March 1 – March 28, 2023
Exhibition hours: 10:00 – 18:00. Every day except Mondays.
Ticket price: 5 Gel. Tickets can be purchased at the museum box office.
I Pity the Garden
Curators: George Spanderashvili, Khatia Chokhonelidze, Vato Urushadze
I Pity the Garden by Tbilisi-based artist duo Mariam Natroshvili and Detu Jincharadze is an immersive artwork about a premonition of the end. Through auto-generated real-time video installation and VR experience, the viewer is led into a realm of magical realism within the Anthropocene Epoch.
For Natroshvili and Jincharadze, artists born a few years before the collapse of the Soviet Union, the feeling of the end has always been integral to their experience of everyday life and has existed as a cornerstone of their collective memory. Living within the volatile environment of the Global South means to exist with the constant anticipation of various kinds of endings. This end does not necessarily mean disappearance; it can also embrace the beginning of something different in itself. However, the drama of how events unfold too often resembles a dystopian reality or a horrific fairytale where the metaphorical garden dries out, dies, is set ablaze, and is ultimately rendered empty.
The name of the project is sourced from the title of a work by Persia’s most famous poetess Forugh Farrokhzad (1934-1967). In her poem about the dying garden, written in the author’s strong eco-feministic voice, Farrokhzad reflects on the sensory relationship between a woman and the changing world around her.
I Pity the Garden takes the viewer into an immersive environment modeled by the mythopoetic forms of the artist’s narrative. It’s an observation on the signs marking the end: a horizon on fire, an abandoned city, a barking dog chained to a wall made of words, a vacant office cracking, a place where supermarket shelves are taken over by a horde of insects. The house on the edge of the abyss is from the village Rgani, Chiatura municipality which is being scarred as a result of open-pit mining. A place where ground cracks and houses are destroyed.
The central scene of the VR experience is a garden of extinct plants – The Ghosts Garden. This ecological crisis, in real life and represented here in VR, is one of the signs of the end. This virtual garden unites plants that have become extinct as a result of human intervention. The quaked earth has detached from objective reality, it is shaken by human deeds, a puzzle composed of images of real places and fragmented environments. The setting is similar to an abandoned video game where no human is visible. Only traces, irreversible mistakes, and wounds in the earth can be seen. I Pity the Garden is a poetic work that employs the technological age’s language of the new surrealism to speak about the end and the beginning.
In-between Conditions is a Tbilisi-based multimedia art platform founded in 2018. The platform combines media art, new technologies, science, and other hybrid forms of contemporary culture and tends to elaborate a complex curatorial approach focused on identifying changing socio-political contexts, developing cultural infrastructure, and generating manifestations for knowledge production.