Close Up

26 May 2018: Georgia 100: Video Works


Marking the centenary of the founding of the first Georgian Republic and the centenary of the death of the outsider artist Niko Pirosmani, Life Through Cinema and cARTveli foundation present a programme of young Georgian filmmakers, video-artists and curators reflecting on Georgia’s recent history. Coming from the new and analytical field of visual culture, their evolving practice reflects upon the issues of cultural inheritance within transformative and ever-changing socio-political and cultural landscapes. This programme includes the video works Architectural Exchange and Pirimze followed by a brief presentation of the Georgian video archive.

Gareth Evans will be in discussion with Aleksi Soselia and Sophia Tabatadze following the screening.

Architectural Exchange
Aleksi Soselia & Zura Tsopurashvili
2016 | 10 min | Colour | Digital

The performance is staged as an absurd board game: synchronised actions linked to dice and chance, amplified with sound and reiterating the continuum of the tensions and chance decisions involved in this exchange. The work, filmed in the format of a sports programme, explores the notions of power and architecture through the play element. Accompanied with an uncanny soundtrack that is punctured with the echo of mass protests, explosions, radio clatter and a frantic laugh create a tension that transforms the game into a tense reality. The film references Huizinga’s Homo Ludens, in the way the game lies outside the reasonableness of practical life, having no connection with necessity, utility, duty or truth. 

Pirimze (პირიმზე)
Sophia Tabatadze
2015 | 40 min | Colour | Digital
Georgian with English subtitles

Sophia Tabatadze’s Pirimze is a history of a six-floor edifice from the Soviet era, built especially to house repair and maintenance services. The theme unfolds into a broader picture and shows what has been happening in Georgia since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The story of Pirimze is told by the building itself: it touches upon the 1970s, when this luxuriously designed edifice served as an exemplary building; how it made an incredible amount of money in the 80s; and talks about the 90s, when it decayed and functioned in an improvised and shady way. After the independence of Georgia – just as the Soviet Union collapsed and broke up into different countries – Pirimze “exploded” and smaller workshops with the identical name “Pirimze” sprang up in the surrounding neighbourhood, where the “debris fell”.

Supported by Life Through Cinema and cARTveli foundation.

Curated by Keti Japaridze and Lika Tarkhan-Mouravi as part of Georgia 100: Film/Fest/Feast.

Sophia Tabatadze is a multimedia artist and a curator based in Berlin. She is a founder of GeoAIR, an organisation that encompasses collaborative cultural projects, self-directed residency program and Archidrome – Contemporary Art Archive. Sophia’s work has been exhibited internationally. She represented Georgia in the Venice Biennale in 2007 and participated in Istanbul Biennale in the same year. 

Aleksi Soselia is a curator and artist based in Tbilisi. He works in various media: photography, graphic design, installation and moving image. Aleksi works with the urban and social aspects of the city and its alternative spaces, as well as social and public interactions within transformative environments. In 2013 Aleksi co-founded Georgian Video Art Archive, currently including up to 400 artworks by more than 90 artists ranging from the 1980s until today. He is also the acting director of CCA-Tbilisi, organizing and realizing projects across 1st 2nd and 3rd Tbilisi Triennial.

Gareth Evans is a writer, curator, presenter and producer. He is a Film Curator at Whitechapel Gallery. He is also co-curator of Swedenborg Film Festival, Estuary 2016, Whitstable Biennale and Utopia 2016 at Somerset House. He created and programmed PLACE, the annual cross-platform festival at Aldeburgh Music, is Co-Director of production agency Artevents and has curated numerous film and event seasons across the UK at the Barbican, ICA, Institute Francais, Arnolfini and Watershed among many others.