Bububu-2. Crngrn Jrnl. Issue 20. Seidel at Alexander Gallery (chez Belova in Rose)
Ludmila Belova, an artist from St. Pete’s, has unplugged quite an unusual project in Rose. Rose is a tiny village on the edge of the Luštica Peninsula, with some ten inhabitants during the winter, and, understandably, vacationers in the summer, although not too many, because for many, there just isn’t enough space. You can’t get there by bus. You can make it to Rose you only if you are wheeled or hire a motor boat from Herceg Novi, which, clearly, is also a seasonal service. This “coin perdu”, if I may, has become a home for the Alexander Gallery, which will be offering room to one-off exhibitions to entertain visiting friends or astonished aboriginals. This seems to me a very stylish (although I do not quite like the word “stylish”) and noble idea.
The gallery is in memoriam of Ludmila’s husband Sasha, Alexander, would have turned 58 on August 1. On that, the gallery opened its doors to Igor Seidel’s exhibition (living in Berlin and Herceg Novi, a used-to-be-Muscovite, a perestroika art activist, and a vivid personality). “Lost in the Balkans”, that’s the name of the exhibition, starts with a crafty conceptual map of the Balkans (I failed get its true meaning, but there clearly is one), followed by a collection of subject-related artifacts (like that black Montenegrin folk jacket I am wearing so smugly in my Facebook avatar, or paper Yugoslavian money) and graphics: Igor has travelled a lot throughout the region, drawing from nature. The choice of the theme and the author for the gallery’s inauguration seems quite shrewd.
The way the exhibition is structured, and the little joys you come across here and there are also nice. Some artifacts have weaved their way into the exhibition from the interior of the three centuries old captain’s house where the gallery is lodged, everything looking quite Feng Shuish. The graphics could have been drawn in little more appealing manner; too little soul has been shoved into them. But one way or another, you can find something to hover about when looking at them, which is a plus. Some sixty people (I counted!) showed up at the opening, which, for a format like this, is puna torba (“full house”, Serbian).
My advice to the organizers is to put up a sign telling the visitors how to get to the toilet the next time, for many feel too embarrassed to ask. Those wishing to see the exhibition (which will last for two weeks), please get in touch with Seidel or Belova via Facebook.
There were at least two respectable couples among the visitors who were so impressed with Rose that they made their mind to come visit and stay for a couple of days in the future. In reality, I believe many have been impressed, thus Luda, with her “izložba” (“exhibition”, Serbian), has made a tangible contribution to the village economics, so hail to Luda!
By way of a postscript, the Alexander Gallery is not connected with the activities of the DEAC in any way, it is a purely autonomous undertaking.