VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary is grateful to the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia and the Embassy of Georgia in Vienna for their generous support of the special project VIENNA Duet: Georgia “Our Caucasus i. e. Chveni Kavkasioni” curated by Irena Popiashvili and the artistic directors of VIENNAFAIR Christina Steinbrecher–Pfandt and Vita Zaman.
This post is a second part of the introduction to the artists participating in the exhibition VIENNA Duet: Georgia “Our Caucasus” by Irena Popiashvili, independent curator dividing her time between Tbilisi, Georgia and New York, USA. Currently she is a consultant at the Free University in Tbilisi and runs a public art space – Popiashvili Gvaberidze Window Project in Tbilisi Georgia. Previously a founder and co-owner of Newman Popiashvili Gallery in New York (2005-2012) she served as a director of the State Academy of Arts in Tbilisi (March- November) 2012. Ms. Popiashvili has curated many exhibitions in the US, as well as at various galleries in Europe and was a curator of a Georgian Pavilion in Venice Biennale in 1999 and 2003. Irena Popiashvii received a BA from Tbilisi State University and University of Lodz, Poland, and a MA in art history from University of Georgia in Athens, GA, USA.
Giorgi Okropiridse repeatedly uses every day Elements, that are often charged symbolically: the georgian bart, motor mascots, cans, georgian meal as a sculpture. Through a new combination and embodiment he gives these elements a diverse usage and significance, the accessibility toward the content is now opposed.
Giorgi Okropiridse works with forms from everyday objects, which in his sculptures he transforms into a different material, mostly metal. In this unwonted form they appear bizarre and also surreal. Melons, a pillow, a piece of paper or an army of paper airplanes out of metal. In further tasks he utilises symbols of the georgian mentality and the masculine gender stereotypes which change their meaning through the abstraction from the context; the observer can now use them for themselves, for example: the typical georgian bart without a face becomes an odd object. Even the typical georgian meal – chinkali – becomes an art object.
Stillife installation presents Vienna based Georgian artist’s, Tatia Skhirtladzes, artistic archive as an artwork. The piece is a real life still life made of Ms. Skhirtladze’s previous artworks. In other works the artists recylces her past work and makes new pieces without reproducing them. Tatia Skirtladze’s Nature Morte or Stillife installation features Tatia Skhirtladzes artstic archive as an artwork itself. The piece includes works created at different times of her artistic career ( paintings done in Georgia from 1993-98) photographs and publications from 2007-09 and installations from 2009 on.
The erotic film posters from 1990-95 by Arsen Beriashvili were hand painted for the Apollo movie theater in Tbilisi. There is an interesting historical and artistic context between Giorgi Khaniashvili’s Venuses from 2010-11 and Beriashvili’s posters. Here too, Soviet poster art merges with a new iconography of erotic films resulting in intriguing combination of value systems. Another curios story is that foreign tourists will pay Beriashvili $100 and commission him to paint their own faces in the famous movie posters – as a result 9 1/2 Weeks poster’s Kim Bassinger and Mickey Rourke look nothing like the actors.
While focusing on shifting fixity of places, questioning their stability Marika Asatiani is attempting to destabilize ‘the fixed place’ in a non-violent, subtle manner, and possibly point at the perceiver as a main figure who makes the world appear as it is, and through whom the act of perception is possible.
Through repetition and certain arrangement of similar images, Marika is interested in creating situations that are expressed with minimal means, whereby, the viewer experiences himself, his own being in here and now along with the work he is facing. In this way, the gaze/perception is being redirected from the object or image back to the viewer as she stands in front of the work or moves from one position to another. Ideally, it should be a direct and intimate experience, unmediated by conceptual knowledge, more sensed than rationally understood.
And more! Visit the VIENNA Duet Exhibition at the booth H21!