Monday was time to leave Garikula – after two weeks in total it had started to feel like home but it was time to get back to the city as there were still plenty of artists to see.
We started by meeting Levan ‘Gaga’ Kapanadze and Giorgi Makhniashvili from Maf_media art farm who mostly work with photography and video (sometimes dabbling in VJing). The group has five core members and met on a media fine art course set up by Wato Tsereteli (and is now part of the National Art Academy). Maf are very interested in international projects and exchanges.
Later we went to see Lali, an art critic and active member of Archidrome Contemporary Art Archive, to meet some of the members of Bouillon group. The seven artists from Bouillon undertake site-specific, context-based, conceptual work. Some examples of their projects: making toys out of litter from a disused army supplies factory, training to become professional weight-lifters in a month for this year’s Artisterium (they all failed so the deadline has been postponed for another month) and eating bouillon in a private flat as a performance involving the audience.
On Tuesday we took a trip to Mtskheta, the spiritual centre of Georgia and a UNESCO World Heritage site. We had a look at the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral and the regional museum. Then we climbed the hill (in a taxi) to look round Jvari monastery.
Lastly we met with Levan Maisuradze, an actor from the Margot Karabelova theatre group, who told us about the performing arts scene in Tbilisi, some of his projects and generally what it’s like for emerging artists in the city.