Horn | Andro Semeiko

A real-life gift from cult-director Sergei Parajanov triggers a sci-fi story about Georgian hospitality


Andro Semeiko

Read the artist’s submitted proposal in this PDF file. Follow the further development of the proposal below. Click here for an overview of all proposals.

On hold

It breaks our hearts to let you know that due to unforeseen circumstances imagine art after will be on hold until further notice.

summer break

We will have a summer break until September.

Feel free to update your proposals if you wish. Have a good August!

Your show

Sounds great Breda! Can’t make it to the opening but will definitely go to see your show. I am also working hard on an exhibition with Basement Art Projects and our event is like yours on the 9th of June. Its at Yinka Shonibare’s Space, here is the link with pics and information:


bit slow with getting back

it’s stupidly busy at this end – amongst many things, I’m still in the process of completing 5 films for my forthcoming show at Camden Arts Centre which opens on Thur 9 June. be great to see you at the private view!!!


Horn installation

I will make an installation with a fictional narrative run through it. It will tell a story about a British secret society inventing horn-shaped flying and spying objects for infiltrating Georgian moment of happiness.

It will contain paintings of Georgian festivals, celebrations and toasting ceremonies referring to paintings of Niko Pirosmani, and a handmade book of recipes and stories I will collect in Georgia.

Andro Semeiko

Niko Pirosmani

Andro Semeiko

Berikaoba festival

There will be a model of the flying object Horn with a build in sci-fi interior. During the exhibition it will produce a faint sound of Georgian chorus singing.

I will paint a series of portraits of the secret society referring to 17th century English portrait poses symbolising status and power. They will integrate horn as a motif.

To combine my interest in painting and object making I will create painterly masks. Some with the horns on them similar to the mask Pradjanov gave me. They will be worn by the secret society for the re-enactment of the Georgian moment of happiness during their gathering around the model of the Horn. They will read out poetic Georgian toasts and will sing polyphonic Georgian songs. This will be follower by a housewife/grandmother offering unique Georgian dishes to the viewers. The event will be recorded and presented during the exhibition alongside the model, the paintings and the book.

Horn timescale

Trip to Georgia

February – March 2011

Visiting festival Berikaoba.

Conversations with several Georgian house wives. Conversations with toastmasters and visiting several wine producing families in rural Georgia.

Attending toasting ceremonies and other festive events.

Documenting the above by keeping a diary and taking photographs.

Phase 1 – Studio Based

April – October 2011

Producing model of spaceship Horn.

Making paintings of compositions involving motif of horn.

Making paintings of portraits of the secret society.

Making masks with pronounced painterly textures and shiny finish, for the singers to wear.

Making a hand made book of unique Georgian food recipes and stories I will collect.

Phase 2 – Work on Site

November – December 2011

Finding and rehearsing songs with people for Georgian chorus for the opening of the exhibition.

Finding and rehearsing with an actress to play housewife/ grandmother who will have a role of a host welcoming and offering viewers food during the opening.


what’s the timescale for the ‘Horn’ (I) research stage, and (II) production?


Andro Semeiko
Sergei Parajanov I remember as a storyteller. Every time I visited him, he told me tales using objects. His house was full of things. It was February when me and my Dad dropped by his place. He offered us tea and when we were about to leave he got out this mask and asked me to try it on. He told me that it was used many years ago in a festival called Berikaoba, which no longer existed. (Soviets banned it but it was revived couple of years after he gave me this mask). Sergei told me that people wearing it would dance, sing and walk round the houses and be offered food and wine. Their visit meant good luck, rich harvest and happiness to the people. This mask is a little bit unusual for Berikaoba though. It looks like a bull as well as Davi; a giant from Georgian fairy-tales. It was made by Mose Toidze, a well known Georgian artist as I later found out from my Dad.
Methods of Parajanov’s storytelling and its rigour would be great to explore and maybe to adopt some for my project.


Hi Andro, will Parajanov’s filmmaking be influencing your visual style in any way?

Horn proposal

Brief Outline
The project is inspired by my childhood toy, a gift from filmmaker Parajanov: a mask of an animal/giant with horns that people normally wear for winter celebrations. For centuries the horn has been used for drinking wine during family gathering and toasting ceremonies in Georgia. A horn symbolises Georgian hospitality and occasion of honour. It creates magical moments.

The concept of a horn is a motif of project Horn that consists of three stages: research trip, production and exhibition. I will travel across Georgia to look for ancient ‘recipes’ for keeping the nation happy. Painting and sculpture installation will be made based on collected materials and a sci-fi narrative. The fiction will tell a story about a British secret agency inventing horn-shaped flying and spying objects for infiltrating Georgian moment of happiness. Horn is a project of contemporary take on traditional food culture, means of social gathering and ways to reach a truly happy life.

Emotion Behind the Project
Taking the Georgian symbolic meaning of horns as a starting point, the project will create links between my native and adapted culture and current art practice. Georgians’ passion in food, my memory of grandparents’ house in rural Guria and various traditional social gatherings (weddings, christenings, funerals…) will become the ingredient for the research and a series of new painting and sculpture.

The experience of IAA blogging and engaging with other artists and public has been inspirational to both my life and art. The project is a re-discovery of my Georgian heritage, a personal journey to the past and memory. It also offers cultural references and aspirations of contemporary life, food culture and social gathering to the British public.

Principal medium: Painting, drawing & sculpture
Location(s) of productionS: Georgia and the UK
Production budget indication: between £3,500-£10,000