Curator: Nino Gunia-Kuznetsova
The Unlocked Circle
Project was presented at Prague Quadrennial 2019 Section Country/Region
Presenting Organization VALERIAN GUNIA UNION OF YOUNG THEATRE ARTISTS (YTA Union) / OISTAT National Centre of Georgia
During the Prague Quadrennial 2019 the Georgian National Pavilion pursues the goal to document transformation of aesthetics of Georgian theatre and demonstrate political context, communication culture and interaction of artistic reflections.
Modern practice of Georgian theatre focuses on a wide range of dialogues, reflections on the essence and opportunities. The subjects of the dialogue unite local and global identities including wider paradigms and groups representing subcultures and gender. The dialogue consists of diverse elements and vectors giving the theatre a role of a universal medium that should foster a complex process, identify the problems and support the involved sides in renewal of their identities, “create” a common knowledge through communication.
Under the circumstance of the shift of paradigm the process of search of renewed identity, which unites confrontational and communicative aspects, becomes especially active. During the PQ19 exposition of the Georgian National Pavilion “The Unlocked Circle” will resonate with the newest theatrical trend. It is based on the dialogue and is especially visible in the works of the young directors who attempt to represent social, cultural and political contexts that give birth to the changes of a paradigm, start transformation of the language of Georgian theatre (among them through formation of so called “new theatre of sensitivity”). It is important that the “new theatre of sensitivity” documents the recent history as part of a “dialogue”.
Topics of the works selected for the National Pavilion cover state of traumas in a war and post-war societies (local as well as general problems). In this context it is logical that Georgian National Pavilion presents its exposition in the same cluster as national pavilions of Ukraine and Armenia.
30-year history and culture of Georgian independence contains confrontational, conflicting narratives. National reflections of the 1990s were based on the topics permanent waiting, hope, frustration, disrupted borders and syndrome of a closed space. The themes partially maintained their urgency even until the beginning of the 21st century.
Thanks to the post-traumatic analysis of the society since 2010s Georgian theatre went through the period of transformation. The artists of new generation think through the categories of rapprochement and empathy and try to find their own identity in the global context.
In 2019 the Georgian National Pavilion will present theatre projects of different genres and aesthetics at the Prague Quadrennial. The video recordings of plays and performances as well as interviews will create visual panorama. Topics of the interviews will concentrate on reflections of theatres on current political, social and cultural processes. This way the display will create an extended circle of communication with the spectators and give them an opportunity to get familiar with the sensitivity of modern theatre and present situation.
Georgian National Pavilion unites different generations of Georgian stage designers and directors who create stage design for their performances to demonstrate transformation of the goals and objectives of theatrical art and stage design. These are the representatives of three generations: David Doiashvili (born in 1971) whose university years coincided with the end of the Soviet Union and who started his professional career in the post-soviet period; Nikoloz Sabashvili (born in 1980) who was formed as an artist during the dramatic and turbulent years of collapse of the Soviet Union and three young theatre professionals (one stage designer and two directors/stage designers) Shota Bagalishvili, Guram Matskhonashvili and David Tavadze (all born in 1989) whose identity was formed during the period of independence and who are the same age as independent Georgia.
These artists are known for different theatrical culture, worldview and aesthetics. Their work gives birth to essential changes (sometimes revolutionary, sometimes more cautious but still clear) of the language of Georgian theatre and brings us to establishment of so-called “theatre of new sensitivity” by the generation of 1989s.
During the last decade Georgian scenography revealed distribution of specific fields of specialization based on gender. Gender balance shifted more towards the women – trend that became obvious at the Georgian National Pavilion of the Prague Quadrienale 2015 (concept “Voice of the Women”). In parallel scenography became more popular among the male directors. Sceographyc images, which are created by the directors remain quite reserved, even minimalistic and are sometimes based on the aesthetics of kitsch or documentalizm…
Modern Georgian theatre experiences growth of importance of documentary narrative as an artistic tool for presenting the urgent problems to the public. Georgian National Pavilion is based on this principle.
It is a territory where varieties of spatial interpretations are demonstrated through metamorphoses and movement following an inner aspiration to unlock the circles and to overcome the boundaries. The artistic space of the Pavilion typifies this active theatrical process comprised of passions, desires, thoughts, values, aspirations and hopes. It is a territory where new visions appear again and again and where personalities are renewed. It offers a fascinating story of art and liberation of life, a way to a new “ego” through reinterpretation of the past and reflection of the present.
Nino Gunia-Kuznetsova Tamar Bokuchava (1963-2019)
Author of the teme, Curator Co-author, Co-curator
Nino Gunia-Kuznetsova is the curator, cultural policy expert.
She graduated from Tbilisi State Academy of Arts in 1988. In 2004 she was awarded a scientific pedagogical title of Docent of Fine Arts. In 1991-2017 she worked in different positions and has been teaching at various universities (Tbilisi State Academy of Arts, Georgian Technical University, Shota Rustaveli State University of Theatre and Film, IB Euro-Caucasian University, Ilia Chavchavadze State University) and in 2018 she became an Accreditation Expert of the National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement.
In 1998 she designed and managed the project “Creation ofSpecialized–Experimental Workshop at the Faculty of Scenography and Introduction to Video Art Method” at Shota Rustaveli State University of Theatre and Film.
Since 2005 Nino Gunia-Kuznetsova serves as the National Expert of the Council of Europe and is in charge of producing the National Report On the Cultural Policy of Georgia.
In 2013-2016 she served as the member of the State Committee for Development of Cultural Policy and the Cultural Strategy Coordination Team of the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia. She participated in the development of legislative normative acts on Intangible Cultural Heritage. In 2015-2018 she led research and monitoring project of implementation of UNESCO Convention 2005 on Cultural Diversity.
Nino Gunia-Kuznetsova is the founder and executive director of Valerian Gunia Union of Young Theatre Artists – Georgian National Center of OISTAT (1998) and the founder and art director of Tbilisi Biennial of Stage Design (2016).
She is the member of the Professional Union of Georgian Artists and the Theater Union of Georgia.
Since 1998 Nino Gunia-Kuznetsova has curated numerous exhibitions of stage design,.
For the first time Georgia was represented as an independent country at Prague Quadrennial upon the initiative of Nino Gunia-Kuznetsova.
She was the curator of the following exhibitions:
2019 – Georgian National Pavilion at PQ19 – “The Unlocked circle”
2015 – Georgian National Pavilion at PQ15 – “Woman voice”
2011 – Georgian Student Pavilion at PQ11 – “We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” (W. Shakespeare’s – The Tempest);
2007 – Georgian Student Pavilion at PQ07 –“Auditorium N15 -Always at the Edge”
She is the author and publisher of papers and articles on scenography.