Salon Tamuna Chabashvili (NL)

Apr 29, 2018
Penelope's Sphere, Fehrbelliner Str. 56, Mitte 10119 Berlin, Germany

Start at 3 pm

Ubahn: U8 Rosenthaler Platz
Straßenbahn: stop Brunnenstraße/Invalidenstraße

The Mantle (2018)

The starting point for this work is an image, a still from the newsreel documenting a Georgian poet Zura Rtveliashvili reading poetry inside a grocery shop in Tbilisi, Georgia in 1990s. The image I decided to preserve (capture) is absolutely detached from the artistic performance that took place; it ponders over the interior background, focusing on a woman in front of the counter inside an empty shop. Despite the poor quality of the image, the emptiness of the grocery shop is still vivid.
Taken out of its original context, this blurred image simply shows an empty shop. Personally, it stands for the post-Soviet emptiness, the time standing still, the space between two systems – the one that collapsed and the one to follow. The time-frame when the Soviet products disappeared and the global goods have not reached the store yet. The time period followed by permanent instability, disillusionment, and depression, changing the lives of many. It did not last long, but it left an everlasting imprint on all the generations that have witnessed the process. It has also become a part of my life.
During the period of my residency in Berlin in winter 2018, this image became a prism with which I traced the imprints that this brief period in history left on me and helped me understand the impact it had on my artistic process. The image evolved into a Mantle as an umbrella for my research, as a resonant membrane that protects and at the same time gathers, processes and transmits my thoughts, questions and observations.
The mantle as a nomadic form is a universal piece of clothing. Transformed and accustomed to the demands of different communities in space and time, its function of denoting a status and providing protection remained. The Mantle embodies a process of patterning my own mantle as a possible wrap, a straightjacket, a portable home, a tent, a diary.