Art explodes on Tbilisi vacant shop windows

11 Mar 2014

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By Tako Svanidze

Journalist of,11 Mar 2014 Tbilisi,Georgia

If you walk along the central streets of Tbilisi, do not be surprised if you stumble across unique and interesting exhibits on show behind shop windows.

Windows of the city are temporary destinations for the artwork of Georgian painters. The ongoing exhibition will last until a space becomes available [tenanted] to show these works for daily consumption.

In today’s world it is not essential to have a special exhibition space to show your creative work to mass audiences. Instead, a retail window is simply enough to promote art.

Two Georgians - independent curator Irina Popiashvili and marketing specialist Tamuna Gvaberidze – came together to work jointly on the project to adopt public spaces for unknown and newcoming Georgian artists.

Presenting exhibition galleries in shop windows is an innovative way of exposing art and design in Tbilisi.

The Popiashvili Gvaberidze Window Project was initiated last year but has not been replicated in Georgia again, although other countries have adopted this method as a popular way of exhibiting art.

Popiashvili Gvaberidze Window Project

Popiashvili and Gvaberidze created the project for several reasons, including maintaining new art enthusiasts and popularize Georgian alternative art directions, as well as generate a wide range of spectators, who in their everyday life have less possibility to separate time for enjoying art.

This space is intended for everyone living in Tbilisi [and] it is targeted for pedestrians or transport passengers. It is visible for everyone, while perceptions of point are different for one and all, Tamuna Gvaberidze said.

The window gallery concept combined the pure function of a public art exhibition, the project manager explained.

Within the project almost seven Georgian artists were represented in a "Public Window”.

Artworks of Georgian painters

The latest painting exhibited in the window of an abandoned retail space on Ilia Chavchavadze Street was Luka Tsetskhladze’s artwork named "Tentacles”.

Luka Tsetskhladze "Tentacles" (guard), 2014; Acrylic on paper;

Alfred Epitashvili -  The Amazing World of Alfred Epitashvili. Installation by Sandro Sulaberidze and Co.

The creator made up to three hundred geometric paper models, where each was made from a single sheet of paper, folded with geometric precision that ultimately resulted in a spatial figure. Each one is unique.

The technique is similar to Japanese Origami but Alfred Epitashvili’s figures were made during the mid-20th Century behind the Iron Curtain and he was not aware of his technique’s connection to Japanese tradition.

Andro Eradze. Photo by Nia Gvatua.

Andro Eradze is a photographer who shares poetry with people. Writing quotes from famous poets on the walls of buildings is a form of communication. Writing on the facades of the city is one of the best ways to communicate with its citizens.

Uta Bekaia _  installation Map of My Heart.

Uta Bekaia is a New York based Georgian artist and designer. His objective is to find beauty in his surroundings and highlight it for everyone to see it. He created a fairytale parallel reality in the window for people passing by.

Giorgi Khaniashvili's painting.

Giorgi Khaniashvili’s first encounter with art began when he started making copies of photos from the yellow press, erotic films and porn magazines. These images stayed with him and to some extent defined his visual language.

The images became to signify the unique period in time when the Iron Curtain came down and some new, unknown cultural and visual products poured into the Soviet reality.

The erotic film posters from 1990 to 1995 by Arsen Beriashvili were hand painted for the Apollo movie theatre. The poster presented in the window was a product of the same hybrid culture.

Dubai Art Fair

The Popiashvili Gvaberidze Window Project is set to feature on an international scale at the Dubai Art Fair, in the Marker section.

The eighth Dubai Art Fair will take place from March 19-22, 2014, at Madinat Jumeirah.

Nine pieces of art from Georgian artists will be present during the fair.

The Marker section is Dubai Art Fair’s curated program of galleries and spaces which annually focus on a particular geography or theme.

In 2014, Marker turned its focus to Central Asia and the Caucasus and has been curated by artists Slavs and Tatars.

The art spaces invited to participate in Marker 2014 range from state institutions to galleries and artist-run initiatives.

The Popiashvili Gvaberidze Window project will present the following artists at Marker 2014: Natela Iankoshvili, Karlo Kacharava, Giorgi Khaniashvili, Lado Pochkhua, Aleksi Soselia,Gala Tabidze ,Wato Tsereteli, Kote Sulaberidze and Nino Sekhniashvili.

Natela Iankoshvili/Green Mountain/1958.

Lado Pochkhua/ The new Georgian Aristocracy/ 2013.

Nino Sekhniashvili/ Relief on the wood/2013.

Giorgi Khaniashvili/Family/2014.

Karlo Kacharava/God and Revolutionaries/1990.

Besides the gallery halls, the fair's extensive program includes commissioned projects and performances, artists' and curators' residencies, radio and film, as well as an exhibition of new works by winners of the annual The Abraaj Group Art Prize and the critically acclaimed Global Art Forum.

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