contemporary Art.

Renovation to restore iconic look of popular Art Villa Garikula [agenda_ge]
Art Village []
Art Villa Garikula steht am Rande der Ortschaft Akhalkalaki []

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