Opening, November 26, 2024, 6 pm
Exhibition, November 26 – January 2025
To the east of the Black Sea and south of the Greater Caucasus, Georgia shares a border with Russia in the north, Turkey and Armenia in the south, and Azerbaijan in the east. The parts of the country known as Abkhazia and South Ossetia have been occupied by Russian forces for more than two decades. The war in Ukraine is very close: not least because tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees and Russian migrants have arrived in the country, which has a population of only 3.7 million, since the outbreak of the war. While the Georgian government is trying to align the country with Russia, many young Georgians, in particular, see their future as part of Europe in a democratic European Union.
In this situation marked by uncertainty and instability, Salome Dumbadze, Ana Gzirishvili, and Nina Kintsurashvili collaborate with the aim to facilitate a fundamentally collective, intensively research-based, and experimental artistic practice. In their investigations, they focuses on the gendered cultural heritage in the Caucasus and post-Soviet and post-colonial Georgian society. Sharing resources and mutual theoretical exchanges are as intrinsic to their artistic engagement as documenting contemporary social phenomena that do not conform to official Georgian politics. In their joint projects the artists focus on material cultural heritage as a trace of ethnic communities and as a reason for ongoing conflicts. As no independent historiography has been able to establish itself in post-Soviet Georgia, and national “history” in this country is literally written along the lines of church construction or rededication, it is fitting that the artists chose a ruinous church of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Tbilisi as example for Caucasian material heritage in a post-colonial context and as their starting point for their collective work. At Kunstraum Lakeside, Salome Dumbadze, Ana Gzirishvili, and Nina Kintsurashvili present their collaborative work for the first time outside Georgia.