‘The way we live together’ is a solo show by Georgian artist Nika Kutateladze, presenting paintings, sculptures and small hand-cast silver Cassidinaes - more commonly known as a leaf beetle - within a site-responsive installation. Kutateladze attempts to transform the spectator’s perception of space and offers to glimpse of a new psycho-emotional experience.
The exhibition refers to an infestation of Cassidinaes and how that impacted the daily life of a dying mountainous village in Guria, a region of Georgia. According to local inhabitants, they had never seen a plane fly over the village until one flew over and intentionally threw down lots of Cassidinaes. They believed that since then, those insects have occupied the whole village and penetrated houses, clefts, mansards, cracks in the doors and windows, gardens, and woods. They destroyed everything around them and became an inseparable part of their life.
Such an apocalyptic motive is interesting for the artist not only for reference to social-economic changes, but also to signify individual tragedy. Cassidinaes, in this case, represent natural disasters that humans inevitably face in this world. Humans have to use technological and cultural artefacts to defend themselves, which is why humanity invents different ways of manipulating nature.
Kutateladze's practice engages with the depopulation of the 'village', exploring private and public space, economic poverty and emigration. The artist recreates an abstracted space through a poetic translation of observed meaningful elements of a local reality. A local situation is made symbolic, in an attempt to provoke multiple interpretations. This is achieved by using a myriad diverse mediums and aesthetic languages, revealing the artist's unique ability to combine these in an overall concept in which his personal experiences turn out to be in dialogue with pressing questions of our time.
Kutateladze is represented by Gallery Artbeat, Tbilisi, GE. The exhibition is produced in a collaboration with Gallery Artbeat. It relaunches VITRINE Bermondsey’s programme with a new focus on gallery collaborations.
Nika Kutateladze (b. 1989, Tbilisi, GE) lives and works in Tbilisi, GE. He holds a BA in Architecture from the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts (2011) and an MA from Centre of Contemporary Art, Tbilisi (2013).
He has exhibited internationally at institutions, biennials, galleries and fairs including: Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art, Paris, FR; Tbilisi Architectural Biennial 2018, CE; Kunsthalle Tbilisi, GE; Yarat Contemporary Art Centre, Baku, AZ; Centre Of Contemporary Art Tbilisi, GE; Pavilion #6 at Expo Georgia, Tbilisi, GE; Art villa Garikula, GE; Writers House, Tbilisi, GE; Gallery Artbeat, Tbilisi, GE; La Station, Niece, FR; Gallery Container, Tbilisi, GE; and Paris Internationale, Paris, FR.
Gallery Artbeat is a pioneering contemporary art gallery based in Tbilisi, GE representing mid-career and emerging Georgian artists. Between 2014-2017 the gallery started its journey as a project space in a moving gallery using a shipping container for site-specific exhibitions to introduce contemporary art in peripheral locations where museums and galleries don’t function. In October 2017 the gallery found it’s permanent home in the heart of Tbilisi. The gallery has a significant presence on the international art scene, collaborating with major institutions and museums and taking part in art fairs such as NADA Miami, Untitled Miami, Art Dubai, Artissima, Art Cologne. Their aim is to support artists throughout their artistic journeys, foster cultural activities both locally and abroad, collaborate with international galleries and organisations and mark Georgia on an international art map.