Here a few research projects I have been recently working on.
May 2020 – Narratives of Otherness, Contemporary Georgian Art and Its Few Strands This research project was conducted in 2019-2020, initially envisioned as a textual part of my exhibition on Otherness. It starts with perspectives on the phenomenon in the works of several thinkers, such as Hegel, Lacan, and Bhabha, followed by an overview of Otherness in Georgian culture and art, focusing on the 20th century. Essay concludes with a few thoughts on my selection for the exhibition.
January 2021 – Recently for one of the upcoming projects I have been looking at the origins of portraiture in Georgian art. This particular portrait of Nino Eristavi (daughter of Ksani’s earl Tornike) by an unknown Georgian painter dating 1829 is one of the best examples of the early Georgian portraits. It is clearly influenced by so-called the Qajarian painterly school originating at the court of Qajarian dynasty in Iran. The Qajarian dynasty ruled over Iran in 1789 to 1925, invading Georgia, Dagestan, Azerbaijan and Armenia. In the decisive battle of Krtsanisi on September 8-11, 1795 Georgian army was defeated, leading to capture and destruction of Tbilisi as well as to full Iranian domination over a large part of the country.
By invading Caucasus the dynasty of course brought cultural influences including a rich tradition of visual arts. Nino looks almost Iranian here, stylized as an Asian princess, but at the same time the portrait is a testament of the unique history of the country that was able to survive many battles and still retain a unique identity.