Bububu-2. Crngrn Jrnl. Issue 16. Beacon of Akue, interview with Oger

I was going to interview Anatoly Akue who painted the garages in the yard of Jugooceania with his energetic images. Overall, over the month I spent outside Montenegro, the Artists’ House that the former building of the Shipping Company of Yugoslavia is turning into has become much more respectable both inside and outside; I will devote a separate text to it a bit later.  Today, the topic is local, a picture with Kotor and beacons on a garage, I liked it a lot. A mountain overhanging the city done in some thick color with a shade of militarism seems made of iron. This is either some unseen production, construction of some incredible ships, or some grand mutation in progress, the mountain is seeping copperas.

And besides, this transformation of stone into metal reminds of the main (for me) visual effect of Kotor: a rampart climbing the mountain and made pronouncedly “from the same material” as the mountain, as if it finds it difficult to tell itself from that mountain.  A reminder that human work is little different from the result of rock erosion that took a thousand years: a man is a creation of God just like the wind…
So, against the background of the transformed mountain, Tolya put up as many beacons as Boka Kotorska has never seen throughout its history. Expressive? Of course. Does this have any meaning? That is what I wanted to discuss with the author.

bu16 dva garaja

But Akue suddenly left, as DEAC scholarship for street artists are actually short, just a couple of weeks: you paint a bit, and you get out. So the question about the painting on the garage is addressed to Mikhail Oger, the supervisor of the street art program of Dukley Art Community. This is the answer Oger gives:

− Tolya is actually a Buddhist, he is in search all the time, and he saw Kotor, a port town, as a place with too many beacons, too many waymarks for a young man. And so he developed this topic of  abundance of beacons, and they form this kind of a mysterious message…

− So that no waymark would turn out to be more definite that the other.

− Kind of. We will also put up a lamp that is on top of the garage, so that it would put some light …

− Besides the garage, you supervise the street art project overall. Can you say a couple of words about it?

− Personally, I have given it a code name “the House of Revolution” as the key item is the House of Revolution in Niksic.

− A huge semi-destroyed late socialist realism building, set up for some abstract pretentious purposes, with huge broken up glazing, that never functioned because communism collapsed.

− Correct. We had no time to go there with Tolya, but we are starting work with Petro, a new resident, there one of these days. There are however other sites – a bus stop not far from Podgorica is very cool, for example. There is a building of a soap factory as you enter Kotor, I want to make a big beacon there, we will offer it to Kotor-art to do this at their expense rather that the money of DEAC. This is an important task – to get a town, different towns, interested to do something for themselves.

− The beacon at the factory – will it be done by another author?

− Tolya Akue will come over again. He will decorate a wall up there in Dukley Gardens, this is a more commercial order. Oh, Tolya has also painted a big beacon on the Artists’ House. Some officials from Kotor came over, very worried, but in the end they were happy, they liked the picture. This is a new experience for them, and for Tolya as well, as he used a technique that was new for him – he used both spray cans and exterior paint. And in Niksic the officials have to get moving to scaffold the House of Revolution. The idea is that everyone has to walk an extra mile.

− A small revolution in honor of the House of Revolution.

− Yes. There is also the tunnel in Becici …



Oger teaching street art basics to the kids from the Katyusha school

Огер учит основам стрит-арта детишек из школы "Катюша"

Once we mentioned Becici, Oger was called to a meeting to actually check some details on works in the tunnel: some new items are to be opened there this weekend. The Montenegro Alphabet by Aleksander Florensky has already been displayed in the tunnel (for qubu 16 mayakite a long time so far), and now (opening on Saturday the 11th at 19:00) it will be joined by a project of Yury Gordon on Montenegro toponymy (it is also done by street artists) and smart replicas of classic works by Aleksandr Alekseyev.  Interviews with Gordon and Alekseyev, as well as stories about the exhibition of Evgeni Dybsky and Pavel Brat that start at the Artists’ House on Sunday, will be available in the coming issues of Bububu.  
Vyacheslav Kuritsyn