‘But it happened accidentally
Oh omniscient, I am not guilty’ – Akaki Tsereteli.
‘This exhibition is a first personal observation and attempt to seek its own ‘language’ in contemporary Georgian art. But instead of the result bringing answers, it poses questions. How much is it necessary for contemporary art to have an identity? And if it isn’t, how much can artists abandon this influence? In what extent do we humans, as trees, need roots? And how much do these roots need to be connected to geography and to human unity created through accidental occurrences and collective efforts?
How relevant is it today David Kakabadze’s century-old reflections about rebirth of almost dying Georgian art through the identification of Georgian ‘language’? Or maybe on the contrary, it is possible to achieve this rebirth only by looking outward? By abandoning national forms only through which merging with greater, universal entities would be possible? Or maybe it is necessary to concentrate on the specifics to unite with the universal, as what is a human being other than a collection of personal and private experiences? Only this way universal is created? And is it even possible to reject those experiences, which have played such a significant role for establishing one’s individuality? Or maybe they have never been so significant anyway?
I don’t know how close my discoveries will lead to brother Zdanievich’s finding, after they came to Tbilisi in search of national signs in Georgian art in the summer of 1912 but this is not the important part. Searching always makes sense. And as poetry has always been a favorite art form for Georgians, so this exhibition itself can stay as a written poem, which for the participating artists will be a dedication to what they think corresponds to their identity and for myself, it will be dedicated to the place, where accidents and endeavors of people created what nowadays can be called Georgia and to those people, who were formed by this place and are today called Georgians. This exhibition is also dedicated to Pirosmani, because maybe he was the only one who gave us an opportunity to call something Georgian art.
‘Niko, in your paintings precious Georgian art can be felt, you made a discovery and laid a path for Georgian artists. Thanks to your paintings Georgian art will return to its historic river-bed and besides, you opened our eyes on beautiful Georgia, which you have depicted with so much rigor and passion’ – Ilia Zdanievich, 1912.
This exhibition will give us another opportunity to observe in a country where folk art has been so dominating, whether contemporary visual artists have managed to substitue folk art as has happened in other fields like music and literature. Whether they managed to borrow forms and colors from the people in a way that they could still create something truly individual and at the same time something understandable for all of us?’ – Natia Bukia.