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Koka Ramishvili
Michele Robecchi



Koka Ramishvili belongs to that generation of Eastern European artists that found

themselves in a quandary, stuck between the old guard accustomed to the old system and the new one which had the possibility, at least theoretically, to interact with the Western half of the continent.


KOKA RAMISHVILI, Good Morning – Platforms for Event, 2005.

Still from fi lm. B&W video with sound DVD, 7 mins. Courtesy

Mitterrand + Sanz, Zurich.


“Perforated Cinema,” his first solo show in Zurich, is a small but exhaustive retrospective that covers almost 20 years of work, taking as starting point the first time he spent outside his native Georgia, when he temporarily settled in Munich between 1990 and 1994. Video and photography are the two media Ramishvili seems to prefer the most, and it’s interesting to see the two formats dialoguing and at times acting as a surrogate to each other. “War From My Window” (1991-92), a series of black-and-white photographs dedicated to the conflicts that marked Georgia, is displayed on a sequence as a filmstrip, suggesting a narrative form. Similarly, videos like Good Morning – Platforms for Event (2005) or Tea (2004) are composed of repeated or looped images, to the point of looking still. The overlap of private and public dimensions is another trademark in the artist’s work. Typical domestic episodes are alternated with urban collective moments in a poignant way, acting as a reminder of how in times of dramatic changes even the most remote and

detached of situations is inevitably affected. In his essay published on the occasion

of Ramishvili’s exhibition at the Georgian Pavilion in this year’s Venice Biennale, Viktor Misiano noted how the artists who attempted to have a grasp of the complex

post-Soviet reality eventually narrowed down their response to two options: impartial

documentation or straight social action. Ramishvili’s images apparently work inbetween these two parameters. Such a strategy might be mistaken for caginess, but as a matter of fact it is the best possible reminder of how mono-dimensionality is a dangerous route to take when taking a position.


Flash Art 269  NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2009

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