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Aleksi Soselia
Interview

- How did you find your place on the Georgian contemporary art scene?

 

-I came to the Centre for Contemporary Art in 2010 and was one of the first students. I both studied and worked there. Before that I worked in different fields, studied economics and law. When I am doing something, the first thing I am interested in is the environment, the atmosphere, where a person may inadvertently find himself as a spectator.

 

We often did different works while studying, but the first big project that comes to mind is the Georgian Video Art Archive, which my friends and I worked on together. An online archive that is by far the only archive in the field of contemporary art. The idea and content of the archive was so important to me that I see it as my artwork; I perceive the archive as a living organism ... We have a lot of institutions in Georgia, where no one looks for information, it is quite difficult to get in there and these institutions are not welcoming. We wanted tto give access to those who were studying or teaching in the field of contemporary art. In the 21st century, if you cannot find anything on the Internet, you cannot find it and you cannot see it in the physical body, then where can you find what you need?!

 

There was also a big problem that everyone thought they were inventing something new, but it had already been invented, done and rebuilt many times. It was very interesting to understand the information gathered together - you can understand what your background is, where you are today and where you will go in the future. Because one cannot find themselves directly in the future.

 

The archive has traveled everywhere, and we still participate in various forums or festivals... In addition, I was already working on video work, painting, photography. For me, the medium does not matter that much... the main thing is the topic I want to discuss and then I find the medium by which I express myself. Painting is a painting, a photo, is a photo, but it is the context, the situation, the environment that makes the work. For example, I can start cleaning the gallery and that will be that. This is what my friends and I are mostly focused on. Everyone does everything that is needed, no matter what it will be.

- How do you see the development of contemporary art in Georgia?

 

- It has developed by a lot. For example, the first place for us was CCA, it was the first white cube space in Tbilisi. The first year of my studies coincided with its opening, I was involved in everything – it is the best practice when you learn by doing.

 

The CCA is an educational institution, the main focus of which is new teaching methods. It is not the most cutting-edge approach, but here this need existed. Because such opportunities were not given to students at the Art Academy. At that time very few people came to the exhibitions, only a small, closed circle of people who already knew each other.

 

But over the years the number of people who were really interested in art increased quite a bit and mostly increased at the expense of the educational process taking place at the CCA, so many people got involved and finally this format paid off.

The problem in Georgia is that there are not many places where you can learn something, have a lot of freedom and with it more responsibility. There are no specific evaluation criteria in the CCA, everything is a process. What is difficult for the CCA is that there are no funding sources that will be long-term. Nobody sponsors education in this country and the challenge for us is how to make our system accessible to everyone.