CHRYSALID GALLERY, ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
CURATOR MARTH VON LOEBEN
The Shimmering Land is a duo exhibition that features the artworks of Crimean artists Natalia Grezina and Anton Yermolov, who have been working alongside curator Marth von Loeben on a project about lost heritage.
The starting point of the concept behind the exhibition is the collection from Ukraine, known as “Scythian Gold” which was featured at the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam in 2014. The exhibition “Crimea: Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea” happened to close its doors after the annexation of Crimea by Russia, which left all the historical artefacts in a state of limbo at first, and then at the centre of a legal battle.
The questions at the core of the Shimmering Land exhibition are challenging and thorny: to whom do the artefacts belong from an ethical point of view? If the artefacts are now condemned not to be shown to the public and to be segregated in an underground vault, wouldn’t it be more rightful to return them to the tombs where they were found, and to their rightful owners that need them in their afterlife?
The Shimmering Land exhibition consists of a two-room installation that will feature both sculptural objects and digital artworks, referring directly to the collection of the Scythian Gold. The reinterpreted artefacts take a new shape and a new context in the exhibition, and, alongside soil crates and hypnotic projections, immerse the viewer in the same storage-like space where the artefacts currently are, where the past is waiting on decisions of the future. The exhibition also aims to raise a discussion on the meaning of the past and its symbols, their contemporary impact and the “phantom” status that disputed territories and their heritage have fallen into, where the identity and the lives of those who are connected are still uncertain.
The exhibition is made possible with the support of Gemeente Rotterdam, Cultuurfonds, Stichting Droom en Daad, Stichting Chrysalid
The photographs by Riccardo De Vecchi