opening reception: 22.05 – 17:00
Carmen Kirkby artist talk: 24.05 – 20:00
Bea Otto artist talk: 25.05 – 19:00
Usually, I bring traditional Georgian wine and Churchkhelas (sweets from walnuts in dried grape juice) as presents to my Western friends. The exchange of national food has the form of symbolic ritual, embracing the anthropology of human mobility. Wine and Churchkhela has been integral in travel and relocation in Georgia, yet the tourist industry imposes traditional Georgian gifts. Recently, have I expanded upon the thought of what a present is, where with this national food, I took graphic art works of a young Georgian artist.
It was adventurous to travel with the artworks. At first, I had a feeling that I was traveling together with the artist. These drawings on A4 paper required similar arrangements of particular documents and safety measures to cross the border, similar to those required by travellers. The artworks created a unique atmosphere in the host family, and opened space for dialogue about cultural nomadism and traveling exhibitions. Unlike a nomadic artist, I had observed that these ‘nomadic’ artworks do not create a mood of rootlessness, but rather, question a sense of belonging to provoke an inner-outer dialogue. Soon after my travel, I was asked to make the text about the exhibition At Home With Friends, staged at the Centre of Contemporary Art - Tbilisi (CCA-T).
The exhibition presents a collection of works by artists Alexander Zheleznyak (Ukraine), Alexander Poliček (Germany) Bea Otto (Germany), Carmen Kirkby (UK), Connor McNicholas (USA), Guram Shavdia (Georgia), Julia Kröpelin (Germany), Katharina Maderthaner (Germany), Mariam Odishelidze (Georgia) and Pieterjan Ginckels (Belgium). Most artworks travelled together with gallerist Roman Zheleznyak, from Mental Space Gallery in Bochum, Germany. This trajectory was then from Germany to Georgia. Accordingly, most artists have sent their works to be exhibited in a place and space that they have not visited, but have known of from other media sources. The exhibition is the live act of mental nomadism, presenting artists who cross imaginary boundaries. In contrast, their ‘nomadic’ artworks cross planetary time zones and state borders, to present multiple perspectives of the nonlinear progress of global events and histories, which relate or refer to Georgia. At Home With Friends shows the stories of personal adventures that overcome the danger of belongingness and clichés, to open up the space at the CCA translation of cultures and debate. Lali Pertenava
22.05 – 29.05.2022
10 Dodo Abashidze St.