Elene Abashidze is an independent curator based in Tbilisi. Her recent projects include The Absent Image, Gallery Nectar, 2016 - 2015; Same, Same with Jesse Darling and Takeshi Shiomitsu - a double platform exhibition at Anaklia Seashore and CAC 41N/41E, Batumi, 2014; Memory, CCA Tbilisi, 2011. Elene also occasionally writes for various magazines. Her interviews include Dear Chris - an interview with the writer Chris Kraus for theoryandpractice.ru and other. On the occasion of Tbilisi 16, we launch Danarti no.3: Bianca (on LBTQI politics in Georgia) edited by Abashidze and supported by Kunsthalle Zürich.
Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili received her BFA in Photography from Bard College, Annandale/New York (2003). Most recently, a solo exhibition of her work was presented at the Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (2015), and as part of the New Museum Triennial, New York (2015). Ketuta had solo exhibitions at Galerie Micky Schubert, Berlin; Kaufman Repetto, Milan; Ancient & Modern (now Bruce Haines Mayfair), London; and Eighth Veil, Los Angeles. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at FRAC Haute-Normandie, Sotteville-lès-Rouen; Kavi Gupta, Chicago; Kunstverein Hannover, Hannover; Casey Kaplan, New York; MaryMary, Glasgow; Kunstverein Bielefeld, Bielefeld; and Karma International, Zurich. Ketuta lives and works in Berlin.
Michelle Akanji is responsible for Communications / Press & Events at Kunsthalle Zürich and a co-organizer of Tbilisi 16, where she will report from the program with daily live feeds on our webpage.
Marie Angeletti is based in Paris and Berlin. Her work has recently been exhibited at Edouard Montassut in Paris. Her previous exhibitions include Le Consortium, Dijon; Künstlerhaus, Bremen; castillo/corrales, Paris; Kunsthalle Wien; and Carlos/Ishikawa, London. Angeletti is currently working on commission with the Nouveaux Commanditaires. Her film on Theater der Überforderung at Kunsthalle Zürich in 2015 here
Ei Arakawa is based in New York since 1998. By almost always working collaboratively, Ei Arakawa’s work “not only destabilizes the line between one artist and another, or between one’s own name and those of others; on a more fundamental level, it disturbs the separation between director and actor, between initiator and fellow traveler.” (Simon Baier). Some of the performances and exhibitions of Ei took place at this year’s Berlin Biennial and at Reena Spaulings, New York; as well as Gwangju Biennial, Korea (2014); Whitney Biennial, New York (2014); 2013 Carnegie International, Pittsburgh (2013); Pavilion of Georgia at the 55th Venice Biennial (2013); Tate Modern, London (2012); 30th São Paulo Biennial (2012); The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012); Kunsthalle Zürich (2009); Yokohama Triennial, Kanagawa (2008), and Tbilisi 2 – Tbilisi 6 (2005-2009).
Georgian architect Levan Asabashvili is a co-founder and member of Urban Reactor, a collective of architects and planners based in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. The organization undertakes debate, research, and education, seeking to expand the practice of architecture and planning and to imbue them with deeper social and cultural meanings. Its projects have included the creation of a timeline of urban development in Georgia, including government-run “beautification initiatives” aimed to superficially restore and redevelop the country’s main historic towns. Levan was trained in Delft/Netherlands and was a member of the Urban Asymmetries studio in Delft, where he conducted research for a case study in Mexico City in order to understand the processes and conditions that produce uneven or asymmetrical development in contemporary urban environments.
Daniel Baumann is director and curator at Kunsthalle Zürich and the founder and organizer of a series of experimental projects in Tbilisi since 2004.
Publisher and book seller Géraldine Beck (based in Geneva) and artist Miriam Laura Leonardi (based in Zurich) regularly collaborate on various levels, most recently on the theater play The Pink Handbook, premiered at Forde in Geneva. Their project for this year’s Kadist – Kunsthalle Zürich Production Award presented at Tbilisi 16 departs from their shared interest in language and narrative forms towards a new performance. Géraldine also runs the bookshop Oraibi + Beckbocks together with artists Tiphanie Blanc and Ramaya Tegegne. Miriam also runs an exhibition program in the grocery store Adar together with artist Ben Rosenthal.
Bouillon Group was founded in 2008 by Natalia Vatsadze, Teimuraz Kartlelishvili, Vladimer Khartishvili, Konstantine Kitiashvili, Ekaterina Ketsbaia, and Zurab Kikvadze and is focusing on the use of public non-artistic spaces. The group is concerned with the active confluence of space and not concerned with art and artistic production or intervention with non-artistic activity in artistic space. They have conducted several apartment projects emphasizing the suitability of private space for artistic production and public art projects, gently criticizing Georgian post-soviet reality. The group also produces performances, actions and video installations. Their ideas are always generated through collaboration; all six artists are processing the ideas as long as they decide that the work is finished.
Ana Chorgolashvili works as an architecture researcher, documentary photographer, video artist and graphic designer based in Tbilisi. She is a member of Tbilisi based art organization CAMPUS, and is involved in various local and international art projects and exhibitions. Ana was working at the CCA (Centre of Contemporary Art Tbilisi) where she realized project Memory. In 2014 her video works were included in the Georgian video archive. In 2015 Ana presented her video and graphic works (postcards) at the exhibition Spontaneous Frameworks in Leipzig. In collaboration with The Book Art Center Ana published the experimental guide book Soviet Modernist Architecture of Tbilisi (2015). During Tbilisi 16 we launch Danarti no. 4: Tbilisi (on Soviet architecture in Tbilisi), edited by Ana Chorgolashvili and supported by Kunsthalle Zürich.
Danarti is an independent, multidisciplinary, irregular and research-based series of publications in a form of a newspaper founded in 2011. It is dedicated to local subjects within art and culture. Within frames of Tbilisi 16, two most recent issues will be presented, Danarti no.3: Bianca addressing LGBTQI politics in Georgia, and Danarti no. 4: Tbilisi questioning Soviet architecture and its history.
Dima Dadiani is a DJ and music producer based in Tbilisi of which we know that is favorite quote is “Music is sound”, and look forward to his special set for Shindisi.
Dingum is a series of exhibitions curated by Hannes Schmidt and Dennis Oliver Schroer since 2011. It aims to challenge the classical spatial conditions of exhibitions in favor of site-specificity and an expansion towards public spaces. Dynamic in nature, it changes its form, focus and location over time, to be experienced at Tbilisi 16 for sure.
Nikolas Gambaroff was born in Germany and lives and works in New York City. His work questions the process of painting and its support structures by revisiting traditional methods of production and display. He graduated from Humboldt University in Berlin and he obtained another degree at the University of the Arts, also in Berlin before he got his MFA at Bard College in Annandale/New York. Since 2007 Gambaroff exhibits extensively, with a majority of his exhibitions held in the US and Europe.
GeoAIR organizes and supports international exchange projects, bringing together artists and curators from different cultural backgrounds and finding relevant contexts to produce their work. GeoAIR has three main related directions: collaborative cultural projects, a self-directed residency program and the Archidrome – Contemporary Art Archive. The Tbilisi-based team has been working intensively on developing contemporary art activities dealing with urgent issues. They constantly develop their activities towards a more research-based, inclusive and engaged practice concerning the specificity of the given environment. A fundamental part of the GeoAIR programs is the interaction with the public, such as their alternative guided city tours.
Tue Greenfort’s artistic practice often evolves around ecology and its history, including the environment, social relations, and human subjectivity. At dOCUMENTA(13) in Kassel he co-curated an archive on the matters of multi-species co-evolution, The Worldly House. He has had extensive solo presentations at Berlinische Galerie, South London Gallery, Kunstverein Braunschweig and Secession, Vienna, and has participated in numerous international exhibitions. Among his publications, the most comprehensive, Linear Deflection, was published by Walther König in 2009. Tue is born in Denmark and lives and works in Berlin, and sometimes Zurich too.
Karl Holmqvist is an artist living and working in Berlin. His works concerns itself with language, both printed as artist's books or room-size installations, handwritten as in graffiti or else in performance as spoken word. For him, the use of language is a way for people to reach out to each other.
Marc Hunziker, Chantal Kaufmann and Rafal Skoczek are three artists based in Zurich. Together they run the self-organized art space UP STATE, situated within Zurich’s squatted industrial area Kochareal. Individually, they are engaged in diverse artistic work that results in collaborations in many different forms such as sewer books, sound cargo containers, beer box sculpture, scare crows, and POOL BAR; as well as the architectural structure No Trees in the Forest, their project for the Kadist-Kunsthalle Zurich Production Award 2016 that will be presented at Tbilisi 16.
Yannic Joray is an artist based in Zurich who frequently engages in educational projects such as guided tours at Kunsthalle Zürich, seminars at the ZHdK Zurich University of Arts (2015) and the Academy of Art and Design in Basel (2015), and most recently a lecture at the Städelschule in Frankfurt. Joray’s works where shown at Off Vendome, New York (2016); Kunsthalle Bern (2015) and The Duck, Berlin (2015), and elsewhere. Together with Lorenzo Bernet, Fredi Fischli and Luca Beeler he co-curated several project spaces in Zurich.
Irine Jorjadze works as an independent curator and activist in Tbilisi and is co-organizing Tbilisi 16. An example of her previous curatorial projects is Spice / Surface (with Besa Kartlelishvili), hosted at CCA Tbilisi (2012) which presented Georgian artists’ works. Irine, a recent fellow of the Binz39 residency program in Zurich, was the editor of Danarti no.2: Dada.
Emil Michael Klein is a painter based in Zurich. In 2008 he presented his first solo exhibitions at Galerie Nicolas Krupp and Museum für Gegenwartskunst, both in Basel, and followed by group exhibitions such as at Magasin CNAC in Grenoble, the Modern Institute in Glasgow, the Children National Gallery in Tbilisi, and Konsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen. Further solo shows of his work have been held at the galleries Gaudel de Stampa in Paris, Federico Vavassori in Milan, and Francesca Pia in Zurich, as well as at Art Basel | Unlimited (2013).
Tobias Madison is born in Basel, now lives in New York City. His work frequently opens up the process of artistic creation through cooperative or collective strategies, by often assuming the role of the curator, client and instigator in this process. This has been shown most comprehensively and recently at kestnergesellschaft, Hannover/Germany (2016); Kunsthalle Zürich (2013); Swiss Institute, New York (2010); and Galerie Francesca Pia; as well as in group exhibitions at Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel (2014); Glasgow International (2014), 2013 Carnegie International, Pittsburgh (2013), Arnolfini, Bristol (2013); Moscow Museum of Modern Art (2012), and New Jerseyy, Basel (2009), among many others.
Julia Moritz is the Curator of Theory and Programs at Kunsthalle Zürich and another co-organizer of Tbilisi 16 where she will travel to over land and seas and occasionally report en route on our blog.
Nik O Nik is a Tbilisi-based artist, mostly working in video, as will be seen during the launch of one Danarti no.3: Bianca (on LGBTQI in Tbilisi), edited by Elene Abashidze.
Gela Patashuri says: ”In pre-Soviet times, art in Tbilisi was freely shown in cafes and taverns, but until very recently, nothing comparable had existed. When my friends Sergei Tcherepnin and Ei Arakawa came to visit in the summer of 2009, I gave them a tour of my favorite new art spaces: a car-parts market on the edge of town and a monument in the mountains near the Russian border. I also took them to Shindisi, an open area outside the city where curator Daniel Baumann owns a plot of land. The site is home to the Tbilisi Center for Contemporary Art, which, having no fixed building or borders, is, to my mind, a Georgian institution for our time.” (Gela Patashuri by Gela Patashuri, in: Artforum International, Vol. 51). Evidently, we could not imagine Tbilisi 16 without him.
Leila Peacock (born in Scotland, based in Zurich) holds a Master of Fine Arts as well as a Master in English Literature and draws from the tension between those fields. Hence her artistic practice consists of writing and drawing. Aiming at new ways of combining art and literature Peacock frequently collaborates with the Bulletin of the Serving Library. Her performance for the Kadist – Kunsthalle Zürich Production Award, presented at Tbilisi 16, looks at the genre of literary criticism and its relationship to visual representation.
Emanuel Rossetti is an artist based in Basel. He graduated from the Zurich University of the Arts. His most recent exhibition project Galerie Putsch, together with Timothée Calame took place at the Geneva art space Marbriers 4. His most comprehensive solo exhibition Delay Dust was on view at Kunsthalle Bern (2014). Previous exhibitions include Karma International LA, Los Angeles (2015); The Modern Institute, Glasgow (2014); The Power Station, Dallas (2013); and Burning Bridges, New York (2010). Emanuel tirelessly co-ran the exhibition spaces New Jerseyy in Basel (2008-2013), AP News in Zurich (2011-2013), and OLSO10 in Basel (2013-2015).
Georgia Sagri was born in Athens and lives and works in New York and Athens today. She studied music and art in both those cities. At the center of her practice lies the exploration of performance as an ever-evolving field within social and visual life, interconnected yet distinct from the dialectics of representation in theatre, music and dance. Most of her work is also influenced by her on-going engagement in political movements around issues of autonomy, empowerment and self-organization. Her first institutional solo show Mona Lisa Effect took place at Kunsthalle Basel (2014). Her most recent projects involve the participation in exhibitions at Sculpture Center, New York; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; Manifesta 11, Zurich (all 2016). Sagri also participated in the Biennials in Istanbul (2015), Lyon (2013) and the Whitney Museum, New York (2011), besides many other public institutions and in private galleries internationally. Sagri is the founder of the audio-only magazine FORTÉ and SALOON, an on-going curatorial project. She is also the initiator of Ύλη[matter]HYLE, a social and artistic experiment in the center of Athens.
Dan Solbach is a Berlin-based graphic designer who works mainly in the context of contemporary visual art, and with a focus on artist books (such as, most recently, with Kaspar Müller), exhibition catalgues (forthcoming: Rochelle Feinstein at Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva and Lenbachhaus, Munich), and the visual identity of art orgabizations (such as Kunsthalle Zürich, including the Tbilisi 16 posters). He is a co-founder of the fanzine Used Future (2005), of the exhibition space New Jerseyy in Basel (2008–2013), and of the magazine Wandering (2012). Dan also teaches all this, currently at the Academy of Arts in Geneva.
The work of Tobias Spichtig spans performance, installation, imagery and sculpture, vaguely systemized by their capacity to address the myths of contemporary society. Spichtig graduated from Zurich University of the Arts and Mountain School of Art in Los Angeles. His most recent solos show was presented by Galerie Bernhard at Liste Art Fair Basel (2016).. Previous exhibitions include Jan Kaps, Cologne (2016), LAMBDALAMBDALAMBDA, Pristina (2015), Michael Thilbaut, Los Angeles (2015), Eleven Rivington, New York (2013), and Ursula Blickle Foundation, Karlsruhe (2011). Besides, he’s a fantastic singer.
Stefan Tcherepnin “is known for his collaborative sound art, and one wonders whether this solo show (Real Fine Arts, New York, 2014) was so conspicuously titled Hypocrisy Ladders as a comment on the authenticity of single authorship and value of works in the round, or if the phrase’s garishness merely reflects that of the exhibition’s somewhat hermetic content. (...) In a sense, this exhibition’s daring consists in a depthlessness akin to the scrim backdrop of such dramas, here a stage where evacuated characters perform the story of our own anxious psychology surrounding the experience of art objects.” (Taro Masushio, in: artforum.com/picks/id=49322)
Ramaya Tegegne is a Geneva-based artist who often involves herself and others in artistic research on artist collectives and artistic communities. Her latest artist books Bzzz Bzzz Bzzz and Ménage à Trois, as well as the solo exhibitions Respektive at marbriers 4 in Geneva, and Somebody in New York Loves Me in Fri Art Kunsthalle Fribourg explored those notions together with artists, theorists and others. Her project for the Kadist – Kunsthalle Zürich Production Award 2016 to be presented at Tbilisi 16 will further this trajectory. Tegegne has also been the last co-director of the art space Forde and runs the curatorial project and a bookshop Oraibi + Beckbooks together with Géraldine Beck and Tiphanie Blanc.
Traveling Art Books is an itinerant bookshop and publication project. At its recent manifestation at the Book Art Center in Batumi/Georgia, books from Motto Distribution and experimental publications, notebooks, postcards made by Georgian artists were exhibited, accompanied by an event where anyone could bring any amount of waste paper, cardboard, books to be recycled into an artistic object by the visitors. The presentation at Tbilisi 16 will merge into the UP STATE tree house and focus on local book and paper work, together with the waste workshop on Sunday.
Hanna Törnudd is a Swedish artist based in New York who works at the fringes of theatre and performance art. Her most recent solo exhibition KLANGFURRBENSOPPA has just taken place at the Berlin art space The Duck this summer. Her work can still be seen at the group show Take this gum and stick it at Ellis King, Dublin. Previous projects include Yum Yum Vibe & Lost Love (with Stefan Tcherepnin and Green Tea Gallery, 2013), as well as participation in the group exhibition Soft Wear at Sandy Brown, Berlin (2013), curated by Phillip Zach.
Andro Wekua was born in Sochumi/Abkhazia and is now based in Berlin. The experience of the Abkhazian civil war however still resonates in his artistic work, particularly around the question if how individual as well as collective memory is constituted. Andro attended the National Art Academy in Sochumi (1986-1991) and the Gogebaschwili Institute in Tbilisi (1993/94), and later the Art Academy of Basel (1995-99). Andro’s work was shown extensively in solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Wien, Kunsthalle Fridericianum in Kassel, Castello di Rivoli in Turin, Camden Art Center in London, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam, or Kunstmuseum Winterthur, among others. In 2011 he was nominated for the prestigious Preis der Nationalgalerie in Berlin. In Tbilisi this year, he will conclude the proceedings with dinner for all.