The FINANCIAL — International print festival Life-N-Style 2018, presented by the Art Caucasus Association, and supported by general media partner The FINANCIAL, held its closing events last week.
In the first week of November, the festival presented its final interactive art performances at TBC Gallery and the ‘Wine Factory/Wine Ubani’ with its 8 different exhibition spaces.
A complete synthesis of print and modern technologies was presented at this year’s Life-N-Style festival, with contemporary forms being displayed in design, video art, photo installation, sound and cloth – all of which were amazingly impressive for the public.
“We tried to speak to modern society in a language the modern world can understand. This ‘language’ turned out to be well accepted and easily interpreted by our society who correctly embraced the meaning of the concept,” said Nana Kirmelashvili, the Director of Life-N-Style festival.
The international print festival ran in 3 stages. First, the festival started in Tusheti. With inspiration from ancient Tushetian mythology and demonology, participant artists presented a peculiar vision that was demonstrated in the event’s final show – a synthesis of old and new.
Moving on to Batumi, the Life-N-Style festival successful exhibited at two event spaces: the Museum of Art and Contemporary Art space in Batumi, which are annual partners of the festival. Then, moving on from enclosed space, the exhibition turned ‘street gallery’ at Botaniko garden space, taking itself directly to the city’s visitors. Art works displayed on huge banners covered the length of Batumi Boulevard. “It was quite an effective extension in Batumi; people are tired of the usual spaces, they need new forms, new visuals. We therefore decided to move away from the standard exhibition format and instead took ourselves directly to the people. The point of exhibitions is to satisfy both the author of the work as well as the visitor, and if this result is obtained, then you can say that the exhibition has been a complete success,” Nana Kirmelashvili told The FINANCIAL.
This time in Tbilisi, the print festival introduced two different formats. In the first exhibition space, at TBC Gallery, Georgian silk screen works of the best Georgian artists of different age were on display. The Wine Ubani area displayed the art works of foreign guests from Canada, Israel, Lebanon, Armenia –curated by Marina Yerenyan, Turkey – curated by Denizhan Ozer, Russia – curated by Alexander Florenski, Spain – curated by Jimena Florez, The Etching workshop – curated by Vakhtang Megrelishvili, Ozurgeti Picture Gallery – curated by Tandila Tavartkiladze, as well as students’ works from Tbilisi State Academy of Arts – curated by Tamaz Varvaridze.
At the teeming Wine Ubani area venue there were presented the following art works by young artists: “Loop” – a project by video artist Tornike Mzarelua; Visual graphic by Romanoz; Video installation using modern technologies and sound – by young musician Te Te Noise; Photo installation – by Mari Ataneli; “8 minutes of life” – a performance by Lisa Glonti and Romanoz; “When the Veil Between the World is Thin” – costume and performance by Uta Bekaia; Photo and video installation – Dato Koridze; Live sound, old Irish – Georgian synthesis by Australian Artist Conor O’Hanlon; Tusheti photo installation – Irakli Dzneladze; From Parallel Reality – graphical installation by Ketevan Peradze; “Ablution’ / Tusheti” – performance, installation – Zaira Nadirashvili; Azerbaijan – TSUB /Tusheti sublimation/ – Shakhnaz Aghayeva & Phobia VR; Self portrait – by Ria Keburia; Fashion & Other Misunderstandings – performance by Natalia Mali and Amo Gogoladze; Sound – Richard Crow /UK, Design – Guga Kotetishvili.
Each of the eight venues assimilated for the exhibition were totally different from each other. They were individually effective in enabling visitors to interact and participate in the various art works in different ways, thereby bringing them closer to the Tushetian soul and atmosphere.
The festival is sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Adjara, Ministry of Education, Science, Culture & Sports of Georgia, Tbilisi Mayor and TBC Bank. Supported by Book Art Center, National Scientific Library, Contemporary Art Space – Batumi, Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Diaspora Armenia, Art Caucasus/ Armenia, Gvinis Ubani, Nagomari Tea;
This year for the first time, a participant from Tbilisi State Academy of Arts was selected by a jury to be awarded a special prize. This prize was instituted only for students of the Academy and the first winner was announced as Maia Chichua. The prize is named after Lado Togonidze, considered the ‘father’ of handmade printing, and whose great merit has been the foundation of the Life-N-Style festival.
Nana Kirmelashvili in collaboration with & Mari Ataneli has been working on this project for a couple of years. As she said, print art is one of the leading directions of the creative art industry on the global market. Accordingly, she sees a bright future for this art direction in Georgia too.
“The main mission of the festival – to establish proper understanding of handmade print in modern times – is being accomplished. I think handmade printing has already settled itself within contemporary Georgia. It has the potential to have its own particular characteristic features. Our future plans include expanding the scale of the festival and going outside of the country with new collections that the event has collected over these past 3 years” Nana Kirmelashvili said to The FINANCIAL.