Probe 28
Probe 28 | December 2014 | Current edition

Lado Darakhvelidze & Onno Dirker  Memory Builders Four stories from the Caucasus


The French word assembler means to collect or piece together. Assembler lies at the root of assemblage: the art of making a whole out of pieces. Lado and Onno assemble memories, not to recreate the past but to reproduce the specific reality of a memory.

How different was it to work in the space of Probe compared to other exhibition spaces?

The memory-projects we did in other spaces where based on a live program, an event, a performative research. Our aim was to collect memories of the people through interviews. In Probe, we ‘built up' four memories we collected. An installation, a setting. No audience involved during the making.

What did you want to create in Probe?

In Probe we created a project space similar to a hall of a (Stalin-style) museum. We exhibited four stories on a common theme; childhood memories of growing up in a so-called Chroetsjov-building.
The storylines all share a similar element (the building), but are from different regions and cultures in the Caucasus.

What obstacles did you run into?

By building the exhibition in Probe, we realize that there where too little obstacles. A ‘white cube’ (like Probe) was never the place for our memory-projects. In fact we worked mainly in post-soviet institutes (The State Silkmuseum Tbilisi / The National Parliamentary Library of Georgia / The Khariton Akhvlediani’s Adjara State Museum Batumi, etc.) These institutes have strict limitations and a lot of obstacles, for instance people telling us what we can and cannot do, not being allowed to change even basic things. Even an official exhibition-space is already occupied, furniture standing in the way. Walls, even broken ones, cannot be used. And.. there are always big windows, huge.