May 26 is a precious commemoration for Georgia. It is a reminder in these times of how important sovereignty and independence is to a nation and to the peoples who make up the nation. Self-government is the ultimate good for a democracy like Georgia. It gives the nation its greatest gift – the ability to determine its present and its future. In the past, Georgia was surrounded by ambitious empires, and always faced problems of national security. In the most difficult of circumstances in 1918, Georgia re-established a republic.
When the USSR collapsed in 1991, the Georgian people reasserted their country’s sovereignty once more. This is what we celebrate today, the triumph of a sovereign people over the tyranny of external oppression. Self-government and accountable government are central pillars of Georgia’s independence and prosperity today and in the future.
On behalf of the Georgian Association in the USA, we wish all of Georgia a happy independence day. For our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, we wish for peace and victory over Russia and other external forces which are attempting to subvert the Ukrainian people’s will. To quote Ilia Chavchavadze, “even if the present is not favorable, the future is ours.”
In this series of conversations, Tbilisi-born and New York-based curator and art writer Nina Mdivani profiled twelve Georgian women artists.
Some of them are known to the wider audience, while some deserve to be rediscovered. Each presentation includes interviews with experts or artists followed by a Q&A session.
You can watch recordings of each event on YouTube and below:
Meeting One: Natela Grigalashvili & Rusudan Khizanishvili Conversation between pioneering Georgian photographer Natela Grigalashvili and distinguished figurative artist Rusudan Khizanaishvili. Both interviewed by Nina Mdivani in April 2021.
Meeting Two: Vera Pagava. Conversation between Paris-based Elisso Tarassachvili, president, Anna Tarassachvili, collection manager and project manager of the Cultural Association Vera Pagava (Association Culturelle Vera Pagava – AC/VP) and curator Nina Mdivani. Recorded May 2021.
Meeting Three: Elene Akhvlediani. Conversation between Nino Khundadze, Chief Curator of New and Contemporary Art Collections at the Georgian National Museum and curator Nina Mdivani. The third episode features Elene Akhvlediani (1901-1975), an iconic representative of Georgian art.
Meeting Four: Tamar Abakelia and Natela Iakoshvili. Presentation about Tamar Abakelia. Conversation between British artist and art critic Alexander Adams and curator Nina Mdivani about Georgian painter Natela Iankoshvili (1918-2008). Recorded in July 2021.
Meeting Five: Ema Lalaeva-Ediberidze and Gayane Khachaturian. Conversation with researcher and writer Kristine Darchia about Ema (Lali) Lalaeva-Ediberidze (1904-1991). Recorded summer 2021. And a conversation with researcher and writer Ketevan Tomaradze about Gayane Khachaturian (1942-2009).
Meeting Six: Esma Oniani and Keti Kapanadze. Conversation between Nina Mdivani and Tbilisi-based researcher Tornike Kobiashvili about painter and poet Esma Oniani (1938-1999). And interview with Georgian conceptual artist Keti Kapanadze (b.1962) where she talks about her practice and experience of being the first conceptual female artist in 1990s in Tbilisi.
Meeting Seven: Tamara Kvesitadze and Mariam Natroshvili Conversation between Nina Mdivani and Tamara Kvesitadze (b.1968), well-known multimedia artist, famous for her kinetic sculptures. And interview with Georgian conceptual and digital artist Mariam Natroshvili (b.1984) discussing her engagement with Georgian script and new digital direction she will be presenting this year at the Venice Biennale.