Contemporary art fest to revive River Mtkvari location for displays, shows and workshops

The location for the festival, a natural spot on the River Mtkvari bank, plays a major role in its theme and purpose. Image: Google Maps., 05 Aug 2019 - 18:01, Tbilisi,Georgia

An untouched natural spot at the confluence of two rivers in Tbilisi will transform into a contemporary art festival offering displays, workshops and music performances over a week starting this Friday.


On the bank of Mtkvari, where the river splitting the capital into two is joined by River Vere, artists from Georgia and abroad will bring their works for the festival titled River’s Magic Garden.


Organisers said their artwork, soundscapes from audio artists, a book presentation and an installation will fill the space that has naturally emerged “garden” providing a “unique gateway” to Mtkvari.


Not yet being accordingly apprehended by the city, the naturally grown garden represents an alternative reality by the riverside embedded with concrete walls,” a preview from the festival said.


Award-winning artist Lado Lomitashvili is among creatives bringing their work for the festival’s displays. Photo: TBC Bank.


The initiative for the event aims to give the location a designation as a public space while also representing an “artistic reaction” to reimagining urban space —  a major subject in the realm of Tbilisi’s high-paced and often controversial urban and infrastructural transformation.


The selected works from featured artists also respond to the challenges in protecting public space, and prospects of establishing “alternative approaches” in the city dominated by large-scale private development and reduction of recreational space.


This approach will be visible in an exhibition of over a dozen artists and collectives running throughout the festival as one of its sections.



Anushka Chkheidze, an experimental music producer, will be among audio artists at the event. Screenshot: Discogs.


Among the other components is a space for workshops and presentations, which will also be used for daily audio performances by experimental artists of the local scene.


A soundscape taking advantage of cosmic sounds will aim to augment the atmosphere of this festival spot, where workshops will involve talks on subjects like cultural work as political activism and the topic of holy principles of the Hindu architecture.


Video screenings by local and guest creatives, via projections, will take their own space up at the festival grounds while works created in a workshop held by Center of Contemporary Art —  Tbilisi artist in residence David Prieth will also be highlighted.


Organised by the CCA, the festival is set to run between August 9-15. The location and displays will be open daily starting at 1pm, while activities of the event’s programme will run between 6pm-11pm. The full programme of the event can be accessed here.