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Museum of Contemporary Art -Tbilisi is a virtual museum placed in the building that was once an Univermag. The development store – “Univermag Tbilisi” was built in 1975 and was demolished about 10 years ago. In its place a shopping centre was opened – Galleria Tbilisi. We could think of this building as a symbol of the way society’s views the history of Georgia’s. It’s not the first, nor the last time that erasing or rebranding the history with the so-called “Euroremont” has taken place. It’s more of a rule. That is why we have decided to take this erased and demolished building and turn it into an art memory depository.
Art is a reflection of a country, society and time. Art in Georgia is the same as people living in it. The history of art is similar to history of Georgia. Messy and disorganized archives, scattered myths and legends, forgotten and erased pages, and stories memorized and told orally.
Now this virtual building is a home-base to a very important period in time. It’s a crucial time not only for art but for the history of Georgia itself. Time when the empire has fallen and new culture and history has to arise from its ruins.
Georgian art is not consistent. It has many faces, many parallel realities. We have decided to show the kind of art that is in search of the new ideas and forms and thoughts. Art that is trying to find and create new words. Art that is sometimes a shelter and sometimes a magic ship that will transfer young artist to the safe zone.
Art that was created on ruins, famine, cold, poverty, and crisis of 90s. It sometimes reverts its gaze but sometimes it observes diligently from the window, analyses and saves it.
This building comprises of the ten years from 1984-1994. From Perestroika to freedom. Georgian art goes through a reconstruction as well, a lot changes in those years. New medias and groups arise; new ideas are created. The 10 years that you’ll see are the embodiment of the processes that happened parallel to the conventional art world. Most of the works of art are stored in private collections and are restricted from public eye.
Because of the format, we decided to showcase only 2D works of art: paintings, graphics and photographs. There are a lot of items missing, some were sold internationally; some were lost over the years.
We believe that one day, Tbilisi will have a contemporary art museum where it will be physically possible for audience to enjoy the works in its full form, but until that happens, we invite you to the virtual reality that will show you the dreams of time, ghost of the past, dreams and realities.
The exhibition will include the works of: Aleksandre Bandzeladze, Iliko Zautashvili, Luka Lasareishvili, Temur Iakobashvili, Irakli Fardjiani, Levan Choghoshvili, Gia Bughadze, Ushangi Khumarashvili, Temo Javakhishvili, Boris Shaverdiani, Avto Meskhi, Karlo Katcharava, Gia Loria, Goga Maghlakelidze, Keti Kapanadze, Mamuka Ceckhladze, Mamuka Japharidze, Maia Tsetskhladze, Niko Tsetskhladze, Oleg Timchenko, Lia Shvelidze, Gia Rigvava, Guram Tsibakhashvili, Irakli Maisuradze, Gaiane, Khatchaturiani, Koka Ramishvili, Koka Tskhvediani, Kote Jincharadze, Misha Shengelia, Vakho Bughadze, Misha Gogritchiani, Kote Sulaberidze, Dato Aleksidze, Murtaz Shvelidze, Dato Chikhladze.
Concept and design: Mariam Natroshvili and Detu Jincharadze;
Art historian: Kristine Darchia;
Developer: Aleksandre Lashkhi;
Web developer: Giorgi Iashvili;
Photo by: Lasha Tsertsvadze
We would like to give special thanks to Nodar Kvantchiani da Metaform for material delivery.
We would also like to thank Guram Tsibakhashvili.
And we would like to thank each and every one of the artist that participation.
Some works in virtual museum belong to the private collections of Archil Darchia and Temur Ugulava. Most of the works in museum are from private collections.
The project was supported by “Creative Georgia”.