Irina Kurtishvili: KAUKASUS

Was sagt dieser Name den Menschen in Europa?

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On 18 May, message salon embassy is the guest of Kunsthalle Zürich with a presentation entitled 'Kaukasus - Ein Referenzarchiv' by Irina Kurtishvili. The presentation will be in German.

For two weeks Madame l’Ambassadeur Esther Eppstein is taking the Georgian artist and curator Irina Kurtishvili on an expedition through the Zurich cultural scene. At the end of the message salon embassy residency, Irina Kurtishvili will give this lecture, specially created for Zürich, at Kunsthalle Zürich, with material from a diverse, constantly evolving collection. She talks about the cultural and living space between the Occident and Orient, a mighty mountain ridge with snow-capped five-thousand-meter peaks, a place of longing for untouched nature and the images about it in the mind, about clichés and 'branding', draws an arc of cultural-historical references from Noah’s Ark on Mount Ararat to Medea, Prometheus and Soviet folklore. 'Kaukasus' is not least a geopolitical space under constant tension, which has pushed itself back into Western European consciousness due to the ongoing unrest in the regions of North Caucasus, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and the current war unleashed by Russia in Ukraine.

The artist and curator Irina Kurtishvili was born in 1964 in Georgia, at that time still part of the Soviet Union, and now lives as a commuter between Cologne and Tbilisi. She has realized numerous exhibitions, publications and artistic initiatives in Germany and Georgia with a focus on architecture, art and film in Georgia and the Caucasus region. In Zurich in 2021, the curator presented an artistic exhibition on the history of architecture in Georgia at the Architektur Zentrum Zürich as part of the Georgian Cultural Festival. In 2021 she founded an independent platform for a broad public in Georgia and beyond, bringing together artistic and curatorial practice, research, archival and collection work.