A lot of usual cultural infrastructures that seems to be necessary and basic for Western Europeans used to be a lack for Georgians. This city with an important cultural heritage is now starting to develop the areal of museums. Beyond the traditional institutions that express the history of the country and the city, the Goethe Institute in Tbilisi started a project for funding museum’s development in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaïdjan: ‘Time Machine – Museum in 21st century’. In this frame, they established a network of institutions. An exhibition of regional and contemporary artists gathers projects from caucasian artists. This exhibition, funded by the Goethe Institute and coordinated by the Georgian artist Wato Tsereteli exposes the variety of artistic productions in Caucasus. It presents a reflexion of what a living and contemporary museum could mean.
Wato Tsereteli is a very active Georgian artist and guiding another museum’s project in Tbilissi as well. Developing the neglected urban area on the other side of the river in Tbilissi, he tries to re-establish the Museum of Caucasian medicine. This masonry house was built at the beginning of the 19th century under the Russian Empire, to become the first hospital in Caucasus. This building is abandoned since the 60’s but thanks to the help of the Goethe Institute, it tries to have a new breath. Wato Tsereteli and his students from the informal master in arts at the center for contemporary arts in Tbilissi are personally and physical involved in the restructuring of the building.
In this freshly painted walls and thanks to the engagement of a careful new generation, a future for the museums of Tbilissi seems to be possible. This city has been destroying part of its heritage in the last decades, inventing new ways of restoring heritage. The development of the museums shows a research to turn today a positive face to the culture in Tbilisi. Can the museums become new public spaces for Tbilissi? The doors are open, let’s hope the space will be used.