Wednesday, June 20, 2007
B'Us (part 1)
Throughout our presentations and workshops the artists in Bishkek had one major concern. Money - money to make art and art that would make money. First off, Ji and I wanted to get the point across that you don’t need a lot of money to make art - it starts with the idea and concept and realizing that concept with the available resources. This point was illustrated by the work done by street artists in New York City and other major cities throughout the world. Artists use inexpensive material like chalk, packing paper and balls to create public art and as a result received notoriety from their peers and the art world at large. Ji also explaining that although he did not make money directly from his bubble project he did so indirectly. He was hired by his present employer because of the bubble project and was in Bishkek because of the bubble project. These are some of the points we wanted to get across when we created B’Us – making something out of nothing for very little money.
In the B’Art courtyard was an old soviet-era bus, which was used as storage for material artists no longer needed but didn’t want to throw away. It had no engine and the tires were flat so it wasn’t going anywhere. It was a shell of its former self. We wanted to make it useful again. As it turns out, a lot of the contemporary artwork coming out of Bishkek is video art. So we decided to transform the bus into a screening room which will showcase the work of Bishkek artists as well as artists from all over the world.
The interior design was inspired by the local transportation - both public and private. The interiors of the small mini buses that transported people all over the city were completely covered in monochromatic carpet, usually black, with curtains covering all the windows. In contrast are the cabs with brightly colored mismatched fabric covering the seats and sometimes the interior walls.
The fabric selected for the B’Us is of Uzbek design. It was selected because the colors reminded some of the young artist of the colors of the US flag – which made a connection to them and us. The interior walls and seats were covered with it, except for the curved ceiling which made the interior look somewhat like a yurt. The B’Art TV and video equipment was used and the B’Us was unveiled at the reception showing one-minute works by artists all over the world.