A glance at the Center of Contemporary Art in Tbilisi
Open every day, excluding Monday, from 1 to 7p.m., the Center of Contemporary Art in Tbilisi (CCA-T), provides a multitude of activities related with various art fields, including exhibitions, triennials, consulting, tourism-related services and research.
Khatuna Khabuliani, art critic and co-founder of CCA-T explains that her colleagues and she had been feeling that Georgia lacked the unity and space for initiating various joint projects for creating an authentic art production. So they decided to establish the CCA-T, making it a reality on October 1, 2010 thanks to the generous financial support from TBC Bank and the SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation).
The Center’s Research Department is oriented on developing the contemporary art space by overlooking and systemizing the art era of the 20th century, the period when authentic and unique art was censored by the Soviet government.
“We provide a unique atmosphere for motivated and creative students to demonstrate their ideas and artwork in front of an international audience and get them strongly attached with 21st century tendencies,” says Wato Tsereteli, director of CCA-T, “We not only provide various kinds of support for native artisans and potential mediators, but also offer international students the chance to join our hub. For example, we are partnering with Binz 39, an organization based in Zurich.”
The collaboration, according to Tsereteli, includes exchange opportunities between local and international artists and curators.
The CCA systematically does its best to offer the local and international audience conceptual exhibitions eight times a year. The concept is the key factor while exhibiting art products and it applies to global and local issues. The space of the CCA Gallery (150 square meters) gives the audience the chance to perceive an object in an effective way.
At present, the exhibition “Beyond the Contradictions” offers visitors the works of twenty artists with disparate demographical and social backgrounds. “This is an exhibition by which we are promoting the re-union between generations,” mentions Tsereteli.
He explains that “Beyond the Contradiction” involves different types of artwork, created with uncommon materials. What is most important, is a diversified state of mind. “However, the fact that this artwork is facing each other at the gallery space symbolizes the idea that it is possible for predecessors to co-operate with ancestors,” he adds.
The next exhibition is already planned. On May 18, “Berlin” will be shown in the CCA Gallery’s space. A number of Berlin-based artists are going to express the spirit of this city by an authentic visual art production.
In addition, the center is engaged in educational programs, such as a nine-month informal master program in five different fields: mediation, audio/sound art, photography, 2D art and video art. In the coming year, ten scholarships will be available for students worldwide.
The center also accompanies its basic activities with the Tbilisi Triennial. This mode of event is a totally new project implemented by the CCA. The first Triennial – “Offside Effect” will start from October 19 and will continue until November 20, 2012. It will cover themes such as visual art, art education and artistic research.
In the prelude of the Triennial, discussions will be held on specific topics by special international guests. The Triennial will incorporate practices in the form of activities such as economics, methodologies and strategies for upgrading the field of artistic thinking.
With the support of four keynote speakers, Hito Steyer, Stephan Dillemuth, Anton Vidokle and Marion von Osten and twelve international art-related organizations, valuable practices will be shared and an authentic view pertaining to visual art, art education and research will be demonstrated in a presentation format.
As mentioned earlier, the CCA provides a multitude of services: one of which is consulting. In the case of the potential purchase of a piece of art, the CCA team is able to provide sound support with its rich database of contemporary art production by taking into account the environment, which will host newly bought artwork.
Another service provided by the CCA is the Cumbowalking. This tourism-oriented service gives guests a chance to transform a usual tour process into an enthusiastic journey. Cumbo, a guide, is a polyglot and speaks English, German, French, Dutch and Russian and his company aims to arrange sightseeing tours according to one’s interests.
All these efforts aim at enriching the knowledge regarding Georgian culture, as well as providing efficient art criticism and analytical thinking, which makes the CCA-T a major catalyst for strengthening art in Georgia.
By Nikoloz Nadirashvili