Critics’ Picks

Koka Ramishvili, Light Machines, 2017, digital Print on Epson Baryta Traditional, Dibond, 24 x 24 ".

Koka Ramishvili, Light Machines, 2017, digital Print on Epson Baryta Traditional, Dibond, 24 x 24 ".

Moscow

Koka Ramishvili

Moscow House of Photography / Multimedia Art Museum
Ostozhenka 16
June 2–July 10, 2021

Born in 1956 in Tbilisi, Koka Ramishvili began his artistic career studying cinematography. This background exerts an unmistakable influence on the central concern of his photographic practice: the dichotomy of stillness and movement within an indexical impression of light.

“Light Machines,” the title of Ramishvili’s compact solo exhibition at the Multimedia Art Museum, derives from an eponymous series of not-quite-still lifes from 2017. The artist’s careful staging of sculptural objects vaguely recalls the nature morte compositions of Brancusi and Morandi, but Ramishvili has taken the added step of mounting his tableaux atop specially designed relvoving pedestals and then recording them over long exposures as they rotated. The resultant silvery-gray-tinted images dislodge the premise of a photograph’s subject “having occurred” with an unlocatable blur of “always becoming.” Still life becomes agitated life as the image captures movement at the price of its petrification.

In one image from the “Creation” series, 2018, a stretch of rumpled fabric seems to emanate a torrent of light as if it were steaming. Or is it that light drifting downward into a pool of silken matter? States of being and becoming are forever confused in Ramishvili’s photographs. As Henri Poincaré wrote in 1898, a moment poised on the threshold between photography and moving image: “Whence comes the feeling that between any two instants there are others?”