Critics’ Picks

Irina Abjandadze, Guiorgui Chaguelishvili, 26 years old, 2000, black-and-white photograph, 11 x 11”. From the series “Victims,” 2000.

Irina Abjandadze, Guiorgui Chaguelishvili, 26 years old, 2000, black-and-white photograph, 11 x 11”. From the series “Victims,” 2000.

Moscow

“Face to Face”

Pobeda Gallery
GUM, Krasnaya ploshad, 3 3rd Floor
February 15–March 24, 2011

For the first time after the 2008 South Ossetia war, Moscow welcomes an exhibition of contemporary Georgian photographers. Curated by Nestan Nijaradze, the exhibition aims to reacquaint Russian audiences with the range of work being made in this country. The show itself is replete with more than sixty works that demonstrate the diverse aesthetic strategies used by different generations of Georgian artists. Yuri Mechitov explores portraiture in the series “Untitled,” 1978–90, which captures the extraordinary universe of filmmaker Sergei Paradjanov, one of the most outstanding directors of Soviet cinema. A more traditional documentary approach can be found in the series “Ushguli,” 1990–2000, in which photographer Guia Chkhatarashvili depicts the beautiful northwestern mountainous region of Svaneti and the particular traditions of the people who inhabit this isolated area. “When Earth Seems to Be Light,” 2006–2009, by the young David Meskhi, is a series of photographs that capture spontaneous scenes where he uses light as a vehicle for conveying emotional experiences. Irina Abzhandadze’s series “Victims,” 2000, consists of black-and-white photos of memorials that different families set up in their homes to remember murdered family members. The artist posits this project as a testimony of unsolved crimes by local authorities and of families still mourning. “Face to Face” offers, after three years of confrontation between two countries that are historically and physically linked to one another, an alternative perspective where photography has become a key means for artists to express the reality that surrounds them.