PIROSMANI (1969) 

After the Russian Revolution and collapse of the Empire, the non-Russian countries declared independence. The Bolsheviks started to take back control through the power of the Red Army. In Baku already in 1918 (the oil interest being a priority) and Armenia in 1920. The Georgians became the first-ever country to elect a social-democratic government. On 26th May 1918, Georgia became the Georgian Democratic Republic and this date has since been regarded as Independence Day. This progressive experiment in social-democracy lasted until late February 1921 when the Red Army marched into Tbilisi and Georgia became part of the Soviet Union until its breakup in 1991. 

GEORGIA 100 A FILM FEAST CONTINUES 

May 26th, 2018   

Georgia 100: A Film Feast

18:00

A Video Art Programme curated by Keti Japaridze and Lika Tarkhan-Mouravi will be followed by Georgian food and wine

20:30

1969 art-drama film Pirosmani (dir. Giorgi Shengelaia)

 

Close-Up Film Centre
97 Sclater Street
London E1 6HR
+44 (0)20 3784 7970
info@closeupfilmcentre.com

2018 is an important year for the historical memory of Georgia: the centenary of the founding of the first Georgian Republic, but also the centenary of the death of the outsider artist Niko Pirosmani. Over the past century, the country has undergone a series of profound changes and iconoclasms, but the legacy of Pirosmani has grown from outsider artist into a national icon.

 

Life Through Cinema and cARTveli Art Foundation are inviting a young generation of Georgian film-makers, video-artists and video-curators to show their work in the light of the most recent changes. 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. The video art programme includes the screening of the video works ‘Architectural Exchange’ (2017) and 'Pirimze' (2015) followed by a brief presentation of the Georgian video archive, and concluding with a Q&A led by a Film Curator, Gareth Evans. refreshments and the screening of the feature film ‘Pirosmani’ to follow later. 

 


The prelude for the programme is “Architectural Exchange” (2017), Aleksi Soselia’s 10-minute video/performance made in collaboration with the visual artist Zura Tsopurashvili. 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 Homo Ludens, by Dutch cultural theorist Johan Huizinga, in the way the game lies outside the reasonableness of practical life, having no connection with necessity, utility, duty or truth.

 

 

 

Architectural Exchange

Georgia / 2016 / 10 min.

Video: Aleksi Soselia / Zura Tsopurashvili

Sound: Zura Tsopurashvili

Sophia Tabatadze will be presenting her 38-minute-long film “Pirimze”, which was developed between 2011-2015. It 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”.

 

 

What is to be preserved and what is to be discarded? How do artists negotiate issues of identity? Has video art become a tool for archiving history? The screenings will be followed by a discussion around the notions of independence and national identity. The discussion will be led by the curator and writer Gareth Evans, in conversation with Aleksi Soselia and Sophia Tabatadze.

 

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, 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.

Pirimze (პირიმზე)

Georgia, Germany / 2015 / 40 min.

Director: Sophia Tabatadze
Director of Photography: Lilli Kuschel and Tato Kotetishvili 
Editor: Mikko Gaestel
Producer: Sophia Tabatadze and GeoAIR
Sales: Sophia Tabatadze

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.