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Nas Why? against fir-trees

Written by on Sunday, 23 June 2013
Culture and History, Uzbekistan
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Tashkent was shocked by exhibition “My Favorite Tree”, which was organized by the new art group “Nas Why?”

The members of the art group “Nas Why?”, which consists of Tashkent artists, photographers and other creative people have organized stealth exhibition “My Favorite Tree” dedicated to the fir-trees.

“Nas Why?” logo

Relations between people of Uzbekistan and fir-trees are very intimate – at the end of the 90s this tree, which is not typical for the region, for some reason, was massively implanted in the country. The culmination of this movement was the felling of the Tashkent Square, the symbol of the city, and replacing it with fir-trees. Residents of Tashkent, and especially the Russian-speaking intellectuals took this event with great pain. For many of them, this barbaric action was a turning point in the decision to emigrate from the country.

The process of “fir-tree grafting” runs with fanaticism – it’s common to see yellow, dry fir-trees under cruel Tashkent sun, and workers, who paint them with green paint. Just like in the episode from “Alice in Wonderland” with roses and gardeners.

There were presented a variety of installations on the theme of fir-trees on the exhibition of art group “Nas Why?”, which was held outdoors in the private yard. “Nas Why?” stresses that despite the provocation in topics of their exhibition, there is no “struggle against the system” or “revolution”, only the attempt to establish a dialogue of contemporary art and authorities. “Nas Why?” consider themselves romantics, believing that such a dialogue is possible and necessary to a society and the state.

Members of group hide their names, but they briefly explained their concept to us:

For the purpose of artistic research, we have chosen, as our favorite tree, the green fir-tree which surrounds us in our every day urban landscape.
First of all, “My favorite tree” exhibition focuses our attention on dispassionate identification of time, revealing in its features documental narration, where the sense of reality is gained with the perception of the scene. This exhibition is the recognition of the possible green fir-tree canonical transformation in the lapse of time of the project. This is a certain game mixing a neutral system of figurative authenticity and intelligibility exercises by means of videos, installations and photography’s. Nothing except game as if we would fix the display of the lost it’s way play-acting time.
In other words, the project shows the irrationality of our understanding of the «preferred tree» and our needless desire and pathos in displaying ourselves in action. For all those reasons, we express our great love to the object: “My favorite tree.”

On the information available to us, unknown men in civilian clothes and the police arrived at the exhibition venue a few days after to find out who is involved in its organization. We can assure our readers that, according to confidential information provided to us by a group of “Nas Why?”, all of its members are safe now.

Take a look at “Nas Why?” channel on Vimeo

And photo report from exhibition:

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