The Georgian corner at this year’s Venice Art Biennial is set to be unveiled with an installation by contemporary artist Vajiko Chachkhiani later today.
The country’s pavilion at one of the most high-profile art events of the year will showcase Chachkhiani’s work Living Dog Among Dead Lions for three days of preview before the biennial proper launches on May 13.
Central to the installation is a traditional countryside shack discovered by Chachkhiani in western Georgia’s Imereti region.
Designed to portray the effects of social, political and historical circumstances on individuals and their role in shaping the subjects’ view of the world, the project is organised by Georgia-based independent art platform Obscura.
Founded in 2013, the platform aims to support exhibition projects and discover fresh artistic talent.
The project was revealed as the winning entry of the national competition in December 2016, paving the way for the installation’s display at the Venice event.
Living Dog Among Dead Lions was picked as the winning submission by a jury of five Georgian and foreign art critics and professionals, who reviewed 20 submissions for the contest.
The installation was created after Chachkhiani discovered the countryside shack in Georgia’s west. Photo: Obscura.
Hosting over 80 national pavilions, the 57th edition of the exhibition will be dedicated to "an open dialogue between artists, and between artists and the public”, said organisers.
The biennial will feature hundreds of exhibitors including Berlin-based Chachkhiani, who is a graduate of Berlin's University of Arts and Gerrit Rietveld Academy of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Recent exhibitions featuring the Georgian artist’s work include the ongoing group displayWAITING — Between Power and Possibility, hosted at Hamburger Kunsthalle, one of Germany’s largest art venues.
Earlier this year he was also featured at Berlin's Daniel Marzona art gallery with personal display Summer which was not there.
Chachkhiani (second from left) speaks at the presentation of the winning project of Georgia’s national competition for the biennial. Photo: Georgia’s Culture Ministry press office.
Chachkhiani is a recipient of the prestigious Rubens Promotional Award of the Contemporary Art Museum Siegen in Germany.
He was also shortlisted for the Future Generation Art Prize of the Kiev-based Victor Pinchuk Foundation, picked among 21 artists and creative groups from across the world last February.
Established in 1895, the Venice Art Biennial focuses on contemporary art while also involving events for architecture, contemporary dance and more.
Georgia has been represented in the country's pavilion at the Venice exhibition since 2009, when artist Koka Ramishvili's works were curated by Khatuna Khabuliani.
In the most recent show, artists Rusudan Khizanishvili, Irakli Bluishvili, Dimitri Chikvaidze, Joseph Sabia, Ia Liparteliani, Nia Mgaloblishvili and Sophio Shevardnadze were part of the 2015 biennial.
This year’s exhibition will run through November 26.