August 30, 2009

Koka Ramishvili, Mitterrand + Sanz / Contemporary Art, Zurich

Koka Ramishvili
Perforated Cinema
Mitterrand + Sanz / Contemporary Art, Zurich

August 28 - October 24, 2009

On the occasion of their relocation to Limmatstrasse 265, Edward Mitterrand and Gérard Sanz along with Fabian Lang, their new Director, presents a condensed retrospective of KOKA RAMISHVILI's work since 1991.

Currently representing the Republic of Georgia at the 53rd Venice Biennal, Koka Ramishvili gathered a selection of videos, photographs and installation to illustrate the social, economic and artistic tension within his work and his native country over the past decade.

Renowned art critic Viktor Maziano explains, in his text “After Ramishvili” (2009), Ramishvili’s leitmotif of contradiction that unites all works included in this exhibition titled from the work Perforated Cinema:

“This is the answer of Koka Ramishvili to series of contradictions the last soviet generation had to face. Artist acknowledges them as insoluble. /… / Instead of pulling tight apologia of contemporaneity and its rejection, it is worthwhile to take a closer look to the world when it is not chained in one-sided schemes. This is especially appropriate as unwillingness to accept the idea that contradictions torturing us are insoluble, gave birth to majority of dramas and crimes of the post soviet epoch”. (After Ramishvili. Viktor Miziano, 2009)

The central installation Perforated Cinema, through a minimalist intervention between a slide projector and a screen, demonstrates the contradictions between the idea of film projection itself and its physical absence on the screen: the projection becomes a black hole when part of the screen transforms into a line and another part changes into a pedestal of the black hole.
The most obvious presence of politics comes with the black and white video titled Change (2005) which is currently on view at the Venice Biennale Georgian Pavilion. It presents a true coup d’etat in the Georgian parliament under the shape of a “male ballet” by using slow motion and adding a death song by Veronika Voss from the Fassbinder film. “...Masculine will for power and history opposes feminine implantation in a natural constant flow of life and death and soul of the music.” (Fidelity to an Event. The Poetics of Koka Ramishvili. Viktor Miziano, 2008)

The immediate result of this political change is captured in the black and white photo series War From my Window (1991-1992) where images of war are hardly captured: one can only see one slightly smoky district, where military actions took place. Name of the work, angle of the shooting and landscape become here an expression of the authors’ “experience of dramatic impotence towards history.” (After Ramishvili. Viktor Miziano,2009)

Koka Ramishvili was born in 1956 in Tbilisi, Georgia, ex-URSS and lives and works in Geneva.
Since 1995 he has been offered numerous grants and awards for his videos and photographs (Ministry of the Culture and Education, Vienne, Academy Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, International Electronic Art Media Forum in Bauchaus, Département des affaires culturelles de la Ville de Geneva) and was exhibited in various Museums (such as Tate Modern in London, MAMCO in Geneva, Goethe Institut in Berlin, Russian National Gallery in Moscow, Fine Art Museum of Nantes, and others) and galleries (Kulturmanagment Hausler in Munich, Guelman Gallery in Moscow, Newman Popiashvili Gallery in New York, Attitudes in Geneva, etc.).

Mitterrand + Sanz / Contemporary Art, Zurich