I left Tbilisi, the capital of the Republic of Georgia, one week ago, the day after the opening of Living Room II. For the second year in a row this exhibition was organized by artist Gabriel Adams, who brought together an international group of artists to show and create work within the State Museum of Georgian Literature as a part of Artisterium 9. The project mixed lounge, workshop, performance and game space in an experimental gallery setting while addressing issues around evolving modes of artistic production.
Artists in the show included myself, Aurélien de St André (France), Gabriel Adams (USA) in collaboration with Nino Maisuardze (Georgia), Jean Lorin Sterian (Romania), Katharina Maderthaner (Germany), Maria João Petrucci (Portugal), Tessa Knapp (Germany), and Tyśka Samborska (Poland).
It was a great group of artists who each had very different, though complimentary, practices. It was wonderful to explore the city from different perspectives and to talk shop over delicious food and wine. Below are images of the opening reception:
I have never considered myself much of an adventurer. Despite myself however, travel has begun to play an integral role in my current practice. It inspires me, enriches my knowledge of the world, and continues to bolster my interest in visual language and communication. Experiencing a place through creation activates all of my senses and I get a rush searching through local markets and discovering new materials. I relish the challenge of working with limited tools, within a tight timeframe, and trying to figure out where to get all those little things like tape, pencils, and glue.
Below are some photos of my process installing the work I brought with me as well as creating a new LED piece while in Tbilisi. I was drawn to the contrast of so much clean and colorful laundry against old-probably-could-use-some-fresh-paint buildings and the gray, November sky. At one of the big markets I went to there were stalls and stalls of shops that sold various forms of lights and lighting. What better opportunity to experiment!
Many thanks to Gabriel Adams for organizing the event, to Magda Guruli, curator of Artisterium 9, and to my fellow exhibition participants, for their warmth, generosity, and good humor. Also, a special thanks to Anina and Salome, two local University students whose enthusiasm and translation skills helped make the exhibition possible.