ACSL - Black Garden

The process of transformation of the national identity into a cultural identity and the rise of awareness as a political subject are of central importance to the artistic work of Archi Galentz.

The "Map prints" is a series of multilayer handprints deriving from the same litho stone showing an old map - a small place near Berlin in 1887. This date refers to the time of the Berlin Congress after the Russian-Turkish war and can be seen as the starting point of the Armenian genocide. Nearly 60 monotype prints are implemented in different series. The last series of "Map prints - Black Garden" represents a change from brown-black on one edge of a square object to the yellow-green of the opposite side and refers to the Berg-Karabach war confrontation maps that was widely drawn in mass media in the beginning of the 1990s. One of the bloodiest war conflicts of the post-Soviet period once started as a democratic movement for the right of self-determination but turned into a fight for strategic territories causing ethnical cleanings. The value of colors as a prime medium to separate an entity in visual language, the confidence of a painting as a medium to illustrate the condensation of life, and the strategies for survival, as well as the consciousness of being a "Zeit-Zeuge" and the awareness of an abstract sign always refering to an ideology are the inspiration points of the "Black Garden" - series.

Viewers do realize that they are facing a concrete map, moreover, not a hand-printed, but and industrial-printed map with fine numbers, writings, lake outskirts, road lines, and other elements. Each map looks like a serious sign. Simultaneously, it is impossible to realize when and where these maps are from something between intellectual traps and working units. The inner destruction through chosen colors and layering, works against any feeling of harmonic landscapes. They rather refer to battle maps important to make changes visible, and compel the viewer to look for some further explanations after an experienced metaphorical drift.