Curator: Marika Agu
Consultant: Francisco Martinez
Participating artists: David Bostanashvili | Group Bouillon| Thea Gvetadze | Levan Mindiashvili | Giorgi Okropiridze | Nino Sekhniashvili | Sophia Tabatadze
Photo: Johan Huimerind
Dates: Mar. 24 – May 29 | 2016
Location: TARTMUS Tartu Art Museum, Estonia
IDAAF was pleasantly surprised by the concept of exhibition recently opened in Estonia. The reporter has asked the curator a single question.
– Why did such theme become the object of your interest and how did you manage to gather all these Georgian artists in Estonia?
– I’m very curious how this list of artists appears to an insider of Georgian contemporary art. The concept we developed together with Francisco Martinez was derived on spot during 2015, we did the usual field-work – observing the surrounding in Tbilisi and talking to artists, also we visited GeoAIR archive to get a general overview. The “Kamikaze Lodgia” project by Joanna Warsza gave us a strong basis and reference point, so our project wouldn’t just float in the air. Also the fact that some artists have dealt with the notion of repair in their work gave us confidence (for example Sophia Tabatadze’s “Pirimze”).
The works exhibited in the show are selected only for the sake of the works themselves. Of course some were appropriated to the concept, but this is usual in curatorial practice. I didn’t have the funds nor the motivation to commission new works. Francisco mentioned that while interviewing Irena Popiashvili, she said she couldn’t imagine these artists together, but the general feedback from art professionals here in Estonia has been supporting and positive.”
Tartu Art Museum is pleased to present international group exhibition “Aesthetics of Repair in Contemporary Georgia”, which conjures the practices of refurbishing and fixing in its multiple dimensions: material, symbolic, personal and social. Repair refers, for instance, to notions of “remont” and “khaltura”, which express a state of permanent unfinishedness, unstable equilibriums and low-key engagements. The works exhibited grasp collective dynamics and personal notions of craftsmanship and care.
During the opening of the exhibition, on the 24th of March, the 6-membered artist group formed in 2008 in Tbilisi, Bouillon gave a performance, which remained in the show in the form of an installation. During their performance all six members cut each-other’s hair. Not because it suits them, they were sick, suffering from lice. Also not because they were prisoners, soldiers or neo-nazis, nor women who are punished and shaved publicly. It’s an act of solidarity, but also a way to get rid of bad energy and express ‘civil pessimism’ within Georgia. By escaping from the actual post-soviet society, the members of Bouillon wish to start everything from the beginning.
Previously to the opening, the Berlin-based artist Sophia Tabatadze presented her project “Pirimze”, based on a research work about a building which functioned as the repairing center of all possible things between 1971 and 2007.
The exhibition was accompanied with a book of the same title. On the 26th of March, a “Georgian Brunch” has been organized to present the book and meet with artists Nino Sekhniashvili and Thea Gvetadze, and with group Bouillon. Editors – Francisco Martínez and Marika Agu, Designer – Vahram Muradyan.
The publication provides a kaleidoscopic overview of social dynamics and material culture in contemporary Georgia. The authors include National Geographic reporter and Pulitzer awarded Paul Salopek, internationally renowned curators Joanna Warsza and Irena Popiashvili, as well as several art historians and researchers, Lali Pertanava, Rene Mäe, Juuli Nava, Aimar Ventsel, David Bostanashvili, Marcos Farias Ferreira and Costanza Curro.
Georgian edit: Tata Alkhazasvhili