Author: levanmindiashvili

Levan Mindiashvili is a Georgian born Brooklyn based visual artist working in various media such as painting, sculpture and drawing, exploring the complex relationships between public and private spaces.

Hot Stuff at ODETTA

HOT STUFF

Joe Fucigna, Joan Grubin, Levan Mindiashvili, Jo Yarrington

 

Opening Reception:

Friday, January 19th, 6-8 pm.

 

ODETTA

229 Cook St, Brooklyn NY 11206

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Hot Stuff brings together four artists who offer color-focused sculptural installations that address both social and formal concerns. Joe Fucigna, Joan Grubin, Levan Mindiashvili, and Jo Yarrington will transform the gallery into space where one moves through warm fields of fluorescent colors, referencing historical and current issues. The exhibition can be visited through February 18th, 2018.

Levan Mindiashvili, in his second major exhibition at ODETTA, will debut works from a new project entitled “The Color Of The Sky” in which he examines the issues concerning identity politics focused on gender bias and the ramifications of marketing this topic. His work occupies the territory between painting and object-making. Pigmented hydrocal tiles either contain charcoal drawings or suggest abstracted found architectural remnants. Oftentimes depicting self-portraits, these new images question the gap between the tradition of self-portraiture (critical self-analysis) and today’s widespread “selfie” culture (narcissistic self-exposure excluding any critical self-observation). 

Levan Mindiashvili is a Georgian born (1979) visual artist and independent curator living and working in New York and Tbilisi. He holds his BFA in Sculpture from Tbilisi State Academy of Arts and MFA in Crossed Media at The National University of Arts of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Among his awards are Commission Grant for Public Art Projects from National Endowments for Arts (New York, 2014) and Emerging Artist of 2011, Movistar Arte Jóven (Buenos Aires, Argentina). His works had been included in recent group exhibitions at The 7th Beijing Biennale, China; Georgian National Gallery, Tbilisi; David & Schweitzer Contemporary, Brooklyn, US; Tbilisi History Museum, Georgia; Arsenal, Kiev, Ukraine; Tartu Art Museum, Estonia. Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include “Here” at Georgian National Museum, Mestia, Georgia; “Inbetween” at State Silk Museum, Tbilisi, Georgia; The Lodge Gallery, New York, US; “Kiosk” at ODETTA, Brooklyn US; “Studies For Unintended Archeology”, The Vazquez Building, Brooklyn, US. His works are in public collections of Georgian National Museum (Mestia), State Silk Museum (Tbilisi) and National Art Museum of China (Beijing).


ODETTA

229 Cook St, Brooklyn NY 11206

(Morgan Stop L Train)

Gallery hours: Friday – Sunday 1-6 pm, and by appointment. 

www.odettagallery.com

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“Here” solo show at Georgian National Museum | Svaneti Museum

 


Georgian National Museum | Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography 

Project ArtBeat Presents

Levan Mindiashvili

“here”

August 1 – September 10, 2017

 

ProjectArtBeat and Georgian National Museum present “here”- a solo exhibition of New York based Georgian artist Levan Mindiashvili.

Transitional state of today’s world in yet unknown future and fragility of all possible paradigms, notions or values are conditions, central in Mindiashvili’s practice. Physical nature of his chosen materials and interdisciplinary approach in execution, highlights in – between, temporal conditions and question the mechanisms of our perception: pigmented plaster sculptures mimicking found concrete remnants adhere painterly qualities with neon lights of various colors, while paintings, executed in acrylic, at first glance look very alike to pixelated, vintage photographs, are transformed into three dimensional objects. Alltogether, they create an installation where architectural and natural elements outline the fluid, cyclical nature of the universe and attempt to capture a physical experience of ever – flowing present – of “here” and “now”.

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Opening: Saturday, July 30, 3 PM accompanied by the Q&A with the artist.

Ioseliani Str. 7, Mestia | Tue – Sun: 10 AM – 6 PM. | www.museum.ge

 

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“…inbetween” at State Silk Museum, Tbilisi

Levan Mindiashvili  “…inbetween”
June 27 – July 16, 2017
State Silk Museum, Tbilisi

State Silk Museum presents a solo exhibition of New York based Georgian artist Levan Mindiashvili entitled “…inbetween” consisting of an installation created with pigmented plaster sculptures and jacquard vowed tapestries. Physical nature of his chosen materials – lightweight plaster mimicking steady concrete and soft fabrics erected as walls – respond to the conditions that are central in Mindiashvili’s practice: transitional state of today’s world in yet unknown present and fragility of all possible paradigms, notions or values.

 


 

ლევან მინდიაშვილი  “…შორის”
27 ივნისი – 16 ივლისი, 2017
აბრეშუმის სახელმწიფო მუზეუმი

აბრეშუმის მუზეუმი წარმოგიდგენთ ნიუ იორკში მცხოვრები ქართველი ხელოვანის ლევან მინდიაშვილის პერსონალურ გამოფენას “…შორის”, რომელშიც პიგმენტირებული თაბაშირის ქანდაკებები და ჟაკარდის მანქანაზე მოქსოვილი ფარდაგები ერთ მთლიან ინსტალაციას ქმნიან. თავად მასალის არჩევანი და მათი ფიზიკური ბუნება – მყარ ბეტონს მიმსგავსებული მყიფე თაბაშირი თუ კედლად აღმართული რბილი ფარდაგი – იმ კონდიციებს ეხმიანება, რომლებიც მინდიაშვილის პრაქტიკაში ცენტრალურ ადგილს იკავებს: ყველა არსებული პარადიგმების, ცნებების თუ ღირებულებათა სიმყიფე და დღევანდელი სამყაროს გარდამავალი მდგომარეობა “ძველიდან” ჯერ კიდევ გაურკვეველ აწმყოში.

 


 

აბრეშუმის სახელმწიფო მუზეუმი 

სამუშაო საათები: სამ – კვირა: 11 – 17 სთ. (ორშაბათს დაკეტილია)
გიორგი ცაბაძის 6, 0112 თბილისი, საქართველო

 

State Silk Museum

Opening Hours: Tue – Sun: 11am – 5 pm. (Mondays closed)
6, Tsabadze street, 0112 Tbilisi, Georgia

(+995 32) 340 963, 340 967, 347 850, +995 598 260 686
www.silkmuseum.ge

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VOLTA NY 2017 | Booth D22 The Lodge Gallery

uprintingmailing_guide [Converted]The Lodge Gallery is pleased to present a solo booth of Levan Mindiashvili at the Volta NY 2017.

March 1 -5, | Booth D22

Pier 90 | W 50th Street at 12th Avenue, New York

Preview March 1, 5-7 pm

Vernissage March 1, 7-10 pm

Public Hours March 2-4, 12-8 pm | March 5, 12-5 pm

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More info: VoltaNY

contact: info@thelodgegallery.com

 

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Precarious Constructs at Venus Knitting Art Space, NY

PRECARIOUS CONSTRUCTS

Featuring works by
Uta Bekaia, Alexandra Leyre Mein, Levan Mindiashvili, Matt Stone, Andrew Cornell Robinson Liz Sweibel, Etty Yaniv,

Performance by Milcah Bassel and Amanda Thackray


Opening Reception: Friday, December 9th, 2016  7-10 PM


VENUS KNITTING ART SPACE

117 Grattan St. (entrance 122 Harrison Place, corner of Harrison Place and Porter), Brooklyn, Bushwick, NY 11237 

Gallery hours: Sat -Sun 1 – 4 PM and by appointment

Contact: venusknitting@gmail.com

The exhibition is on view through December 18, 2016.

Press release and detailed info at our Facebook page

Precarious Constructs, installation view
left: Levan Mindiashvili “Untitled”, 2016. right: Matthew James Stone “Relics”, 2016

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Fest i Nova 2016 “Future Memory” 8th International Art Festival at Art Villa Garikula, Georgia

Levan Mindiashvili_Unintended Archeology (Future Memory)2016_Art Villa Garikula_10Art Villa Garikula, 8th International Festival of Contemporary Art in Honor of Zdanevich Brothers “Fest I Nova 2016”: “Future Memory”

Opening of the second part of the Festival
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Presentation of Zdanevich Brothers Fund 41ᴼ 5:30 pm.
Opening of the installations 6:00 pm.

Artists:
Ayes Amirova, Tato Akhalkatsishvili, Uta Bekaia, Alina Bliumis, Levan Manjavidze, Levan Mindiashvili, MATERIAL’HUNTERS, Saudaá Group (Alexis Paul) with: Tanta Mandzulashvili, Damiano Gordeladze, Nino Abelishvili, Leena Pukki, Raymond Sereniate, Niko Tsetskhladze, Giuseppe Fanizza

Curator: Nutsa Chikvaidze
Assistant curator: Nata Jashiashvili
Coordinator: Maia Chikvaidze

For more information, please check our Facebook page and website www.garikula.com

Art Villa Garikula, Akhalkalaki, Georgia

Installation Images:

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UTA BEKAIA LEVAN MINDIASHVILI “Night Intervention” | State Silk Museum, Tbilisi

UTA BEKAIA LEVAN MINDIASHVILI

Please scroll down for English version.

აბრეშუმის სახელმწიფო მუზეუმი გიწვევთ

უტა ბექაიას და ლევან მინდიაშვილის პროექტის

„ღამის ინტერვენცია“ გახსნაზე 31 აგვისტოს 20:00.

კურატორი ელენე აბაშიძე

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აბრეშუმის სახელმწიფო მუზეუმმა ინტერვენციის გრძელვადიან პროექტში მონაწილეობის მისაღებად მოიწვია ხელოვანები უტა ბექაია და ლევან მინდიაშვილი და კურატორი ელენე აბაშიძე. პროექტი წარმოადგენს ექსპერიმენტს, რომელშიც ინტერვენცია არა მხოლოდ ინსტიტუციონალურ დონეზე ხდება, არამედ კურატორისა და ხელოვანის კლასიკური ურიერთობისა და როლების გადააზრებასაც ახდენს.

ხელოვანებისთვის “ღამის ინტერვენცია” პირდაპირი გამოძახილია აბრეშუმის მუზეუმის არქიტექტურაზე, მის ისტორიასა და დანიშნულებაზე. მუზეუმის Petit Chatelet-ს ტიპის ბუნებით შთაგონებულმა შექმნეს ობიექტები, რომლებიც ერთი შეხედვით დაშლის ზღვარზე მყოფ ჭაღებს, ძველ სარკეებსა თუ ბუხრის თავებს მოგვაგონებენ. ხელოვანები მათ ჩანაცვლებას წარმოსახვითი დაკარგული ნივთების საშუალებით ცდილობენ. სხვადასხვა ფერის სანთლით დაფარული ტოტებით, სამშენებლო ნანგრევებს მიმსგავსებული პიგმენტირებული თაბაშირის ბლოკებითა და დაფერილი მარლით შექმნილი ნივთები აბრეშუმის წარმოების პროცესის მსგავსად ორ ურთიერთსაწინააღმდეგო პოლუსს – ბუნებრივსა და ადამიანის მიერ შექმნილს შორის მერყეობენ. გამოფენის გახსნის ნაწილს წარმოადგენენ უტა ბექაიას სკულპტურულ კოსტიუმებში გამოწყობილი სამი პერფორმერი – რომლებიც მოქმედებასა და სტატიკურ სკულპტურაზე არსებული ტრადიციული შეხედულებების ახლებურ გააზრებას შემოგვთავაზებენ.

სრული ტექსტი და საჯარო პროგრამისა და ღონიძიებების განრიგი იხილეთ ჩვენ ფბ-გვერდზე.

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უტა ბექაია  1974 წელს დაიბადა თბილისში. ცხოვრობს და მოღვაწეობს ნიუ იორკში. აღსანიშნავია მისი ჯგუფური გამოფენები შემდეგ ფესტივალებსა და საგამოფენო დარბაზებში: კიევის მე-2-ე ბიენალე სტამბულსა და კიევში, 2015; თანამედროვე ხელოვნების ცენტრი, ბათუმი, 2015; არტისტერიუმი, თბილისი, 2015, არტ-ვილა გარიყულა, 2015; RichMix, ლონდონი, 2015; ხელოვნების სახელმწიფო მუზუემი, თბილისი, 2013. მნიშვნელოვანი პერსონალური გამოფენები ჩატარდა გალერეებში The Vazquez Building, ბრუკლინი 2015, Popiashvili Gvaberidze Window Project, თბილისი 2013. უტა ბექაიას ბოლო პერფორმანსები განხორციელდა Fashion Clash-ში, მაასტრიხტი, 2016; Ideal Glass-ში, ნიუ იორკი, 2016; Art Park Residency-ში, ნიუ იორკი, 2016, “ბერიკაობა” თბილისობა, თბილისი, 2015; დადგმა მოძრაობის თეატრში, თბილისი, 2015.

 ლევან მინდიაშვილი 1979 წელს დაიბადა თბილისში. ცხოვრობს და მოღვაწეობს ნიუ იორკში. აღსანიშნავია მისი მონაწილეობა ჯგუფურ გამოფენებში, რომლებიც გაიმართა შემდეგ ფესტივალებსა და საგამოფენო დარბაზებში: არსენალე, კიევი 2016; ტარტუს ხელოვნების მუზუემი, ესტონეთი, 2016; ODETTA, ბრუკლინი, 2015; RichMix, ლონდონი, 2015; ხელოვნების სახელმწიფო მუზეუმი, თბილისი, 2013. მისი ბოლო პერსონალური გამოფენები ჩატარდა შემდეგ ინსტიტუციებში: The Vazquez Building, ბრუკლინი, 2015; The Lodge Gallery, ნიუ იორკი, 2014; Kunstraub99, კიოლნი, 2013. მიღებულ ჯილდოთაგან აღსანიშნავია გრანტი საჯარო ხელოვნებისთვის, National Endowments for Arts-სგან, ნიუ იორკი, 2014 და ახალგაზრდა ხელოვანი 2011, Movistar Arte Jóven, ბუენოს აირესი, არგენტინა.

 ელენე აბაშიძე დაიბადა 1987 წელს თბილისში. არის დამოუკიდებელი კურატორი და ავტორი. ცხოვრობს და მუშაობს თბილისში. მის მიერ განხორციელებულ პროექტებს შორისაა: დანართის პუბლიკაციების სერია, 2016 – 2011; განუსაზღვრელი სურათი, გალერეა ნექტარი, 2016 – 2015; აპოკალიფსი ახლა, მოსასმენი წვეულება და ვიდეო პროექციების სერია ხელოვან ნიკ ო ნიკთან თანამშრომლობით; იგივე იგივე, ანაკლიის ზღვისპირა ზოლი და ბათუმის თანამედროვე ხელოვნების ცენტრი, 2014; დროის ჩაუწერელი მონაკვეთი, თანამედროვე ხელოვნების ცენტრი თბილისი, 2011.

პროექტი ხორციელდება “სამხრეთ კავკასიის ხელოვნებისა და კულტურის რეგიონული პროექტის” ფარგლებში. პროექტის მართვას უზრუნველყოფს კულტურისა და მენეჯმენტის ლაბორატორია სამხრეთ კავკასიის შვეიცარიის თანამშრომლობის ოფისის (SCO) ფინანსური მხარდაჭერით.



State Silk Museum is delighted to invite you to the opening of
Uta Bekaia and Levan Mindiashvili “Night Intervention”
on Wednesday, August 31st, 8 pm. 

curated by Elene Abashidze

 The State Silk Museum invites artists Uta Bekaia and Levan Mindiashvili and curator Elene Abashidze to participate in the Museum Intervention Series. Night Intervention is an experiment where the action happens not only in the institution, but within the set of artist/curator roles as well. The project questions the relationship between artists and curator during the working process, which is joined by the curator at a later stage in order to reflect on it rather then provide it.

With the minor coordination from the side of the curator, the artists develop body of work independently and create their own relationship with the space. The artists themselves state:“Night Intervention is a direct response to the architecture, history and the purpose of the Silk Museum. Inspired by the Petit Chatelet nature of the building, artists created objects that might reminiscent dilapidated chandeliers, old mirrors or fire place stands that try to “replace” imaginary missing objects. Works, which are made of dry branches covered with pigmented wax and pigmented plaster blocks that mimic construction remnants and dyed gauze, mark a shattering terrain between natural and manmade and resemble the process of silk production. Part of the opening are also three performers in sculptural costumes made by Uta Bekaia. They shall challenge traditional understanding of performance and sculpture”.

Full text, related events and the public program are to be announced on our facebook page.

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Uta Bekaia – born 1979 in Tbilisi, Georgia. Lives and works in New York, USA. His works were shown at the 2nd Kyiv Biennial, Istanbul and Kiev, 2015; the Center for Contemporary Art, Batumi, 2015; Artisterium, Tbilisi, 2015, RichMix, London, 2015; Art-Villa Garikula, 2015 and The Georgian National Museum, Tbilisi, 2013. His recent solo shows took place at The Vazquez Building, Brooklyn, 2015, Popiashvili Gvaberidze Window Project, Tbilisi, 2013. Recent performances include: Fashion Clash, Maastricht, 2016; Ideal Glass, New York, 2016; Art Park Residency, New York, 2016; The Movement Theater, Tbilisi, 2015 and Tbilisi City Parade Berikaoba, 2015.

Levan Mindiashvili – born 1979 in Tbilisi, Georgia. Lives and works in New York, USA. His works have been shown at the group exhibitions at Arsenal, Kiev, 2016; Tartu Art Museum, Estonia, 2016; ODETTA, Brooklyn, 2015; RichMix, London, 2015 and the Georgian National Museum, Tbilisi, 2013. The recent solo exhibitions include those at the Vazquez Building, Brooklyn, 2015; The Lodge Gallery, New York, 2014; Kunstraub99, Cologne, 2013. Selected awards include: the Commission Grant for Public Art Projects from National Endowments for Arts, New York, 2014 and Emerging Artist of 2011, Movistar Arte Jóven, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Elene Abashidze – born 1987. Lives and works in Tbilisi, Georgia. Her recent projects include: The Absent Image, Gallery Nectar, Tbilisi, 2016-1015; Apocalypse Now – a listening party and video screening series in collaboration with artist Nik O Nik, 2015; Same Same, a double platform exhibition at Anaklia Seashore and Batumi CAC41N-41E, 2014; The Fragment of Time Which is Not Recorded, CCA, Tbilisi, 2011. Elene is the editor of Danarti series of publications 2016-2011 and occasionally writes for various magazines.

Project is realized in the frames of the “Regional Art and Culture Project in the South Caucasus”, which is managed by the Culture and Management Lab with financial support of the Swiss Cooperation Office for the South Caucasus (SCO).


 

აბრეშუმის სახელმწიფო მუზეუმი
გ. ცაბაძის ქუჩა №6, 0112 თბილისი
ტელ. +995 32 34 09 67; +995 32 34 09 63; 598 26 06 86
silkmuseum.tbilisi@gmail.com
www.facebook.com/silkmuseum 

სამუშაო საათები 
11.00- დან 17.00 საათამდე | დასვენების დღე: ორშაბათი

State Silk Museum
6, Tsabadze st., 0112, Tbilisi, Georgia
Phone: (+995 32) 340 967; (+995 32) 340 963
  silkmuseum.tbilisi@gmail.com
www.facebook.com/silkmuseum 

Working hours
Tuesday-Sunday 11.00 a.m. – 05.00 p.m | Closed: Mondays

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ARTMargins: AESTHETICS OF REPAIR IN CONTEMPORARY GEORGIA, TARTU ART MUSEUM BY LIISA KALJULA

What unites the small post-socialist countries of Estonia and Georgia in the year 2016? Why organize an exhibition of contemporary Georgian art in Estonia a quarter of a century after the collapse of the Soviet Union? In the Baltics there are not that many exhibition spaces that would invest in East European contemporary art today, as the shared socialist past now seems somewhat distant, irrelevant and undesired in relation to the identity politics of these rapidly changing countries. However, when one looks at the acceptance of East European countries within the global art scene and art history, is this shared political history really so distant? Here, mutual support and solidarity would still mean a lot, even if in theory one now inhabits the postcolonial art world where the old geopolitical hierarchies supposedly no longer matter. In reality, many East European countries still struggle to build infrastructures for contemporary art, and to get their foot in the door of the global art world. These processes are now concurrently happening in Georgia and Estonia, but like many East European countries, they pursue these aims individually, without the shoulder of the other post-socialist countries to lean on.

The Tartu Art Museum is located in Tartu, a university town and the second largest in Estonia, and is one of the few exhibition spaces in Estonia that frequently exhibits artists from Eastern Europe. In 2015, it showed My Poland. Remembering and Forgetting, the much-debated exhibition of Polish contemporary art curated by Rael Artel that created a controversy with the video work 80064 by Artur Żmijewski, in which the artist convinces a Holocaust survivor to re-tattoo his concentration camp number. As happened only a few months later in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, the Tartu Art Museum was forced to remove Żmijewski’s work from the exhibtion. The museum has also organized group exhibitions that have included works by Lithuanian artist Deimantas Narkevicius; Polish artists Wojtek Doroszuk, Franciszek Orlowski and Dominik Ritszel; the Russian Dmitry Gutov and the Radek Group; Ukrainian Alevtina Kakhidze; Romanian Dan Perjovschi; Hungarian Tamás Kaszás; and Croatian Sanja Iveković. Considering its size and location, the Tartu Art Museum is, strictly speaking, a small provincial museum, and within its program policy this limitation acts as a geopolitical commitment that is, as such, rather forward looking. It also presents an alternative view to the cultural policy of Estonia, which since the fall of the Iron Curtain has been Western orientated, and has funded the participation of Estonian artists in the biennials of Venice, São Paulo, Rostock and Manifesta, as well as their participation in art fairs in Vienna, Brussels, Miami and New York.

Within this context, Aesthetics of Repair in Contemporary Georgia, organized by the museum’s curator Marika Agu together with anthropologist Francisco Martínez, is a strong addition to the museum’s pro-regional program. Although in comparison to Artel’s My Poland, Agu’s and Martínez’s Aesthetics of Repair might seem less radical, since none of the exhibited artworks by the twelve participating artists is particularly shocking. However, the radicalism of Aesthetics of Repair lies not so much in the exhibited artworks as in the show’s theoretical discourse and in the accompanying catalog of the same title.

The phrase “Aesthetics of Repair” was coined by Agu and Martínez as a result of the fieldwork they carried out in Tbilisi in the fall of 2015, when they participated in the life of the city and visited various exhibitions and festivals, such as the Tbilisi Triennale and the Artisterium, in order to get acquainted with the Georgian contemporary art scene. As the curators explain in the exhibition catalog: “Practices of repair highlight the effects of social change and also develop a sense of cultural appreciation – thus bringing to light a particular system of values and standards. . . . The term repair conjures the practices of refurbishing and fixing in its multiple dimensions: material, symbolic, personal and social. Examples of this practice could include the words ‘remont’ and ‘khaltura,’ which express a state of permanent unfinishedness and approximation, unstable equilibriums and low-key engagements, while also recalling ill-considered forays of improvement.”(1)

Aesthetics of Repair, then, is a multilayered concept that, on the one hand, conceptualizes the societal condition of transition where old values are no longer valid or desired even though new ones don’t yet exist or seem to exist somewhere else. On the other hand, it conceptualizes the newly found appreciation of old values and local histories, and the beauty that lies in repairing rather than replacing them: giving up one’s feelings of shame over the local and the old, and combining them with the worldly and the new.(2) The fact that the exhibition title consists of two somewhat contradictory terms, aesthetics and repair—referring, respectively, to the study of beauty and taste versus something that needs fixing to be appreciated—is by no means arbitrary in this context. Here, the postcolonial is at work, but less as an adopted theory than as a developed mindset: becoming historically self-aware and culturally generative after a traumatic historical experience or continuing economic hardship. Considering how little resistance there has been in Eastern Europe to Western theory, such an attempt to create original terms and concepts from local contexts, and to reflect on the unique historical conditions of these countries, is both needed and welcome.

Nino Sekhniashvili, “Approximate,” building plans, photos, 2012. Photo by Johan Huimerind. Courtesy of the artist.

Nino Sekhniashvili, “Approximate,” building plans, photos, 2012. Photo by Johan Huimerind. Courtesy of the artist.

Recent contemporary art exhibitions that have tried to conceptualize Eastern Europe as a unique historical phase in European history have often relied on humor as a revelatory and liberating medium. One recent show that attempted to establish this kind of regional context was BALAGAN!!! Contemporary Art from the Former Soviet Union and Other Mythical Places, curated by David Elliot in 2015 and shown in different venues in Berlin. (Elliot, a British curator, was also behind the seminal show After the Wall. Art and Culture in post-Communist Europe, curated together with Bojana Pejić at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm in 1999.) Here, the identity of the former USSR and Eastern Bloc were summoned with the word balagan, which “reveals a world in which chaos and misrule, along with the social comedy that results from it, are celebrated and scathingly exposed.”(3) Elliott’s concept of balagan seems to be about black humor with a strong touch of orientalism used not only to investigate East European mythologies, but also to attract Western audiences seeking the mad and adventurous spirit met in, for example, the movies of Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica.Aesthetics of Repair chooses a slightly different path to represent Eastern Europe; while it also contains black humor and self-irony—Agu was born in the Soviet Union and grew up during post-socialism; Martínez, who is from Spain, has been living in both Russia and Estonia— it is more empathetic and existentialist in its approach. Martínez describes the project as dealing with the distress caused by the gap between three factors: the human desire to improve one’s situation; the suffering resulting from not being able to do so; and one’s oscillation between anxiety and possibility in trying to bridge that gap.(4)

Sophia Tabatadze, “Booth,” chipboard, posters, working tools. Photo by Johan Huimerind. Courtesy of the artist.

Sophia Tabatadze, “Booth,” chipboard, posters, working tools. Photo by Johan Huimerind. Courtesy of the artist.

Sophia Tabatadze, detail of “Booth,” chipboard, posters, working tools, 2015. Photo by Johan Huimerind. Courtesy of the artist.

Sophia Tabatadze, detail of “Booth,” chipboard, posters, working tools, 2015. Photo by Johan Huimerind. Courtesy of the artist.

Such oscillation between creativity and constraint as described by Martínez is addressed in most of the art works presented in the exhibition. Nino Sekhniashvili’s photo and document series Approximate (2014–2016), for example, documents her father’s honest efforts at DIY house building, a humorous symbol of post-socialist Eastern Europe (including Estonia) where poverty and the lack of consumer goods prevented the development of a consumer society, making people remarkably resourceful. Sekhniashvili is a good example of a younger generation of Georgian artists who are based in Tbilisi but live a fairly international life with frequent residencies and exhibitions abroad.The central piece of the exhibition is Sophia Tabatadze’s Pirimze (2015), a real-life replica of a demolished handworker’s booth in Tbilisi. Tabatadze is one of the internationally renowned artists in the show, having represented Georgia at the Venice biennale in 2007 with the project Humancon Underconthat investigated ties between collective amnesia and layered cityscapes in post-socialist Georgia. Pirimze functions as an altar to Eastern European DIY culture or “macgyversim,” after the protagonist of a popular American TV series, MacGyver, who solves complex problems by inventing things out of everyday objects.(5) However, if one is to believe the theories of Svetlana Boym, these kinds of replicas of demolished places of the Soviet era are not only about longing or nostalgia, but also about an investigation into the “sideshows of modernity,” into different paths that history could have taken.(6) Eastern Europe experienced its own collapse capitalism, involving businesses that quickly emerged in the newly opened markets after the fall of the Iron Curtain and were willing to sell anything that promised the desired Western lifestyle. Layers and breaks in Georgia’s urban environment are also highlighted by architect David Bostanashvili’s documentary photo series of the Palace of Poetry, an eccentric architectural legacy built in Tbilisi by his father Shota Bostanashvili and demolished by the invisible hand of the market a few years ago. Giorgi Okropiridze’s installations juxtaposing crafty traditional Georgian carpets with rough modern iron sheets embody cultural collisions in an environment undergoing rapid transformation under the country’s pro-Western government. Okropiridze is a Georgian sculptor who works with found objects and stresses a material sensibility; he studied in Moscow and has lived in Vienna since 1991.

David Bostanashvili, “The Palace of Poetry,” photo documentation, 2013. Photo by Shota Jojuja. Courtesey of the artist.

David Bostanashvili, “The Palace of Poetry,” photo documentation, 2013. Photo by Shota Jojuja. Courtesey of the artist.

Giorgi Okropiridze, “Untitled,” iron, carpets, plastic, 2015. Photo by Johan Huimerind. Courtesy of the artist.

Giorgi Okropiridze, “Untitled,” iron, carpets, plastic, 2015. Photo by Johan Huimerind. Courtesy of the artist.

Levan Mindiashvili, “Untitled Archaeology,” pigmented plaster, steel, wood, painted plywood and pigmented wax, 2015. Photo by Johan Huimerind. Courtsesy of the artist.

Levan Mindiashvili, “Untitled Archaeology,” pigmented plaster, steel, wood, painted plywood and pigmented wax, 2015. Photo by Johan Huimerind. Courtsesy of the artist.

Levan Mindiashvili exhibited two paintings and a set of plaster reliefs with impressions from neglected architectures into a certain universal outskirts poetics. What makes Mindiashvili’s background interesting is the fact that he studied and worked in Argentina, the birthplace of decolonial theorist Walter Mignolo, the founder of the first viable alternative to primarily South-Asian grounded postcolonial theory. However, his current work seems to be more poetical than political, as with the depoliticization of the public sphere the poetics of neglect has lost its political edge in post-socialist Eastern Europe.Bouillon is the only artist collective in the exhibition and works primarily in performance, often staged in private apartments and public spaces rather than galleries. Established in 2008 in Tbilisi, the group comprises of six young artists whose collective name comes from the will to blur the boundaries between art, politics and daily life. In an untitled performance that took place at the opening of the exhibition, the artists shaved each other’s hair and left the remains, along with the shaving appliances, on the gallery floor, like a freeze-frame of a busy beauty salon. Perhaps in this piece more than in others, the “aesthetics of repair” was played out in the spirit of Michel Foucault’s tekhné tou biou, the continuous molding and endless aesthetic work that social scientist Marcus Farias Ferreira sees happening in post-socialist Georgia as well.(7)

Bouillon, “Untitled,” performance, 2016. Photo by Johan Huimerind. Courtesy of the artist.

Bouillon, “Untitled,” performance, 2016. Photo by Johan Huimerind. Courtesy of the artist.

Thea Gvetadze’s Esophageal Foreign Bodies (2014)—a readymade of the artist’s father’s collection of items removed from people’s throats and assembled during his career as a doctor—also belongs to the section of the exhibition devoted to the body. Perhaps these thorny foreign elements, which once caused problems in the functioning of a healthy body but that are presented here as aesthetic objects for the construction of identity, should be taken as metaphors of the postcolonial processes slowly taking place in Eastern Europe today.

Bouillon, “Untitled,” installation, 2016. Photo by Johan Huimerind. Courtesy of the artist.

Bouillon, “Untitled,” installation, 2016. Photo by Johan Huimerind. Courtesy of the artist.

Aesthetics of Repair is an intellectually rigorous exhibition about contemporary art in Georgia, a country in transition. Based on original ideas and research, its main message could be: post-socialist Eastern Europe should stop culturally relying on its historically more powerful neighbors and make its own aesthetic decisions. The fact that the Georgian embassy in Estonia preferred to distance itself from supporting this exhibition is telling in many ways and proves the controversy between the image that the current government wants to project and the more diverse visions of its contemporary creative intelligentsia. Although hardly surprising, given that the spheres of the state and contemporary art rarely overlap in post-socialist Georgia, this might also signal a wider tendency in Eastern Europe where the alienation between the political and the cultural elite is again growing and becoming ever harder to bridge.(8) However, at a time when catching up with the West and nationalist isolationism seem to be the only viable alternatives for East European countries, it is important to acknowledge that there is always a third path, and it might as well be a hybrid one: shared between the local and the global, the past and the present, East and West. Bouillon’s haircutting ceremony refers to the generative power that comes from making a break with the past without erasing or denying it, offering instead extra time to process and to heal, and using the past as a vehicle of empowerment rather than marginalization. Moreover, contemporary artists working all over Eastern Europe today should still see the transition as a rich and unique historical phase that never returns, and delve further into researching it with the means of art.

 

  1. Aesthetics of Repair in Contemporary Georgia. Eds. Marika Agu and Francisco Martínez (Tartu: Tartu Kunstimuuseum, 2016), p. 152. [back]
  2. Here, aesthetics of repair concides with the American waste historian Susan Strasser’s concepts of inventive repair or aesthetics of material hacks. See: Susan Strasser, Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash, Macmillan, 2000. [back]
  3. BALAGAN!!! Contemporary Art from the Former Soviet Union and Other Mythical Places. Press release, e-flux (17.05.2016 http://www.e-flux.com/announcements/balagan-contemporary-art-from-the-former-soviet-union-and-other-mythical-places/ [back]
  4. Francisco Martínez, “Georgia – A Much Repaired Society.” Article draft for the Baltic Worlds, file in the author’s possession. [back]
  5. Running from 1985 to 1992, MacGyver was a very popular and widely watched television show in Estonia during the 1990s. [back]
  6. Svetlana Boym, The Future of Nostalgia, (New York: Basic Books, 2001), pp. XVI-XVII. [back]
  7. Marcos Farias Ferreira, “The Bestseller: Three Posthumous Lives of Stalin,” in Aesthetics of Repair in Contemporary Georgia, pp. 206-207. [back]
  8. Lali Pertenava, “In transitions: Contemporary Artists from Georgia,” Aesthetics of Repair in Contemporary Georgia, p. 185. [back]
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Levan MIndiashvili_A room of ones own_Osman Can Yerebakan

“A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN: AN EXHIBITION” curated by Osman Can Yerebakan, The Clemente, NYC

Levan MIndiashvili_A room of ones own_Osman Can Yerebakan

A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN: AN EXHIBITION

Curated by Osman Can Yerebakan

Featuring works by Lana Abu-Shamat, Orna Ackerman, Laura F. Gibellini, Mike Hewson, Joana Kohen, Alexandra Leyre Mein, Levan Mindiashvili, Selime Okuyan, Kambui Olujimi, Ryan Roa, Flavia Souza, Sinan Tuncay

Opening reception Friday, July 1st, 6:30 – 8:30 PM

 

In “A Room of One’s Own”, Virginia Woolf discusses the cruciality of claiming a private room for each woman of her own to create—particularly to write—while remaining unrestrained from demands of the patriarchal opinion. While her argument heavily refers to brick-and-mortar rooms, harboring of ephemeral chambers along the gnarly paths of imagination equally promises boundless territories for one to channel creative outlets. On the other hand, Woolf’s text projects contentious arguments about self-ostracism from the public as well as numbness towards societal dynamics.
The artworks in “A Room of One’s Own: An Exhibition” refer to Woolf’s influential text via straightforward or allegorical methods and highlight her ground in various forms of aesthetics, while articulating the modes of introspection and discernment.
“A Room of One’s Own: An Exhibition” will be on view through July 28th.

Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center
(2nd Floor) 107 Suffolk Street, New York, NY 10002 (btw Rivington & Delancey)

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FORBES Ukraine: Critic’s Pick for KievArtWeek

Levan MIndiashvili_Forbes_KievArtWeek

Kyiv Art Week: от Врубеля до рейверов

Культурный маршрут: что обязательно нужно увидеть на первой киевской Неделе искусства
15 ИЮНЯ 2016

(…) Следующий пункт программы Kyiv Art Week, на который хотелось бы обратить особое внимание, ― это выставка части коллекции Галереи современного искусства Грузии, которая пройдет в «Мыстецком арсенале» (ул. Лаврская, 10-12).
Этот проект ― яркий пример культурной дипломатии на государственном уровне. Экспозиция, сопровождением которой занимается Министерство культуры Грузии, покажет работы из проекта «Непредвиденная археология местности» известного грузинского мастера Левана Миндиашвили, чьи произведения представлены в ведущих галереях всего мира – от Лондона до Нью-Йорка. Работы Миндиашвили, на которые его вдохновили поездки по родной стране, отличает масштаб – это по-настоящему огромные картины и скульптуры, органично вписавшиеся в немаленькое, скажем так, помещение «Арсенала». Куратором этой выставки стал Чарльз Меревезер – международный профессионал высокого класса, который, в частности, курировал Сиднейскую биеннале 2006 года.

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Full Article HERE

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