news & events
Opening Reception March 7, 2013
Exhibition Continues April 7, 2013
Seminar March 8 - 9, 2013
Almost twenty years after the “Nordic Miracle” the North is again at the top of the agenda with the New York Armory Show's 2012 Nordic focus. This is a good opportunity to spread the discussion of “Nordic” through an art exhibition and seminar in the more distant setting of Tbilisi, Georgia. The artists in the exhibition are not all Nordic by birth but have made the north their workplace and home, some are native but live and work in another Nordic country.
Much has been discussed in relation to what might or might not be characteristic for artists native to/or working in the Nordic countries and the conclusion almost always seems to be that there actually are not any themes, visual or conceptual to be found. Instead one finds a broad range of contemporary art from those looking toward modernism and earlier, to more inter-disciplinary practices. Immigration and globalization, changing economies, has opened the perspective of Nordic artists on how to create the career, mainstream or otherwise. Nordic artists also seem to have embraced the ideas of actively participating in every step of their art production from research and creation to self-organization and curatorial work; with a strong sense of commitment to public engagement, rather than assuming a miracle will arrive.
What people call success is only preparation for the next failure.
This quote illuminates an aspect of the Nordic character that the exhibition and seminar will explore - the industrious, entrepreneurial determination of Nordic artists. The need for continuity through success and failure, but above all to trust the process, proceed with work, develop new strategies, move forward. Another aspect is the integration of the events into the public consciousness, through site-specific work, through the public forum.
Center of Contemporary Art –Tbilisi (CCAT) is an independent, nonprofit organization. The main goal of CCA-Tbilisi is to support the development of contemporary art in Georgia and in Caucasus region as well. For a country with deeply rooted cultural traditions it is of crucial importance to have an independent and open institution, which will work on contextualization of contemporary visual culture and help Georgian and international artists to effectively present creative production to local and international audiences.
Leslie Johnson and Josefina Posch’s visit to Tbilisi in September 2011 was to investigate
the possibility for an art exhibition as a result of contacts since several years. After Leslie
Johnson, then Director of Valand School of Fine Arts, along with other Swedish
educators and culture producers visited Tbilisi in 2009 funded by the Swedish Institute;
curator Magda Guruli was invited to Gothenburg for Valand's spring exhibition, several
Valand teachers visited Center of Contemporary Art and four Valand students were in
Tbilisi to develop and produce an exhibition (Transit) November 2010 in the CCA
exhibition space. A Georgian artist, Giorgi Makhniashvilli, former student at the Tbilisi
Academy, entered a one-year Valand postgraduate program, which he finished in May
2011. Wato Tsereli, Director of CCA was at Valand recently to lecture on contemporary
art in Georgia, in commitance with his exhibition in Lund. The Armory shows 2012 focus
on Nordic art further presents an opportunity to connect with the Georgian community
in New York through the Irena Popashvilli, former gallerist and currently Director of
Tbilisi Art Academy.
2013-04-11 - news
The exhibition has now ended and the production of the catalog and film have now started.