Soviet Mosaics in Georgia – 'Street art' of the past
15 March, 2016
Soviet Mosaics in Georgia – 'Street art' of the past
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The urban appearance of Tbilisi has undergone significant changes over recent 20 years. Upon collapse of the Soviet Union, many cultural monuments including famous giant Soviet mosaics have disappeared throughout the country. The colorful mosaics some of them with Georgian motives and part of them conveying communist messages, used to adorn the buildings of former factories, schools and other institutions. At present most of these old constructions have been destroyed or lost their function, correspondingly the artworks of the past have lost their value as well. Many of them have damaged, some of them disappeared while part of these monumental works are on the brink of collapse. Concerned with the uncertain future of the Soviet cultural remains, a girl named Nino Siradze, decided archive, roughly speaking, old type of “street art”.

As Nino says, she was a little girl when she suddenly came across colorful mosaic in the grey city and since then she has been under impressions. “It always made me feel happy when I suddenly found a forgotten mosaic on the building’s façade. Later I decided to transform my hobby into a photo-project and started capturing and collecting all the mosaics throughout the country. Time by time each artwork’s meaning and history drew my interest and I started exploring them more deeply. These mosaics are not considered of any value and I am afraid soon, little by little, most of them will be destroyed. I decided to photograph all the mosaics I can find in streets of Tbilisi and other places around Georgia and save them here, at least in favor of my childhood memories.”, says Nino.

The amateur photographer divides the old mosaics into two categories. The first category includes mosaic compositions by both professional and beginner Georgian artists that represent interesting examples of monumental art, distinguished for their sophisticated technique and high quality materials.

The second one incorporates mosaics that can be perceived as the part of communist propaganda. Such kind of artworks express the visions and scenes that were characteristic to that period and, in comparison with first category, they were made using rather poor quality materials. Yet, these mosaics can tell many things about Soviet history and are interesting from sociocultural
research perspective. Here we present to you the old mosaics collected and archived by the young amateur photographer.

Check out the gallery:

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