About Me

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(Photo © Ilya Popenko)

I was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. My undergraduate degrees are from Tbilisi State University and Mount Holyoke College, both in International Relations and Gender Studies. After graduating from college, I worked at the United Nations, Columbia University  as well as various nongovernmental organization focusing on political or sociological research, finding ways for improvements on local or global level through communication.

This impulse was the main driving force behind my switch to art and visual culture as another instrument for meaningful connection. I have been invited to participate in various projects with a 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. 

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 the 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 East European Film Bulletin, Arte Fuse, Coeur Et Art BerlinHyperallergic, Art Spiel, Indigo Magazine, Heinrich Boell Foundation website.

Selected exhibition: 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.

My next curatorial project as an independent curator is exhibition This is Not My Tree at NARS Foundation, Brooklyn, a winner of 2020 Open Call.   This show brings together fourteen artists from various countries, all contemplating what it means to belong, be it in the sense of natural landscape or when being perceived as  invasive species. Due to pandemic the exhibition, scheduled for April, has been postponed until later this year.

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.

In summer 2020 I have been accepted into Master of Arts in Museum Studies at City University of New York, anticipated completion date spring 2022. My current and ongoing focus as a researcher and curator is discerning and studying alternative narratives within dominant cultures.

Contact: nina@ninamdivani.com

Instagram: @NinaMdivani

Twitter: @MdivaniNina