Sasha Tishkov
Her Branches on the Ground, Her Roots in the Sky
curated by
Virginia Lupo
Dolcedo (IM), Liguria

Her Branches on the Ground, Her Roots in the Sky, created for Dolcedo by Sasha Tishkov, celebrates the olive as a symbol of the syncretism between Mediterranean cultures and territories. Exploring the links between nature and identity, the artist begins from observations of the landscape around Imperia, realising that this panorama is a characteristic feature of many other Mediterranean coasts. The introduction of this plant to Dolcedo by the Benedictine monks of Lérins radically transformed the local area, in the same way that the olive presses along the river Prino have helped shape community life. The title is taken from a verse of the poem The Second Olive Tree by Mahmoud Darwish, a poet born in Palestine, where the presence of the olive is a key factor and a symbol of resistance.
The work Deeply Rooted, in reference to the title of the project, and positioned on the façade of the village’s pharmacy, is a symbolic depiction of the roots of the olive, and it recalls the many metal decorations that can be seen in the niches above the portals in the village. Reminiscing Old Times, made by 3D printing, recalls the Ancient Roman oil lamps and highlights the importance and the various uses of this valuable substance. On the eastern side of the banks of the river Prino, a wooden wheel, fixed to the façade of the portico of a house, is intricately engraved with the characteristic symbols of olive blossom. With Wind It Rises, With Rain It Falls recalls the water mills that were once present along the course of the stream.
The project created by Tishkov explores the multiple dimensions of the olive tree, and it endeavours to take a closer look at Dolcedo’s history. At the same time, the artist offers an opportunity for reflecting on the links between different cultures, and on the great importance that migrations have for individuals and communities, in addition to their ability to shape distant lands.

. Sasha Tishkov, Reminiscing Old Times, 2024. Resin, olive oil, wicks
30 x 30 x 30 cm.
Piazzetta San Tommaso, Dolcedo (The work is located in the churchyard, reachable through an opening with a step).

02. Sasha Tishkov, Deeply Rooted, 2024. Wrought iron, resin
80 x 133 x 20 cm.
Piazza Airenti, 3 Dolcedo (The work is located in the niche on the facade of the pharmacy).

03. Sasha Tishkov, With Wind It Rises, With Rain It Falls, 2024. Olive wood, resin, 50 x 50 x 15 cm.
Via Mameli, Dolcedo (The work is located on the wall above a porch).

The project is inspired by a thousand years history of the olive tree and its connection to humans, responsible for its domestication and cultivation. The three works cast a light on the history and diverse use of olive oil, as well as a reflection on the collective labor and struggle of farmers in cultivating olive trees in the Mediterranean region.

Sasha Tishkov (Tallinn, Estonia, 1989) completed a Master of Fine Arts at Central Saint Martins, London. His multidisciplinary practice constructs speculative scenarios that facilitate a critical perspective on our socio-economic reality and the capitalist and patriarchal system. Among his recent solo and group exhibitions are: So Comes Snow After Fire at VOGA Art Project, Bari (IT, 2023); Save the Mermaid, Paris (FR, 2022); Unfamiliar Forms Set, Kensington, London (UK, 2022); Mushrooms in Paris. Darren Romanelli & Mürmaid Over the Influence, Paris (FR, 2022); Tuur Skulptuur at Telliskivi Roheline Saal, Tallinn (EST, 2022). He was selected for the Gilbert Bayes Award 2022, participating in exhibitions at Dora House, London, and The Art House, Wakefield (UK, 2023).

My work explores both built and natural environments, delving into geopolitical, social and cultural uncertainties within collective and personal histories. Rooted in sensitive engagement with nature, my practice employs queer ecology as a means to challenge anthropocentric and heteronormative concepts.

Dolcedo (IM)

Dolcedo, in the heart of the Valle Prino valley, has a medieval historic centre, with narrow streets and alleyways, several imposing bridges and an architectural structure of houses and shops that testify to its historically important trading function. Set in olive groves and woods, behind it there are two mountains reaching over 1,000 metres in height, making it an ideal location for visitors who like tranquillity, healthy air and hiking along the numerous paths linking it to the surrounding valleys.
With many springs, such as that named Sorgente Canale, the village has some ancient water mills, along with a series of waterways such as the river Prino and its numerous tributaries such as the Rio Acquasanta, forming a series of small lakes in the Lecchiore district. Among its architectural treasures are the Chiesa parrocchiale di San Tommaso parish church and the Oratorio di San Lorenzo. The Portico “Suttu Munte,” under the Town Hall loggia, preserves two ancient marble measures for oil and wine, and the Ponte Grande (Great Bridge), built in 1292 by the Knights of Malta to join the left bank of the river Prino with the bank used by traders, whose shops can still be discerned from the stepped openings used as sales counters. Most of the territory has the terracing typical of olive cultivation and ancient crops, running right across to the hills and the slopes leading up to the mountains, and this activity is demonstrated by the many oil mills that are still present.

Thanks to: Mayor Giuseppe Rebuttato, former Mayor Giovanni Danio, Councillor for Culture Barbara Gibellini, Paola Rancati, Marco Morchio, Gabriel Della Valle, Stefano Robiglio, Andrei Aleksejev, Cyencs - Centre of Excellence, Cyprus, Guesthouse Da Lalla, Typography Nante.