"Shipwreck" at Stamba Hotel

Yesterday “Shipwreck” - a new art exhibition - opened at Stamba Hotel. Organized by Goethe Institut Georgien and art organization Propaganda, “Shipwreck” is a Georgian extended version of “Géricault’s Shipwreck Revisited” (curated by Alfons Hug and Asli Samadova). The exhibition shows an artistic approach to the concept and reality of refugees, migration, emigration and forceful resettlement. Along with the pieces made specifically for the event by Georgian artists, artists from Azerbaijan, Canada, Germany and Senegal will also exhibit their work in Tbilisi for a month.

The original exhibition held in Baku in 2018 presented the pieces of Omar Victor Diop, Adad Hannah, Marcel Odenbach, Arjan Martins and Sitara Ibrahimova. The “Tbilisian “Shipwreck”, if so we might call it, adds Georgian context to the concept of the exposition. The very theme of this art exhibition is a painful, yet popular subject for Georgia, having lost almost a quarter of its population to emigration. It is a shelter for refugees and migrants from neighboring countries as well as a home to too many internally displaced Georgians. Hence, it’s no surprise that all of the Georgian artists who take a part in the project have, not only poetic but a natural, almost personal understanding of the theme. Like Anna Dziapshipa, a filmmaker with an Abkhazi surname, who states in her experimental video On Being Dziapshipa “My body is a lost territory.” The line is as realistic for some as it is metaphorical for the rest. One might not be able to relate to the difficulty of forceful displacement, emigration and refugees but this strongly visual exhibition helps gain the understanding of it.  

The inspiration for the name and subject line of the exhibition comes from Théodore Géricault’s masterpiece “Raft of Medusa”.

“Shipwreck” is an attempt to show different stories from different perspectives: many of them are told by the artists that have gone through this journey themselves. Some stories depict people who found a safety haven here, others – somewhere else. Some of the artists reflect on ‘the biggest human crisis of our times (Ai WeiWei)” – as it is written on the signboard at the entrance of the exhibition.

The exhibition is free of charge and is open until April 20, 2019.

By Nini Dakhundaridze

21 March 2019 01:30