I know exactly what you know
Giorgi Geladze, Oleg Timchenko, Niko Tsetskhladze, Wato Tsereteli
The Why Not Gallery is glad to present the show I Know Exactly What You Know comprised of a video by Wato Tsereteli, documentation of the performance by Oleg Timchenko and Niko Tsetskhladze and an installation by Giorgi Geladze. The exhibition takes inspiration from the theme of this year’s Tbilisi Triennial themed The Will, where the notion of will is perceived in personal, societal, cultural, economical dimensions. The presented exhibition seeks to address the concept of artistic will, as a spirit, ability and a driving force to withstand some of the harshest givens of reality, to comment on some of the most piercing issues of now and reflect on the most well-disguised paranoias of today.
The performance Stand Against by Timchenko and Tsetskhladze took place in 1991; at a time when the country was going through drastic transformations, all the value, belief and living systems came crashing down and the society was startled with a new reality that they had no capacity to make sense of. In that petrifying mayhem, when everyday survival was the prime concern, naturally not many cared about contemporary art. The artists realized that they had to leave their studios and bring their art to the people. Then Public Square, now Orbeliani Square, was one of the most crowded places, since it was located near food bazaar, one of the few places the crowds came together. The passageway where the performance took place (the same where the gallery is currently located), a transitory, but also an intimate space served as a perfect location for the now iconic performance. The artists, dressed in black suits, a uniform of both, well to do Mafiosi and even more questionable politicians of the time, had their faces painted in bronze and stood motionless behind the vitrines. The passerbys first took them as mannequins for a shop that was not. But unexpectedly the artists broke the glass and continued standing still in the shatters until they made their exits. The forceful gesture and the sharp sound of glass breaking by these poker-faced well-dressed men became one of the most accurate reflections on the time of ruthlessness and obtuseness that was infiltrated with primal violence.
Wato Tsereteli’s animated video Techno, 2014, carries a distinct soviet-style aesthetic and opens with a worker riding a drilling machine. The shot zooms out and we see him placed underneath Lenin’s Mausoleum, burying Lenin’s corpse deep into the ground (and maybe get buried with it). The action is taking place accompanied by rhythmic sound of techno music, reviving early 90s associations. The video carries on with a close up of a Russian-style tanker-truck with its driver, as if to continue this sensation of reconstruction and rebuilding. This seemingly simple and straightforward action that the video is depicts points to a larger and more deeply rooted sentiments that Georgian, as many of the post soviet societies, is infiltrated with. We seem to have gained independence and demolished all the soviet memorabilia, but somehow soviet mentality seems to live on as a phantom on some intangible plane. The video seems to point on the grand clean up that our mentality needs to perform and seems to imagine a world in which it successfully takes place, hence the jackpot 3 7s that emerge at the end of the video.
Giorgi Geladze, a young artist, takes the stream of his unconscious and of his city as the focus of his art. Presented body of work is from his series of Alghorhytms that is comprised of found cheap materials that he then reworks. These fabrics, textures and patterns that are inherent to the everyday life, are transformed into both familiar, yet completely new objects by the texts that the artist paints on them. The title of the series Alghorhythms is composed of the words ‘Algho’ (Geo. sense, intuition) and ‘Rhythm’ that instantly point to the witty, humoristic and poetic dimensions of Geladze’s works. These seemingly straightforward words and sentences allow for boundless interpretations once painted on these surfaces. Sometimes they serve as playful jokes, random thoughts, political observations or piercing slap-in-your-face confrontations –and are always sharp reflections on our society. Presented installation has the works hung on top of each other, so that the texts are almost indecipherable. This way of hanging closely relates to the way the artist creates these works – overlaying, overpainting, oversticking; also it echoes the way the artist thinks and expresses himself and how these concepts come together and overlap each other in his mind. Last but not least, the installation very much reflects on the surroundings of the vitrine, where things amassed, hung and placed on top of each other, create a very distinct aesthetic. The title of the exhibition is taken from one of the Geladze’s canvases.
Giorgi Geladze (born 1996, Tbilisi) is currently a student at the Visual Art, Architecture and Design School, Tbilisi. His creative experimentations include working with Georgian language, found materials and architecture. He has participated in the group exhibitions as part of his studies on the premises of the Free University, Tbilisi. In 2018 he collaborated with the fashion brand Situationist on their Autumn Winter 2018-19 collection presentation at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris. His works are currently exhibited at the group show Lara Protects Me, Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt.
Oleg Timchenko (born 1957, Tbilisi) graduated from the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts in 1982. He was an active member of the Georgian unofficial art scene and part of the collective X Floor. The group, inspired by the German Neo-expressionism became famous for their unconventional practice and experimentations with different media. Timchenko has largely been exhibited both in Georgia and abroad, including New York, London, Prague. His works are in the collections of the Ludwig Museum, Budapest, among others.
Niko Tsetskhladze (born 1959, Tbilisi) graduated from the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts in 1986. Since the second half of the 80s he was an active member of Georgian unofficial art scene and was part of the collective X Floor. He has been exhibited in Georgia, Spain, Czech Republic, Turkey among others.
Wato Tsereteli (born 1975, Tbilisi) obtained his masters degree from the Department of Photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp in 1998. He works as multimedia artist, curator and creative administrator and has initiated numerous trailblazing projects including Center of Contemporary Art Tbilisi (2010), Tbilisi Triennial (2012). His artworks have extensively been exhibited both in Georgia and abroad.