There has always been a tradition in France, the Czech Republic, Poland and some other European cities to have a cafй in the old town for writers, musicians and artists. They seem to prefer exchanging their works for their drinks and meals instead of using money. Impressionists were the first men of art that showed it was natural and original at the same time.
The idea to create an art-cafй in Minsk was a result of a “wave of inspiration” that covered the Belarusian artist Viktor Markovets and the owner of the cozy premises Irina Kalinovskaya. The initiative was quite challenging and intriguing. The art critic Tatyana Garanskaya joined the team a bit later. Viktor Markovets became the author of the concept of the cafй and implemented his ideas: he “moved” the walls, made a double ceiling and installed special bars to hang paintings.
Time showed that the idea was a very good one: the paintings attracted visitors and changed the atmosphere of the cafй often enough to offer something fresh. Art became better available to all those who have too little time to visit galleries and exhibition. Besides, artists themselves are quite interested in yet another place to present their works.
Exhibitions are always very original and off the beaten line. Some of them are creative experiments and even duels: graphic arts versus photography, surrealistic landscapes of Minsk, art performances. The key criterion for expositions is real art, talent and sincerity.
Besides, the cafй has started reconstructing the traditional Belarusian wedding procedures. So far nine types of the ancient rite have been restored. There is even a body-art wedding. In fact, Tatyana Garanskaya has restored only two rites in detail — the princely wedding of the 10th-12th centuries and the knight’s wedding as it was back in the renascence period. The ceremony includes not only clothes and dances, but also cuisine, music and wording. Several couples have already passed through the intricate procedures of restored ancient weddings. Tatyana Garanskaya plans to publish a catalogue after the cafй has made enough couples happier… Young people often initiate ancient-style weddings themselves and seem to seek for real values in Belarus’ history.
by Marina Gabriyanik