Submission
Merab Gugunashvili

Heavy Armoury

Gallery 4710 presents Merab Gugunashvili's first solo show - ‘Heavy Armour. The works presented at the exhibition are created around one theme. In terms of personal and shared experience, the artist questions the rules and norms set by the society as to what it means to be a ‘man'. The exhibition talks about the obligations and responsibilities that society imposes on people based on their gender. The much-desired ‘masculinity’ is built on the many ‘musts’ dictated by society, and over time, these very pillars become the most fragile parts of the whole. It is also very important that on July 5, 2021, a very large homophobic protest was held in Tbilisi, Georgia. Thousands of people came out, who were also supported by the Georgian government and the Georgian Church. One person died at the protest. The exhibition, presented in the gallery, echoes this action and condemns homophobia and shows how diverse human life is without stigmas. We are against any kind of violence and homophobia. The events of July 5 were covered by the world's largest media. Merab Gugunashvili (1990) is a Georgian artist known to the public mainly for his ceramic works. The exhibition will feature works from a variety of mediums created specifically for his solo show over the past year.


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Fragile Masculinity Acrylic on canvas 70 x 50 cm 2021
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Fragile Masculinity Acrylic on canvas 60 x 50 cm 2021
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Amiran Embroidery & ink on silk 200 x 140 cm 2021
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Untitled White clay, Glaze, Ceramic pigment; 10 x 11 x 22 cm 2021
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Untitled White clay, Glaze, Ceramic pigment; 58 x 17 x 11 cm 2021
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Nameless sea garden White clay, glaze, ceramic pigment, handmade ceramic mosaic; 45 x 40 x 5 cm 2021
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Annunciation Mixed media on paper 30 x 20 cm 2020
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Untitled White clay, gold, wood; 35 x 13 x 40 cm
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Untitled White clay, gold, wood; 32 x 14 x 37 cm 2021
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Nameless sea garden Acrylic on canvas 70 × 50 cm 2021
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Heavy Armour 74 × 90 cm Steel, stainless steel, hand woven 2021
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Installation view
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Installation view
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Installation view
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Installation view
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Installation view
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Installation view
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Installation view
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Installation view
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Installation view

The exhibition had two working titles, both of them so different to each other, one would wonder how the same show could have such contrasting things to say.

‘Heavy armor’ – the final title, points to the armor we weave for ourselves under society’s dictations , patiently, ring-by-ring, just as the artist has knitted one of his works for the show. Hiding under it, we try to obey the rules , to seem normal and acceptable to society.

‘Nameless Sea Garden’ was the other title. It takes us to the “placeless place,” which exists more in our minds than somewhere real. Far from the judgmental eyes and hands, it’s a beautiful place where the trees bloom, birds fly freely, the sea is welcoming, where you can just be yourself.

This duality of these states of mind is exactly what the exhibition has to tell: When being stuck in the middle of who you are and who others want you to be, you should remember that there are nameless sea gardens under the heavy armor you’re wearing. You should visit them more often, you should water them, you should take good care of them, you should give them your name.