Taman is an archaeologically diverse region, a crossroads of cultures and a welcoming oecumene, enjoying the breezes off the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. It is the Taman Peninsula and its distinctive history that are the focus of the research project carried out by curator Varvara Busova. From time immemorial, people have been reusing household items and cult objects, building materials and burial structures by readjusting them to fit their changing needs. Sometimes this process owed itself to human nature, such as laziness, frugality, lack of time and opportunity to extract a new resource. And at other times – to external factors. What were these factors in Taman? The lack of building materials on the peninsula forced Ancient Greek settlers, Khazars and Turks to reuse building parts and architectural components. The natural landscape became a cultural one as a result of the painstaking efforts of the people who built the first roads in the area. Tall burial mounds became collective tombs for different cultures spanning from the Bronze Age to the turn of the millennia.
Today everyone is talking about upcycling, which is rooted in secondary use and associated with the creative transformation of unnecessary objects into art (e.g. swan sculptures made of tyres, rugs weaved from candy wrappers, etc.). As part of the upcoming exhibition, we have invited artists to reflect on the local archaeological context of ancient upcycling and reuse from the ritual, economic and status standpoint. Because of the wide response of musicians, sculptors and performance artists, this scientific art exhibition has acquired additional narratives and subplots.