About Me

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(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 ArtHyperallergic, 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. 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.

2021 CURATORIAL PROJECTS:

  • Guest curator for 2021 Open Call at the Border Project Space, Brooklyn. Deadline March 14. Please apply here. Proposals for solo and group shows are accepted from American and international artists.

 

Participating artists: Yael Azoulay, Eli Barak, Omer Ben-Zvi, Mosen Binnalee, Delano Dunn, Jan Dickey, Michal Geva, Jon Gomez, Lia Kim Farnsworth, Tamara Kvesitadze, Netta Laufer, Dana Levy, Pedro Mesa, Mark Tribe

The exhibition considers several questions. First, how new species change and destabilize the ecosystem and over time assimilate into hierarchical groups, irrevocably changing them while simultaneously adapting to the existing conditions. Second, how migration stories of our times mirror these environmental movements and how artistic works could show these complex processes. Third, why and where do we feel at home and what is an ecosystem on our human, every-day level. As globalization is showing its alternative face, we are faced with the collective question of where do we belong and how we know it. If until now we almost blissfully lived in a dream of integration and connectivity we are forced to once again reevaluate our notions of territoriality, control, and parameters of trust. In the presented works natural habitats stand in for human ecosystems, some of them being welcoming and open, others prejudiced, discriminating, and punishing. Considering nature and environmentalism as part of social theory is necessary if we want to have a more rounded understanding of human journeys. Presented artists come from Israel, Georgia, Saudi Arabia, United States, and Colombia, but all of them share either immigrant past or present and find connection with natural environment as their main metaphor.

Installation photos above by Jon Gomez and Lia Kim Farnsworth.

Exhibition press:

Border Crossers via The Y Circus Magazine.

Conversation about Migration via XIBT Magazine.

Review by Jonathan Goodman, Arte Fuse

 

Masha Rudenko, (un)seen in collaboration with Ekaterina Korobova, Ben Cope, et al.

Curator of Public Digital Art Platform is 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 Platform 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.

March 2021

As March is globally recognized as a Women’s month for the March launch of the platform we focused on with three women artists. Italy/LA-based Masha Rudenko,  New York-based  Renana Neuman and  Berlin-based Eli Cortiñas all present women as central characters of their artistic explorations. If Rudenko explores the ways of perceptions she brings in a woman who adheres to the archetype – she is gentle, serene and closely connected to the rhymes of nature. In Renana Neuman’s video  a statue contemplates its life choices and its possible futures, daydreaming of other places. Temporarily Removed addresses the many processes of dislocating and enframing inherent to the construction of any collection. Women who are displayed are always chosen based on the fashion of the day. Eli Conrtiñas’ video looks at the place of an individual within a society, a woman wearing a bear mask tries to find her place in the city and outside of it. 

Contact

Email: nina@ninamdivani.com

Instagram: @ninamdivani