“STRUCTURES” curated by Keith Schweitzer at Manny Cantor Center, NYC

IMAGE: “Crane” by Kurt Steger


Art Exhibition at Manny Cantor Center, New York City

Curated by Keith Schweitzer
December 17, 2015 – January 21, 2016

OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, December 17, 2015 | 6-8PM

ARTIST TALK: Thursday, January 21, 2016 | 6-8PM

ABOUT THE EXHIBIT | Structures, a group art exhibition curated by Keith Schweitzer, explores the built environment of the Lower East Side. By thematically connecting the viewer to the constructed surroundings of this neighborhood, Structures draws attention to the range of elements that create a framework for the common lived experiences of work, play, congregation, and learning. The exhibition will feature paintings, drawings, sculptures, and site-specific installations.
PARTICIPATING ARTISTS |Caroline Caldwell, Ori Carino & Benjamin Armas, Esperanza Mayobre, Levan Mindiashvili, Sirikul Pattachote, Kurt Steger, and Frank Webster

MANNY CANTOR CENTER | 197 East Broadway, New York, NY 10002 |

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. 


Works in Exhibition:

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KIOSK, recent works by Linda Cunningham and Levan Mindiashvili at ODETTA Gallery

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ODETTA Gallery


new works by
Linda Cunningham and Levan Mindiashvili

November 13, 2015 – January 3, 2016

Opening Reception: Friday November 13, 2015

229 Cook St, Brooklyn, NY 11206


Linda Cunningham and Levan Mindiashvili share a deep admiration for the language of buildings and surfaces in ruins, both ancient and modern. Well traveled, they have spent time touching these walls, and have read from their destination’s kiosks. This tactile knowledge filters back into their work in torn pages, layers, metallic bits, and shards of information, precariously juxtaposing ancient against industry, governments and the onslaught of Nature.


Linda Cunningham – Unexpected materials, found and manufactured, perch precariously on torn edges and bifurcated sheets of large paper. Here, fluid calligraphic lines are posed against the veracity of photo-transferred images and the tactile sensibility of history emerges. The deteriorating, hulking remains of the Ruhr Valley coal and steel industry, or abandoned waterfront areas in the Bronx, are both cautious and optimistic as they succumb to the vitality persisting in vulnerable stands of old trees.

Linda Cunningham is a New York City based artist who exhibits extensively both in New York and Germany. Her work was recently reviewed in the blog sites, and reviewed her “”Urban Regeneration II was recently exhibited in two locations at Westchester Square in the Bronx.

Her recent installation, originally created for No Longer Empty at the Bronx, Andrew Freedman House was installed at the Bronx Museum in 2014 in an exhibition sponsored by all the Bronx Arts Organizations. Recent solo exhibitions include Abington Art Center, Philadelphia, the Fundacion Euroidiomas, Lima, Peru, and the StattMuseum, Cologne Germany. Monumental public sculptural installations & alternative memorials are permanently sited in Cologne, Kassel, Bad Hersfeld & Cornberg, Germany, and Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, New Jersey. She is the recipient of grants from the Bronx Council on the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship, Berlin, Arts International Kade Collaborative Works, and the John Anson Kittredge Foundation.

Levan Mindiashvili’s new works are based on the exploration of public and private spaces, their origins, their dependence on one another and their influence on contemporary society. How does one regain their history, their truth? Mindiashvili offers a window into reconstructing his country’s history by more poetic means. His beautiful paintings with altered archival photographs of Tbilisi, Georgia’s architectural landmarks are placed against dark minimalist canvases, epitaphs to the question of what is real and what is not.

Levan Mindiashvili is a Georgian born visual artist currently living and working in New York City. After graduating from Tbilisi State Academy of Arts, numerous exhibitions in Europe and in his native Georgia, Levan continued postgraduate studies at The National University of Art of Buenos Aires (Argentina). While in Buenos Aires, he curated several shows at The Laguanacazul Art Gallery and was a performer of the experimental theater company Ensamble Caustico.

Recent solo exhibitions include Studies For Unintended Archeology, The Vazquez Building, Brooklyn, NY, 2015, Borderlines, The Lodge Gallery, New York, 2014, Urban Identities, Kunstraub99, Cologne, 2013. Current curatorial projects include Heritage, at The Georgian National Museum, Tbilisi, Georgia, 2013, and at The RichMix Arts Center, London, 2015. Upcoming exhibitions include Aesthetics of Repair. Fractures within Georgian Contemporary Art, Tartu Art Museum Estonia, 2016, and A Room of One’s Own: An Exhibition, The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, New York, 2016.



KIOSK is the gallery’s twelfth exhibition. Gallery hours are Friday thru Sunday 1-6 pm, and by appointment.

ODETTA is a Bushwick-based gallery created and run by artist Ellen Hackl Fagan. The gallery exhibits the works of contemporary artists focusing on Color Theory, Minimalism, Glyphs, Buddha Mind, Fluxus, History, Humor, Psychedelia, Ephemera, Science, Math and Music.

**The gallery will be closed for installation November 6-8 and will reopen on November 13, 2015.

Press Contact:

Ellen Hackl Fagan



To get there: Cook Street is bordered between Bogart Street to the north, and Evergreen Street to the south. The Morgan Ave stop on the L train is 3.5 blocks from Cook Street.


ArtInternational Istanbul | September 4 – 6, 2015

Levan Mindiashvili_ArtIntenrational_ArtBeat-02


September 4 – 6, 2015


Project ArtBeat | Special Projects, Booth E12








5 – 6 September: 12 – 8 pm.

Halic Congress Center, Istanbul, Turkey

online preview exclusively on Artsy |





printed catalogue Levan Mindiashvili “RECENT WORKS” available on blurb

New catalogue contains recent works of Georgian born New York based visual artist Levan Mindiashvili. In his paintings, sculptures and drawings Levan investigates public and private spaces and their influence on formation of our identity. He focuses on issues that we deal with on almost everyday basis — the sense of place, idea of ‘home,’ gentrification and displacement. The volume includes excerpt from an essay of Dr. Till-Busse written for an ocassion of Levan’s solo exhibition in Cologne, at Kunstraub99 (in German) and artist’s interview with E. Kapatadze and L. Tarkhan Mouravi for Georgian Art Platform (in Georgian).

Paperback, 8 x 10 in / 21 x 26 cm, 36 pages.
published and distributed by Blurb.

OUT OF PLACE group show curated by Etty Yaniv and Fanny Allié

OutofPlace_Levan Mindiashvili copy

Out of Place is a group exhibition co-curated by Fanny Allié and Etty Yaniv,  

featuring artists Alva Calymayor, Andrea Burgay, Eirini Linardaki, Elizabeth Riley, Etty Yaniv, Fanny Allié, Levan Mindiashvili and Robert Seng.

The exhibition will be on view from July 31st – August 10th, 2015 and will open with a reception Friday, July 31st, 2015 from 7-9pm.

We bring to the places we live or visit a set of cultural and psychological preconceptions that affect the way we respond to them. For a long time cultural geographers, anthropologists, sociologists and urban planners have investigated the concept of “sense of place” in an attempt to understand how people develop and act upon connections with different sites. The featured artists in this group exhibition investigate their personal sense of place, each incorporates to varied degrees biographical, ideological and narrative elements by manipulating material and imagery from their immediate environment.

Alva Calymayor uses a visual vocabulary that addresses social issues, perceptions of safety as well as patterns of mass consumption. She keeps track of its manifestations and the trace they leave as they are discarded, repurposed or become no longer functional. Andrea Burgay connects with new locations by collecting discarded and found materials from her surrounding area. Eirini Linardaki works in abandoned urban areas, developing projects based on children’s drawings and dreams in form of in-situ, ephemeral  installations or murals. In her immersive installation work. Elizabeth Riley draws upon urbanism, nothingness, wholeness and loss, the miracle of human connection and the precariousness of human connection. Etty Yaniv blurs the lines between actual and imagined landscapes. Her process of building, taking off, covering and uncovering evokes the feeling of found objects or trash. Each layer documents a particular moment in time. Fanny Allié questions our relationship to our own body, the places we inhabit and the society we belong to, while underlying a strong sense of an ephemeral existence. Levan Mindiashvili explores public and private spaces and their influence on the formation of our identity. He focuses on the idea of ‘home,’ in context of gentrification and displacement. Robert Seng’s carved EXIT Signs are built up by cutting, scraping, and collaging elements of commercial EXIT signs. Throughout his process, Seng is watching their disintegration and transformation into his world view of what is that “safe” place beyond the EXIT.

The exhibit will take place at 172 North 1st St (off Bedford), Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211.

By appointment only.

ლევან მინდიაშვილის ‘უნებური არქეოლოგიური სუიტები’

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ია მერკვილაძე, ნიუ იორკი, აშშ


ბრუკლინის ინტრენსიურად ჯენტრიფიცირებულ უბანში, ბუშვიკში The Vazquez Building–ში მხატვარ ლევან მინდიაშვილის გამოფენა Suites for Unintended Archeology გაიხნსა. ავტორმა სახელწოდება სიტყვების ირონიული გადათამაშებით ამგვარად თარგმნა – “უნებური არქეოლოგიური სუიტები”.

სიტყვას “სუიტა” ინგლისურად რამდენიმე მნიშვნელობა აქვს და იგი სასტუმროს ნომერს/საცხოვრებელ სივრცესაც ნიშნავს და ასევე – მცირე ზომის მუსიკალურ ნაწარმოებთა ჯგუფსაც, – ამბობს ლევან მინდიაშვილი, – ამ პროექტით  მინდოდა როგორც ჯენტრიფიკაციის მზარდი პრობლემებისა და უკვე ლამის ყოვლისმშთანმთქველ სამშენებლო/დეველოპერული პროცესებისთვის გამესვა ხაზი, ასევე – ჩემი ნამუშევრების უფრო ინტიმური, შინაგანი მხარისთვისაც. იმის გამო, რომ თითქმის ყველა ჩემი ნახატი/კომპოზიცია პირად გამოცდილებებს თუ ისტორიებს ეფუძნება, მინდოდა, რომ მათი მნიშვნელობა უფრო თვალსაჩინო გამხდარიყო.

ლევან მინდიაშვილი

ლევან მინდიაშვილი

თქვენ ამბობთ, რომ “საჯაროსა და პრივატული სივრცეს” იძიებთ. როგორ?

დღესათვის უფრო ცხადი ხდება, რომ თავად მნიშვნელობა “პრივატულისა” და “საჯაროსი” შეცვლილია, ხოლო ზღვარი მათ შორის – ძალიან გამჭვირვალე და მყიფე. ამის საილუსტრაციოდ თუნდაც სოციალური ქსელების ერთი თვალის შევლებაც საკმარისია. იქ აბსოლუტური სიზუსტით შეგვიძლია შევიტყოთ ჩვენი “მეგობრის” ნებისმიერი ნაბიჯი, მოქმედება, შეხვედრა, ადგილმდებარეობა და ა.შ.

მახსოვს, რომ ჩვენ წინა საუბარში თქვენ აღნიშნეთ გამჭვირვალე შენობები, რომლის მიღმადაც თავისუფლად შეგვიძლია მივადევნოთ თვალი ადამიანთა მოქმედებებს, იქნება ეს კაფე, ოფისი თუ სპორტული დარბაზი. წმინდა ეკონომიკური თვალთაზრისითაც ურბანულ სივრცეებში სულ უფრო მცირდება საჯარო, “ფაბლიქ” სივრცეები, მძლავრი სამშენებლო კომპანიების მიერ კი მათი სრულად ათვისების მცდელობები სულ უფრო ძლიერდება. ცხადია, ჩვენს ცნობიერში, ჩვენს პირად, ფიზიკურ თუ ვირტუალურ სივრცეებში ამგვარი “შემოჭრა” დიდ გავლენას ახდენს, ჰოდა, ჩემი ინტერესიც ზუსტად ამ ცვლილებებს ეფუძნება. მე ვცდილობ თვალი მივადევნო ამ ტენდენციებს, დავაფიქსირო ანდა შევაფასო. რადგანაც ეს დინამიურად განვითარებადი პროცესია, ჯერ-ჯერობით ამ ეტაპზე რაიმე ზოგადი დასკვნების გამოტანა, ალბათ, შეუძლებელია.

დიდ ქალაქებში ადამიანებს თავიანთი “ამოჩემებული” ადგილები აქვთ…

მეც მაქვს ამგვარი ადგილები, რომლებსაც პერიოდულად ჩავუვლი ხოლმე და ფოტოებს ვუღებ. ასე ვთქვათ, ჩემს არქივს და, მოგვიანებით მათ ბაზაზე, ჩემს ნამუშევრებს ვქმნი. თუმცა ხშირად ის ადგილი ან სახეშეცვლილი მხვდება, ან კი საერთოდ აღარ არსებობს. ისე გამოდის, რომ მე ჩემივე ინსპირაციის წყაროს  უნებური არქივარიუსი ვხდები, რადგანაც კონკრეტული ადგილებისა თუ შენობების მასალა და ისტორია მიგროვდება.

როგორ მოქმედებს მხატვარზე, როგორც თქვენ ამას უწოდებთ, “სახლის იდეა” და ჯენტრიფიკაცია?

ყველა ადამიანზე განურჩევლად მათი პროფესიისა, ეს ორივე პროცესი, ალბათ, ერთნაირად მოქმედებს. დღეს მთელი მსოფლიო მუდმივად გადაადგილდება – ზოგი იძულებით, ომების, ეპიდემიების, ბუნებრივი კატასტროფების ან თუნდაც მზარდი ფასების გამო; ზოგიც ნებაყოფლობით – უკეთესი მომავლის იმედით ან გაუმჯობესებული პირობების გამო. დასკვნა ერთია – ერთ კონკრეტულ ადგილას მიკუთვნებულობის იდეაც, ისევე როგორც ზემოთ ნახსენები სხვა ფაქტორებიც – უკვე მოძველებული და შეცვლილია.

რაც შეეხება ჯენტრიფიკაციას: ესეც ერთი მხრივ, ქალაქის აქტიურობაზე, მის სიცოცხლისუნარიანობაზე მეტყველებს, მის ეკონომიკურ ზრდას უწყობს ხელს; მაგრამ მეორე მხრივ, ადამიანთა დიდ ნაწილს აიძულებს მათთვის უკვე ხელმიუწვდომელი ადგილი მიატოვოს და უფრო იაფი საცხოვრებელი/ტერიტორია ეძებოს.

როგორია თქვენი “ადგილმონაცვლეობის” პერსონალური ისტორია?

მთელი ჩემი ცნობიერი ცხოვრება, როცა კი ამის საშუალება მომეცემა ხოლმე, ვეძებ ადგილს/გარემოს, სადაც ჩემი შესაძლებლობების მაქსიმალურად გამოყენებასა და გაზრდას შევძლებ. ჯერ იყო გერმანია, შემდეგ – ბუენოს აირესი, ახლა – ნიუ იორკი. რა თქმა უნდა, ყოველი ცვლილება ჩემ ნამუშევრებზე  გავლენას ახდენს, რადგან ყოველი ცვლილებით უფრო მეტს ვიგებ, მეტს ვფიქრობ და კიდევ უფრო მეტის შეცნობა მინდება.

Direct Link: HERE

Suites For Unintended Archeology at The Vazquez Building

Levan MIndiashvili_UNTITLED (MELROSE) web

image: Untitled (Melrose), 2015. plaster, wood, iron, acrylic. 38″ x 22″ x 4″ (96,5 x 56 x 10 cm.)  

Levan Mindiashvili



Opening reception Friday, May 22, 7 – 9 pm.

The Vazquez Building
5 Central Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11206 
(L train Morgan stop)


The Vazquez Building is pleased to present an installation by Levan Mindiashvili “Suites for Unintended Archeology,” his second individual project in New York.

In this exhibition the artist further investigates public and private spaces and their influence on formation of our identity. It focuses on issues that we deal with on almost everyday basis — the sense of place, idea of ‘home,’ gentrification and displacement, as for many of us, today a sense of place is more precisely identified as a sense of displacement — triggered whether by the economics of gentrification or politics.

Abstract shapes of reflected buildings in his paintings and hermetic remnants of what once might have been a house in his sculptures, is an attempt to create a space, an open field, for reflection and exploration of personal stories.

The show can be visited through Sunday, May 31.

contact: 646 474 3709 | 347 405-9292


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This is Not Art [QNÈA]: 8 Questions Journey Into Georgian Contemporary Art

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8 Questions Journey Into Georgian Contemporary Art

by Diego Pillon

posted at This is Not Art [QNÈA] on February 23, 2015 [This is the English version. Click here for the Italian one]

One of the most amazing thing we love living in London is the bunch of opportunities you have if you want to learn a bit more about our world, being London much more than only a multicultural city, but a hub for everyone willing to show off themself and also for who’s looking to broaden his mind. RichMix is one of our fav places in order to experience world music, new approaches and let’s say “wild” experiences.
A couple of months ago we popped in to learn a bit more about Georgian contemporary art through the “Heritage” exhibition organised by Dash Art.  That’s how Diego and I met Levan Mindiashvili, artist & curator born in Georgia but currently living in New York, and Tato Akhalkatsishvili, Georgian artist still living in Georgia.

Read our interview to Levan here and scroll down to reach Tato’s! 

1) Considering yourself a curator, which is the meaning of the “Heritage” exhibition?
The initial idea of the project HERITAGE was to analyze the phenomena of “Heritage” itself.
Artists had complete freedom to choose any aspect of it, though already being familiar with their work, I could envision two main fields explored: historical heritage intertwined with personal memories or stories and biological, almost genetic one.

Since early 90’s, alike any post-soviet country, a main concern of Georgian society has been re-defining and re-constructing its own historical identity. The reference for these attempts are always idealized ancient history and mythological “traditions”, but never a recent past or current experiences. With this project we wanted to trigger a critical approach to those mythologies and also, to analyze events and social constructions in which we were born and formed as persons.

Levan-Heritage-exhibition-London-Georgian-contemporary-art 2) With the eyes of a designer, could you describe your project UtaLevan?
UtaLevan started as a creative duo (together with Georgian born, New York Based artist Uta Bekaia) to merge our experiences in different fields: visual arts, performance and fashion. We both are very much interested in interdisciplinary projects, where all the possible mediums are used as tools to create a one whole. We create projects, that exist in various forms: as a performance, installation, video, limited edition of prints and objects or even a T-shirt.
Generally, we both are working on our own projects separately, but sometimes, there is an idea that requires the knowledge and forces of both of us, and that’s when UtaLevan comes on stage.

 3) As a painter, why did you say that when you are abroad your works are even more reflecting your origin? And which is the difference from who is staying?
First thing you do when you appear in an environment (society or country) which is new or different for your, you start asking yourself some questions: who you are, where do you come from and how can you be related to them; what differs or makes you similar to them. Trying to find answers to these questions was almost a non-stop process for me when I moved to Buenos Aires and all my works (mainly performances) of that time were related to them. That’s actually how the idea of “Heritage” was born and that’s where its roots come from. For me it was very helpful and I can say even ‘vital’ to take the distance from my country, culture and society, to see and analyse lot of things more clearly and precisely.

dash-art-night-interview-rich-mix4) As an artist, do you think that developing skills in different artistic areas will be the direction where contemporary art is going?
I think we – as artists – live in a very advantageous but at the same time challenging time: today, when it’s almost impossible to define what IS art and what IS NOT, when absolutely any practice can be presented AS ART, depending the context in which it is shown, it seems almost impossible to define what would be the future of art or how it would look like in nearest decade or so. Blurred frontiers between disciplines help artists to easily browse and switch between them and we got less strictly defined ‘painting’, sculpture’ or ‘drawing’. But at the same time there is a big number of artists interested in so cold ‘traditional’ disciplines and consciously and purposely developing their artistic practices within those limits.

5) Considering yourself just a human being, why did you say that if you refuse your past, you can not be part of your future, so you will not develop and grown? I really like this concept, and I hope you’ll explain us better.
I mentioned that concept during our artist talk regarding the actual state of contemporary society in Georgia; after Soviet Union was collapsed and Georgia became an independent country aspiring western values and models, we immediately erased (or pretended to do so) recent 70 years of Soviet past. There were attempts to demolish any visual traces of that period. Main concern was to make things ‘look like’ new, ‘western’, ‘European’ or whatever their idea of ‘western’ and of ‘European’ was. That’s what I was referring to: without deeper critical analyzes, without working for changes in mentality, approaches and value systems, only superficial ‘visual’ changes would never bring any results. By just ignoring the past, without trying to find problems and resolving them, one can’t start building a new life, new society or new country.

Our 3 questions to Tato Akhalkatsishvili

Tato-Akhalkatsishvili-Heritage-exhibition-London-Georgian-artist1) How did you find out that you wanted to be an artist? I think that Georgia that time wasn’t really open to arts. Or do you think it was more than today?
I’m painting since I remember myself, from very early childhood. Though I think very inspiring and encouraging, was the fact that my grandfather was working with glass and his studio was a magic world for me, all the materials and tools I was seeing were guiding me to a completely different, fascinating world. I even never questioned myself what I would become, but I knew I will be an artist.

2) The situation you were describing at Rich Mix, saying that you were feeling frustrated since, after 1989, none was really reacting and everyone was living the same life as before, is really the same situation we’re seeing in Italy. Do you think it’s something culture and artists can change?
Yes I think that culture and artists can trigger changes, but first of all the country itself, I mean government, should help it too, since the only official mechanism of culture in country remains the Ministry of Culture, and this institution should start prioritizing promotion of culture and art.

3) What is the role of an artist living in Georgia in 2015 along with your experience?
For me, and it’s a very personal opinion of mine, I think that artists in post-soviet countries, should first of all try to free themselves as much as possible from all those old stereotypes.  These changes would influence the public conscious in general and I think it would inspire a more open, free and alternative mode of thinking and would change the perception of reality and the world.


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HUFFINGTON POST: Multimedia Reflections on Georgian Heritage and Identity

Huffington Post HERITAGE

Multimedia Reflections on Georgian Heritage and Identity.

by Katerina Zherebtsova


I have always been fascinated by Georgian culture. The sensuality, self irony, delicacy, tact and tradition – its neorealist qualities, brought to life with a unique cultural aesthetic, through the cinematic lense and prism of the arts. Georgian arts offer an encounter with a deep breathtaking narrative that any artbuff is so longing for – a challenging, intelligent conversation that ruffles the mind, warms the eye, and whips the thoughts.

This is why ‘HERITAGE’, the multimedia art project by cARTveli Art foundation in collaboration with RichMix and Dash Arts, has been long awaited and received with the high acclaim by the London’s art scene, as well as long term celebrity supporters like Katie Melua.

“Without critically analysing our past, we can’t start something new”, says Levan Mindiashvili, multimedia artist, who created the concept for the HERITAGE exhibition and invited other artists, whose work is a dialogue between their past and their current environment, to participate.


Levan’s work Archives depicts the mentality of the transitional generation, who were left to piece together an identity from an array of opposing influences, like that of the communist childhood and the Westernised present. “The way history was taught at Georgian schools, was always a mixture of morbid war details and adoration of death, fascination of battle and sacrificing your life for your country,” comments Levan. “This image was so strong for me: red, blood, the person has to die for the country”.

The end of the communist era brought with it the instant westernisation of Georgian culture, as contrast to everything communist, it filled every pore of society with new references, consumer goods and its manifests of freedom. But transitions like this can’t happen suddenly argues Levan. “You can’t just erase the past and refuse to recognise the mentality and values that you were brought up with. It’s not an instant process to recognise that, but now enough time has passed, to take a critical look”.

Archives portray the past and present, interwoven by a juxtaposition of communist references and customised IKEA lightboxes, IKEA being the signifier and the ultimate idea of the West. The symbolic objects that relate to the history of the country: bible, icon, small pioneer leader doll and bloodied body parts of feet and fists which were cast from Levan’s father are placed on top of archive papers with notes, yet which are unreadable, erased, existing only as paper. All the body parts were cast from Levan’s father and the facemask is of Levan himself. “This is how traditions are passed in Georgia, from father to son, it is a big part of our identity and culture and I wanted to capture that”.


Levan says that his own moment of truth was going to study abroad to Argentina. “Who am I, where do I come from, how can I relate to a different culture? My works during these three years were around the past. The distance helps you a lot to think and analyse. When I was living in Georgia, I really was feeling the urge to leave the country, I needed to see and experience other things. Now when I’m coming back to Georgia or I’m working on something related to it, I feel closer to it, I am more conscious about my culture”.

One of his other works for the exhibition is the map of Tbilisi from 1927 – full of green – a mythologised version from the communist time that Levan remembers from his childhood years. This work starts a new series, which are in the making, of studying contemporary urbanisation and its effects on the citizens. ” I believe that architecture depicts how a country is developing, with historical influences being most pronounced in building construction. I want to use Tbilisi as a metaphor and talk about universal problems and questions”.

Urban structures is a theme running through Irakli Bugiani’s paintings for HERITAGE, who studied old photo archives of soviet and post soviet structures across cities and countries, to find that they are identical in their presence. His works, Sovieticum, explore the dynamics between the buildings and the environment, the effect of the omnipresent faceless architecture and towering concrete. My personal view – Feelings of grounded predictability and other forms of entrapment by architecture.




Feelings of entrapment are echoed by Tato, the only artist from this group, who is still residing in Tbilisi. Tato’s ‘Conversations’ are a metaphor of a mental state in which the previous generations have lived in – without way out or an exit. They are not really conversations as such, but a monologue with the self. A monologue of life without an exit, surrounded by concrete and looking at life through a hole, or from an empty swimming pool – a condition which haunts generations and doesn’t offer the distance needed to facilitate a conversation.





Uta Bekaia’s works are a study of traditions, biological, genetic heritage, everything we inherit on an unconscious level, without being influenced by historical events. His work Fua Sia Tata Sia is inspired by the Mingrelian spells performed by his grandmother. Bekaia, according to Levan, is fascinated by these traditions and value codes that are built into us by family rituals. This particular spell is reproduced exactly as performed by his grandmother, when in his child years Bekaia was loosing his tooth. The work is presented in two parts: a tapestry depicting the tooth and the embroidery of the spell with the letterings provided by Uta’s mother, word for word, as told to her by her mother. There is something incredibly sacred and full of energy about this work.



Sacralisation of the past is the theme of Christian Tonhaiser’s works. The only non-Georgian, Tonhaiser comes from Argentina, but with a rich European heritage. Tonhaiser presents twelve objects – photographs enclosed into antique frames. At first glance the commonality between them is unclear. Yet, a closer look reveals precious moments from the family archive, depicting special milestones: first photograph of his grandmother, which she sent to her future husband in Argentina (handwritten on the back, to my beloved husband whom I’m looking forward to meet). His first serious love, his childhood toy. The photographs placed in antique frames are reminiscent of sacred icons, and a curious study into an individual’s search for an identity through his past, shaped by the family archive.


The opening of the exhibition screened a diploma film by Tamuna Karumidze, Zahesi 708 (2001). A week in Tbilisi follows its inhabitants through their daily life – a neorealist tribute and a curious one to watch and admire, which vividly depicts the conflicts of the transitional mentality, which Levan mentions in his works.


It seems, heritage cannot be understood from the boundaries of a single country, increasingly it’s a wider debate, as our lives go through so many transitions and changes. By opening this field, HERITAGE starts a critical conversation about the variety of points of references for our identities, from socio economic, to mystic and educational.

“People just receive their reality, they are not aware that they are responsible for their life. It’s not an inert process. Any change can be started by critical approach to the past, says Levan.”

HERITAGE first edition, as Levan refers to it, took place at the National Museum of Georgia in Tbilisi in November 2013. From 7-31 January 2015, HERITAGE 2 came to London’s Rich Mix, with each artist creating a special work with references that could be more easily understood by a foreign audience. Levan is currently working on taking HERITAGE to New York.

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