I Pity the Garden. National Pavilion of Georgia - 59th Biennale di Venezia

  • When:   April 23, 2022 - November 27, 2022

Contemporary art

I Pity the Garden. National Pavilion of Georgia - 59th Biennale di Venezia

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 large-scale 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 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 start of something new. 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.

I Pity the Garden takes the viewer into a mesmeric environment modeled by the mythopoetic forms of the artists’ narrative. It’s an observation of signs marking the end: a horizon on fire, a deserted city, a barking dog chained to a wall made of words, a place where supermarket shelves are taken over by a horde of insects. The setting is similar to an abandoned video game where no human is visible and only the traces of irreversible mistakes and wounds in the earth can be seen. The central scene of the VR experience is the Ghosts Garden, a virtual garden that unites plants that have become extinct as a result of human intervention. This ecological crisis, in real life and represented here in VR, is one of the signs of the end.

I Pity the Garden is a poetic work that reflects on a shaken environment detached from objective reality. The audience is invited to move through an interactive and self-generating visual sequence of a non-linear puzzle, composed of real places and fragmented environments that illuminate a world shaken by human deeds. It’s an artwork that employs this technological age’s language of new surrealism in order to speak about the end and the beginning.

Mariam Natroshvili and Detu Jincharadze are the Tbilisi-based artists working together since 2011. Their practice includes multimedia, interdisciplinary, and curatorial projects. Focusing on themes such as the disappearance and oblivion, the key medium of the artists are words, texts, VR, and CGI imagery. They research the personal and collective memory transformed by significant socio-political events. The duo has participated in many international and local exhibitions, including “Houston, we have a problem”, Artisterium VII; “Buildings are not enough”, Tbilisi Architecture Biennale; IDFA doclab, and other projects www sadarismelia.com.

The title of the work, I Pity the Garden, is sourced from a work by Persia's most famous modernist 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.

Organization and Acknowledgments

I Pity the Garden has been made possible through the support of The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Youth of Georgia.

Commissioner: Magda Guruli, Tbilisi based contemporary art curator | https://bit.ly/3GrwOdU

Curators: In-between Conditions is an independent curatorial platform founded in 2018 which includes the curators Giorgi Spanderashvili, Khatia Tchokhonelidze, and Vato Urushadze. Their transdisciplinary art practice combines media art with technology, science, and other hybrid forms of contemporary culture

Local Partner: Nuova Icona, a non-profit cultural association, founded in Venice in 1993, dedicated to the support and promotion of contemporary visual arts

Active Partner: Spazio Punch, a non-profit Venetian organization founded on Giudecca island in 2011 that investigates and organizes cultural events, exhibitions and talks 

Scientific Advisor: Mr. Rafaël Govaerts, Head of Plant & Fungal Names, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Tbilisi Parallel Program: In tandem with The National Pavilion of Georgia at the Biennale Arte 2022, a 7-month period of activity will run in Tbilisi, Georgia. It includes a series of presentations, workshops, talks, and screenings which will bring together Georgian and international authors, researchers, and artists.

Cultural Residency Program: The 7-month exhibition period will host a rotating roster of young art professionals from Georgia where participants will gain professional and cultural exposure.

Title: I Pity the Garden. National Pavilion of Georgia - 59th Biennale di Venezia

Opening: April 23, 2022

Ending: November 27, 2022

Organization: Commissario: Magda Guruli

Curator: n-between Conditions, Giorgi Spanderashvili, Khatia Tchokhonelidze e Vato Urushadze

Place: Venezia, Spazio Punch, Fondamenta S. Biagio

Address: Fondamenta S. Biagio, 800/O, Giudecca - 30133 Venezia

Hours:

April 23 to September 25, 11:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.| September 26 to November 27, 10:30 a.m - 6:30 p.m.
Closed on Tuesdays.

More info on this website: https://ipitythegarden.com/