Artist Uta Bekaia's Tbilisi installation to mark transgender date

The display will be hosted in collaboration between Bekaia, and Women's Initiatives Supporting Group to mark the November 20 international date. Image via organisers., 20 Nov 2019 - 17:46, Tbilisi,Georgia

A Tbilisi exhibition around a new installation by artist Uta Bekaia will explore a theme of collective and personal lens on identity to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance, a date honoured internationally today., a Tbilisi-based contemporary art organisation, will join forces with the artist and Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group for four days of the public display entitled Gradation.

Delving into the themes of the shaping of identity, 'city gaze' on an individual and a reversing of the latter, the show will contribute to a series of worldwide events aimed at remembering and paying homage to victims of transphobia.

With the installation, Bekaia, born in the Georgian capital and currently based in New York as well as Tbilisi, will bring his exploration of the social observation and control of behaviour from individuals and its requirement of conformity.

City Gaze is a collective surveillance camera - A punishing Eye, demanding from us the polished facades of monotony so that its gaze is not disturbed with the scenes of diversities, paradoxes and controversies," a preview for the show says.

This setting of social expectation provides a backdrop for an emergence of a condition serving as an in-between state where the collective gaze morphs into a perception of one's own self, establishing preconditions for a "connection with ourselves".

In Bekaia's vision for the installation, the work is then capped off with 'reversed gaze', enabling an individual to turn the formerly outside world's gaze into their own and projected on themselves.

"Liberated from the collective gaze", the perception marks a breaking free from the societal norms and provides a reflection on identities that used to shape an individual's behaviour, appearance and other features for the public.

The transition between these states has been dubbed Gradation by the artist, to be used for the installation, set to host viewers between Wednesday and Saturday.

Bekaia has exhibited at venues and events including the Artisterium international contemporary art exhibition and the State Silk Museum in Tbilisi, the Kyiv International Biennial and the Lodge Gallery in New York.

Earlier this week he designed costumes for a Tbilisi Contemporary Ballet production Early Dances at the Tbilisi Baroque Festival, also creating designs for a costume performance project at Tbilisi's Stamba Hotel earlier this month.

The installation for Gradation will be on view at 4/1 Vashlovani Street in the Georgian capital.