Curator's Initiative • Sukhum/i • Switzerland

Exhibition "Open air games"

In February 2016, the exhibition "Open air games" took place in Sukhum/i* in the cultural centre "Sklad". The curators of the exhibition, Tanya Ergunova and Asida Butba, are the leading young women among a loose group of young people interested in art and culture in Sukhum/i. The participating artists were from Switzerland. Three of them travelled to Sukhum/i. Andrea Wolfensberger built a sculpture of sand in the exhibition space, Markus Schwander developed an existing work further, and Beat Lippert organised a silent Pétanque championship. The exhibition was a playful approach to contemporary art and served as an impulse for the further development of the cultural centre "Sklad", which was initiated by the curators.


Curators: Asida Butba und Tanya Ergunova


In the framework of the project Curator’s initiative, artasfoundation supports the two young curators Asida Butba and Tanya Ergunova in their curatorial work. artasfoundation found the curators by an open call. The two successful applicants were invited on a two-weeks research trip to Switzerland in August 2015, on which they visited museums, exhibitions, off-spaces and artists in their studios in Zurich, Basel, Berne, Môtiers, Lausanne and Geneva. After this intensive research trip, they chose seven artists which were exhibited in Sukhum/i in February 2016.


Asida Butba and Tanya Ergunova are the leading figures of a loose group of young people in Sukhum/i, who aim to build a self-organised artistic and cultural space. The group found a provisory home in the storage room of the drama theatre, where they organised the „first exhibition of contemporary art in Abkhazia“ in October 2015. The exhibition showed works from an exhibition, which was organised by artasfoundation in fall 2014 (see project Connecting spaces), as well as works by various artists from Sukhum/i. The exhibition was well-received by the public. It was covered by the local television channel and internet journals and provoked a discussion about what „contemporary“ art can or should be. In December 2015, the curators organised an exhibition of the well-known Sukhum/i artist Arkhip Lapakhua.

The "first exhibition of contemporary art in Abkhazia" on facebook

Exhibition space "Sklad dramteatra" on facebook

Project coordinator:
Sabine Jenni

* artasfoundation would like to underline that its use of names and titles particularly with regard to the conflict regions should not be construed as implying any form of recognition or non-recognition by the foundation or as having any other political connotation whatsoever.

Task Force OSCE Chairmanship Switzerland