Tolia Astakhishvili “I think it’s closed” Kunstverein Bielefeld

March 13, 2023

In her artistic language, Tolia Astakhishvili refers to pasts and memories transported through space; be they intimate or political. The artist transforms the existing architecture with the help of sheetrock and thereby creates new spaces. Left raw in the process of construction, these walls redefine the floor plan of the exhibition space. Spaces are bisected, hidden windows revealed and new vantage points created. The way in which Astakhishvili’s pale walls alter the original exhibition space and its given logic triggers a specific orientation; as if the artist wanted to break through the order and authority of the institution. At the same time, she uses the new construction elements to design her own framework for her works, in which paintings, found objects, drawings, photographs and/or texts are integrated. Her drawings and paintings often depict ghosts or surreal beings. In this environment, they reveal traces of human presence that are both real and fictional, gentle, uncanny or even violent. A living place emerges that generates various psychological states and ultimately makes the poetics of space visible. Astakhishvili’s installations resemble a non-linear narrative that invites the viewer to explore different levels of consciousness of a physical space.

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