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Gia Sumbadze's and Francesca Crotti's Exhibition ‘Maps of Nowhere’

Gallery Artbeat presents the exhibition ‘Maps of Nowhere’ which is a collaborative project by Gio Sumbadze and Francesca Crotti.
Photography at Laguna Vere:
- Where Laguna Vere: late Soviet aquatic complex located in Tbilisi, Georgia, currently in a state of abandonment and neglect.
- When The present moment: a moment in which the architectural object, within its transformative process, looks static, unaccessible, impermeable to the exterior, deprived of any relation and on the way towards the system’s reactive death.
- Why The ruin: framing the ruined object to enhance a speculative reflection on how to reconnect it to its milieu by opening it up to new relations: new bodies, objects and habits, to make it permeable and mobilize new fluid determinations, to project it into the virtual, to enhance a continuous cycle of abandonment and reworking.——Challenging the sublime state that stems from a condition of violence, impotency and passivity via the a ‘bodily’ engagement with the architectural space. Moreover, it is precisely the aesthetic dimension of an abandoned and ruined building that stems in human beings a proper aesthetic thinking, understanding aesthetic as something that pertains to qualities of experience, a sensorial experience to be directly felt, actively engaged. The ruin calls for possibilities of action. The body, just like it engages a technical tool that opens up the possibility to modulate an envisioned object, finds itself called to action, the ‘pleasure of action’ (Simondon, Gilbert. Sur la technique. Paris: PUF, 2014. p.383.), the practice. It happened to the pre-historic man in the cave, it happens to the artisan with technic tools and matter, to the artist with its medium and media, and (most evidently) to the athlete that performs in the space.
2Photographic production will be combined with graphic production: a record of actions, encounters, and observations carried out during site visits becomes a tool to retrospectively reflect and construct an image of the architectural object and its context. Just like the camera enhances the power of the body, written memory records enhance the power of the mind. Putting on paper, mind, and body become the same. The memory of precise movements combined with the blurred understanding of the general contextual situation (perceived from an outside perspective) informs one another building an image of the space.
‘This is how you can approach it (L.V.), enter but not quite reach it. It was public, it was in the center, now it’s private, in the traffic, physically unreachable even if one could enter’; it is nowhere indeed."
Gio Sumbadze creates abstract fictional places of maps with architectural schemes and pattern mechanisms. He explores the archeology of the city and personal map of space. On the one hand, this mapping is oriented on architecture artifacts, but on the other, it represents fictional terrain and carries elements of personalized space. For him, architecture is a processual field and a perceived inaction of time.
Archetypes of ruined artifacts and water retain their oncologic meaning in the context of Laguna Vere. Water represents refreshment and is an essential element for object functioning – It is potentially what fills and confers actual meaning to this place. The present moment: a moment in which the architectural object, within its transformative process, looks static, inaccessible, impermeable to the exterior, deprived of any relation, and on the way towards the system’s reactive death.
Gio Sumbadze is a multimedia artist. He works in photography and has video works/installations. In addition, he makes graphic design. His artworks focus on architecture and structure of nature as well as on architectural planning which sometimes repeats shades of nature and even confronts them. As he says his ‘artworks are typological documentations of space and time’. The artist takes feedback from who/what gets into his lens. This is the main source of inspiration for him.
Gio Sumbadze has been participating in art projects in Georgia and abroad country since the 1990s. He cooperates with Georgian and foreign curators and artists. In 2013 Gio Sumbadze represented Georgia at the 55th Venice Art Biennale. The architectural project ‘Kamikaze Loggia’ was inspired by informal architecture in Tbilisi.
Gio Sumbadze is a member of the artistic group GOSLAB in Tbilisi, Georgia. Francesca Crotti is an Italian architect with working experience in Milan and Lisbon. Interested in architecture, photography, and graphic design, she is a member of the Kibe Projekt team, currently working on the conservation of 7 Dzmebi Kakabadzeebi courtyard’s wooden spiral staircase. The conservation initiative triggered a collaboration with Gio Sumbadze with whom she started analysis and reflection on the case of Laguna Vere, the late Soviet aquatic complex located in Tbilisi, currently in a state of abandonment and neglect.
The exhibition opens on 17 December, 17:00-20:00, and will continue till February 6th, 2022.