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12x12 – Vajiko Chachkhiani

Press release


12x12. The IBB Video Space – Vajiko Chachkhiani

Vajiko Chachkhiani explores existential questions and the essence of human nature. He is particularly intrigued by how historical and political circumstances can affect the human psyche. Chachkhiani works primarily in the media film, sculpture and performance. In his films he often sets up situations that seem quite ordinary but are then subtly undermined, resulting in allegorical, poetic works which are enduringly engraved on our memory.

The most recent of his works on show at the Berlinische Galerie is Heavy Metal Honey (2018, 14:14 min.), which looks at family structures and at
the individual and collective experiences and memories associated with them. During a scene that conveys a grotesque sense of trauma, a single action – a violent outburst by the mother during a meal at a family gathering – alters the course of events.

It might be read as symbolising otherwise invisible emotions and tensions. Cotton Candy (2018, 13:42 min.) describes a visit to a circus by a grandmother and granddaughter that triggers introspection in the older woman. The plot in Winter which was not there (2017, 12:30 min.) is a metaphor for the impact of external, sociopolitical factors on the psychological development of the individual: in a kind of elegiac road movie, the central character first watches a concrete statue which bears a striking resemblance to him being rescued from the sea, then hooks it behind his car and drags it through the unremitting landscape.

Completing the programme are the three short works Ice Cream Man (2014, 01:01 min.), Life Track (2014, 03:34 min.) and We drive far, you in front (2016, 02:50 min.) While the single uncut sequence in Ice Cream Man follows an ice cream van and the desires it unleashes, We drive far, you in front tracks huge boulders as they fall in slow motion. They represent the fragility of the human psyche. Life Track is an outsider’s view of a hospice that captures the melancholy but powerful image of a patient at a window.

Vajiko Chachkhiani was born in Tbilisi, Georgia in 1985. He studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and at the University of the
Arts in Berlin. Venues exhibiting his works have included the Georgian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2017 and the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn in 2018. He lives and works in Berlin and Tbilisi.