Time future in the time past

One-day project in a public space: art, architecture, concert and more

Curated by Nini Palavandishvili, GeoAIR

29. 8. 2011

Former Mosaic café “Fantasy/Dragon”, Batumi Boulevard, Georgia

Now that Batumi has regained new life and importance, old pieces of art and artworks are being reassessed and recognized. Café Fantasy is a work by George Chakhava (an architect best-known for his former Roads Ministry building in Tbilisi, Georgia, recently published in Frédéric Chaubin’s “Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed”). Together with participants, the curator of the project brought one building in Batumi back to life for only one day and filled it with memories and symbols of her childhood.

Café Fantasy is a rare example of a functional mosaic building in Georgia. A café until early 2000, it is now regarded as a sculptural work. Octopuses show biological evidence of a memory system that can store both short and long-term memory. The Café Octopus gives evidence of 30 years of changes and turmoil, and the traces they have left on its appearance. Today the so-called “Monster” Octopus is awaiting its future.

The past is not irrelevant to individuals and society at large. It’s not subjectively irrelevant. In fact, everyone is rooted in the past: in a personal past, in a social past. Forgetting the past means repeating old mistakes in the present. Memory is not a static archive; it is a profoundly dynamic process of the brain. Memory always changes, it never repeats itself. Memory changes with age, time and life experiences, and varies among individuals. Each person has his/her own perceptions, interpretations, and therefore memories of the same event. Memory changes, thus history changes.

Memory is not just an individual, private experience it is also part of the collective domain. Memory is a phenomenon that is directly related to the present. Our perception of the past is always influenced by´the present, which means that it always changes. The word “fantasy” itself includes imagination,

future and hope. The Octopus Café in Batumi came back to life for one hot summer day. The audience enjoyed the music, the ice cream and the refreshments. They pondered over the photo and video archive depicting Batumi and the building of the Café as seen by various artists.

The project was supported by: the City of Batumi, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Autonomous Republic of Adjara, Barambo, Bagrationi, Black Bar.