(Photo © Ilya Popenko)
I am Georgia-born and New York-based curator, writer and researcher. My undergraduate degrees are from Tbilisi State University and Mount Holyoke College, both in International Relations and Gender Studies. I am candidate for MA in Museums Studies at City University of New York. My previous working experience includes United Nations, Columbia University as well as various nongovernmental organizations, with focus on political or sociological research.
Over the last three years I have been invited to participate in various projects with the focus on contemporary painting and photography, women artists, gender imbalance. My first book, “King is Female,” telling the story of three acclaimed female Georgian artists and their journey inside the male-dominated world of societal and artistic traditions was published by Wienand Verlag in Berlin, October 2018 in conjunction with Kornfeld Gallery, Berlin and launched at the Frankfurt Book Fair. You can find more information about the book in My Books section of this website.
From March 2019 to May 2020 I have been selected and worked as Curator-in-Residence at Kunstraum, Brooklyn-based art hub that serves as a multidisciplinary platform for daring and envelope-pushing curatorial initiatives. As a resident curator I worked on putting together exhibitions as well as overseeing additional programming for this alternative space. My residency culminated in the two-part exhibition New York Meets Tbilisi: Defining Otherness that cumulatively presented nine Georgian and five New York-based artists in visual dialogue with each other. Exploring phenomenon of Otherness in various aspects through artworks and finding correspondences as well as contrasts was challenging and exciting. This exhibition project was selected by New York Foundation of the Arts (NYFA) for fiscal sponsorship.
Among my publications: “Anna Valdez: Natural Curiosity” (Paragon Books, Berkeley, CA 2019), “Lechaki: Photography of Daro Sulakauri” (ERTI Gallery, Georgia 2018), “The Science, Religion, and Culture of Georgia A Concise and Illustrated History” (NOVA Science Publishing, New York 2017). My articles have been featured in Arte Fuse New York, White Hot Magazine of Contemporary Art, Arte & Lusso Dubai, East European Film Bulletin Berlin, Coeur Et Art, Hyperallergic, Art Spiel, Indigo Magazine, Heinrich Boell Foundation blog.
Selected exhibitions: Rooms & Beings: Solo of Rusudan Khizanishvili at 68 Projects, Berlin, Defining Otherness Part I at Assembly Room (LES), and Part II at Kunstraum LLC Brooklyn, January-March 2020; King is Female at Villa Wessel Kunstverein, Iserlohn, Germany, October 2018; Natela Iankoshvili Centennial at MoMa Tbilisi, Georgia, June 2018; Conversion Device by Rusudan Khizanishvili at Mark Rothko Art Centre in Daugavpils, Latvia, April 2018.
I have served as a visiting critic for New York Art Residency and Studios (NARS) Foundation in 2019; International School of Photography, New York in 2019 and 2020; juror for Bronx Council on the Arts New Work 2020; Virtual Visitor for Art Omi residency program in summer 2020; Residency Unlimited studio visitor in spring 2021. In addition, I have facilitated and served as a juror for Grant Initiative in Support of Georgian Artists During Covid-19 in conjunction with Ria Keburia Foundation.
My current and ongoing focus as a researcher and curator is discerning and studying alternative narratives within dominant cultures. You can see my recent reviews, essays, and articles in My Articles section of the website.
UPCOMING PROJECTS IN 2021:
In this series of conversations, Tbilisi-born and New York-based curator and art writer Nina Mdivani will profile twelve Georgian women artists. Some of them are known to the wider audience, while some deserve to be rediscovered. Each presentation will be followed by a Q&A session. Below you can find the schedule of our meetings all presented in collaboration with The Georgian Association in the USA:
Meeting One: Natela Grigalashvili & Rusudan Khizanishvili
Date: June 13, Sunday 2:00 PM EST
Meeting Two: Vera Pagava & Elene Akhvlediani
Date: July 18, Sunday 2:00 PM EST
Meeting Three: Natela Iankoshvili & Tamar Abakelia
Date: August 15, Sunday 2:00 PM EST
Meeting Four: Gayane Khachaturian & Ema Lalaeva-Ediberidze
Date: September 12, Sunday 2:00 PM EST
Meeting Five: Esma Oniani & Keti Kapanadze
Date: October 10, Sunday 2:00 PM EST
Meeting Six: Tamara Kvesitadze & Mariam Natroshvili
Date November 14, Sunday 2:00 PM EST
You choose here which session or sessions you would like to attend. Please note that we will send everyone who registered reminders one week ahead of each meeting and you may thus get an email about a meeting that you might not have selected.
Uprootedness & Hybridity: Researching Eastern-European intergenerational trauma in the arts and theatre (free online seminar)
Online seminar initiated by Monika Dorniak
19th of June 2021, 15.30h (CET) 14.30h (UK) -18.00h (CET)
A Zoom link will be sent to registrants on the day of the event.
With contributions by: Monika Dorniak & Susanna Rydz, Olesya Khromeychuk, Nina Mdivani, Jessica Ostrowicz, Red Zenith Collective
Our bodies store memories that far exceed our lifetimes, and the global increase in migrations and forced displacements leads us to new reflections on our belonging and identity. In the past decades, artists, scientists and historians have become increasingly interested in the research of intergenerational trauma, and the impact of our ancestors traumatic experiences on our present identities. Wars do not only deconstruct landscapes and bodies, but destroy cultural archives and artefacts, which leave descendants with no less than fragmented images of their bygone ‘realities’.
This seminar will introduce artistic quests across Eastern European history from four different perspectives. While sharing our personal and intimate reflections, we are unravelling the complexity of intergenerational trauma collectively, and allow space for different questions that may lead us to new answers.
Transmission of trauma is not limited to genes only, but could also be experienced through its reenactment in the arts and theatre.
You can register here.
I am also curator of Public Digital Art Fund, a new immersive digital space on a busy intersection of Moscow City. It continues the 6-year mission of Moscow Public Art Fund to bring new contemporary art for people in the city streets.
Inception of the new Public Digital Art Fund was brought forth by the ongoing global shifts and willingness to support contemporary art in its many iterations. As a team we are looking forward to inviting various international and Russian video artists to expand on the meaning and outreach of contemporary digital art. By providing this innovative space we are hoping to extend a dialogue between artists and people on the streets; to show something new, but also to ask questions and to provide a new understanding of public art. Our vision is to select three diverse and novel video works based on a variety of themes thus choosing topics for discussion and attracting philosophers, writers, other artists, curators and representatives of the Russian and Western art space to elucidate on them.
“BUTTERFLY BIRTH BED is a metaphysical art film about hope. Inspired by ‘The Butterfly Effect’—the philosophical theorem that any small change in our environment, even the gentle flapping of a butterfly’s wings may manifest big climatic change—the film documents the ethereal emergence of live butterflies over storm imagery contained in a butterfly-scale Shaker bed. Collectively, BUTTERFLY BIRTH BED’s symbolism and elemental soundscape facilitate a witchy incantation for hope, healing and recovery. The film is directed, edited, and scored by VLM.”
https://vimeo.com/397814019 (from artist website)