‘‘I had to split out lukewarm, but no one cares about that anymore.” Oxygen Tbilisi No Fair, 2019
It is my pleasure to introduce you to artists Keta Gavasheli and Andria Dolidze, currently postgraduate degree seekers in Dusseldorf, Germany. Their works are rarely exhibited in Tbilisi, and now Keta and Andria are about to be featured for several days as part of the Oxygen No Fair show at Stamba. The exhibition’s concept involves OXYGEN promoting Georgia’s creative force. And looking at this force in light of the chaos-regulated cosmos diagram pinpoints our place on the world’s artistic map. In the course of four days, the four-story Stamba building will showcase artists with different levels of experience—we will be able to enjoy 33 solo shows and a group exposition of two artistic schools. The rapid succession of rooms numbered like streets and buildings, and of visual content, will put in place the frequency peculiar to the post-medium era of contemporary art.
Keta and Andria also have a room of their own where intense yellow lighting undoubtedly creates an atmosphere suitable for free thinking and for evoking individual experiences and ideas in viewers.
When at work, Keta and Andria always pay due attention to space by transforming it into a part of their creation. Their artistic medium is diverse. I also appreciate the fact that Keta and Andria almost always respond to important social issues which they interpret in their works in their own individual way.
Tell us about yourselves. What’s your background? Where have you worked?
- We’re both artists, and both are studying in Germany, at the Arts Academy of Dusseldorf. Working is a strong word, but as for living, we certainly live a regular student life.
You and Andria create joint works for the most part. How do you divide functions?
- Yes, we often work on joint projects. But I still think we are two different, independent artists. And that’s what probably helps us elaborate on each other’s ideas, to see things from a different angle... The process of work may be hysterical at times, with anxiety, joy, arguments, and even disappointment all coming down us at once...
Keta, which medium is your comfort zone?
-I guess I often do what’s outside my comfort zone... but working on performances is so exhausting. Still, I can’t wait to start a new one.
Name one detail that, in your opinion, defines your signature style? And how do you use this detail?
-Tough question. Some things have been emerging lately but we’re still seeking. It’s probably too early to talk about it.
Tell us about Dusseldorf….
-Coming to Dusseldorf must have been the best thing in our lives. The city is small, quiet, and slightly on the bourgeois side. But the academy is a genuine Mecca for artists. Being a student here
means being in the spotlight, under everyone’s microscope. You just keep going, and there is so much to do you couldn’t stop even if you wanted. After Tbilisi, this rhythm, and how efficient and hardworking the students are here, caught us off guard at first. But we caught up with them pretty fast... In Germany, you frequently hear the word stress—and we in Georgia are also using it right and left, I guess—but, right now, I can’t imagine living and moving forward outside this crazy environment.
‘‘Let‘s wash our feet in emtiness‘‘ Kunstakademie Düsseldorf Rundgang, 2019. Sound - ZESKNEL (Bassiani)
A few words about your latest joint project...
-From September 28 through October 28, we are holding a joint exhibition, curated by Nini Darchia and Ana Gabelia, in a new space, Gallery 4710. We will probably arrive 2 weeks prior, and there will be tons of work to do before the opening... The show is called “That’s not a Gate, that’s a Gate”. We already know what we’re going to do in individual sections, and the general idea is also in place. But until we start working on the ground, nothing is 100% clear. As a rule, we love to work to the last moment, if we are allowed to, and the result is never what the preliminary sketches show. This way it’s far more interesting for us, when time and space hint at what must be done in practice. We’re not overly excited about automatically transferring our works.
An endless attempt for transition 1. Penoplast, wood, textile, plastic. 200x330 cm. Cologne, 2018