VISUAL ECHOES in collaboration with the 90’x collective

The Online Exhibition VISUAL ECHOES is part of the ongoing project VISUAL ECHOES sponsored by the Cluster of Excellence Temporal Communities: Doing Literature in a Global Perspective.
The exhibition assembles 4 artistic positions located at the interference of photographic image, sound and materialized memory. The projects of the four members of the Georgian 90’x collective take the figure of echo as a vantage point for an exploration how memory, collective trauma and lacking possibilities of narrativation become seizable in the image.
Their works combine sound, photography, recordings and archival materials – may they be personal or part of an institutionalized corpus – to create an echo chamber of Georgian histories. In the visual space that is opened up by the projects individual and societal lines are blurring to form a multifaceted and fragmented assemblage of intimacy, transgenerational (loss of) memory and historical feedback. Modi of reflection, distortion, erasure and re-enactment of lived and imagined histories interfere with each other and take shape in the individual works of art the 90’x developed in the context of the project since November 2021.

All four projects comprise an approach to the archival dimension of photography and how memory materializes in constellated arrangements of image, sound and text.

Thoma Sukhashvili’s project Paper Kiss engages in the archived leftovers of one of the first newspapers in Georgian language after the fall of the USSR. Selected dating announcements are paired with audio files and a photo series centered on the tools of recognizability. Individual longing merges with financial necessities, the radical restructuring of the economic and public sphere in the 90s becomes traceable in the short texts send out to the potential body of readership.

In Mano Svanidze’s work Between Home and a House the photographic image becomes a tool of archivization of a grown, but accidental assembled community and the aesthetization of a housing situation caused by war, displacement and forced migration.
Portraying the life at an improvised shelter that turned into a permanent home, the project provides space for the multiple temporalities that overlay in the architectonic space and its inhabitant’s lifes, underlaid by the soothing and disturbing sound of the lost sea.

Nino-Ana Samkharadze engages in her project Too Foreign into her own intimate archive. In between the traces of a shared life lived at distance – selfies, videos, short messages, boarding cards – a story of administrative control is narrated, that constantly permeates the sphere of the interpersonal. The project mirrors the normative power of a historically sedimented system of relations, values and economic hierarchies. To qualify for migration, the Georgian-Danish relationship is measured by it’s verifiable romantic nature, the truthfulness of the intimate relation, the trustworthiness of the claimed belonging.

In his project  Dial log Giorgi Rodionov is dealing with the surface effect of repetitive self-representation. In a looped arrangement of gifs an avatar with the name Sasha is manifesting whose fragile identity is constantly undermined by the dislocating effect the formal set-up is developing. The project is playing with different modes of ephemeral embodiment: It is forming a visual environment for instable identities that permanently elude the status of an impersonalized entity by at the same time ambivalently indicating a hidden biographical plot that never gets tangible in the oscillating quotation of personhood.

For the exhibition of the four interrelated projects the Cluster collaborated with the Berlin-based visual artist and former Dorothea Schlegel Artist-in-Residence Lea Hopp. Her works, characterized by filmic, photographic and performative elements, deal with the provisional, the casually commonplace and structures of play. She is interested in modes of storytelling, human bodies as moving archives and the process of identity formation. In her films and photographic work, which often contain essayistic elements, she engages with questions of social dynamics and the oppressive character of systems of signification – combining a documentary approach with explicit fictional elements.

For the project VISUAL ECHOES Lea Hopp created a digital space for the presentation of photographic projects in close cooperation with the 90’x collective and the curatorial team (Sima Ehrentraut & Lindsey Drury). Focusing on the ways different media are juxtaposed and blur into one another, her conceptual design for the exhibition emphasizes the intermediality of the visual echo and locates the different photographic approaches of the four exhibiting artists in corresponding frames, merging sound, text and digital elements.

The Online Exhibition VISUAL ECHOES completes a series of events at the Cluster of Excellence Temporal Communities: Doing Literature in a Global Perspective that focused on different dimensions and contexts of the visuality of echo. Exploring the interrelatedness of image, collective experience and historical narrativation, the first edition of VISUAL ECHOES invited the 90’x collective for a shared reflection on how echo can be thought in the medium of photography – and how the structure of echo is articulated in the specific frame of experience the collective is sharing and working with.

The collaboration with the 90’x collective encompassed an ongoing exchange of ideas, images and shared time and we are proud to present the exhibition VISUAL ECHOES as the final result of this encounter.

Creative direction website & logo design:

Lea Hopp

Curatorial & conceptual framing:

Sima Ehrentraut & Lea Hopp

Curatorial & conceptual support:

Lindsey Drury

Technical support:

Robert Steffani & Jan-Erik Stange

3D animation:

Maxine Vajt