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Drawing Lesson

Koka Ramishvili

June 3 - 25, 2003

"... The drawing lesson is a series of small videos, in which the traditional discipline - figure is connected with video and sound methods. This narrative combination of the machine speed with the drawing process creates the dramaturgy of my work... "

Koka Ramishvili, 2003

Koka Ramishvilis name is known only by a few in Moscow today, and this is provided with an explanation. Being one of the most outstanding public figures of the contemporary Georgian art of the Perestoika times, Koka whilst in the epoch of the USSR collapse stayed in Tbilisi, where in 1990s most of the connections and cultural exchanges with Moscow were ceased. Meanwhile the Tbilisi artistic stage experienced an obvious boom where Koka Ramishvili was one of the leaders and inspirers of the new artistic wave, connected with the development of media and new technologies.

However, in spite of progressive artistic tendencies of the 1990s with a new generation of Georgian artists and musicians whom gained a reputation in numerous European competitions and bienniale, the social and economic factors, which occurred at the end of the twentieth century, by the most tragic means affected the status of contemporary Georgian culture as a whole. Without exaggeration one can state that no such phenomenon exists anymore, an absence of the minimum state support and private initiatives led to the mass emigration, which was especially noticeable among the artists and artistic circles. Koka Ramishvili practically held out to the bitter end, until the circumstances of a personal nature forced him to leave for Geneva in 1999, where he lives to this present day.

His current success on the western art- stage is almost unique. With rare exception noone from our former compatriots was able to obtain a proposal of collaboration from the largest Swiss gallery, the exhibition proposal in MAMCO, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Geneva, actively participate in international exhibitions and biennale at the same time all in three years.

Today the Guelman gallery features works of Koka Ramishvili, created especially for the exhibition in Moscow. This is the first artists appearance in the capital since 1995 and his first personal exhibition here. The exposition consists of two parts, which are united into the single multidisciplinary project, which includes drawing, video and digital montage. Exactly this way - with an increase of the technical refinement of methods - a 20- minute video film called Lesson of drawing is constructed. It imparts sequence of the video to the authors separate stokes phenomenon, and then the process of drawing obtains the unusual rhythm and energy by the aid of digital editijng. The dramatic effect born as a result is bound up with the fact that the drawing acquires psychological dimension, a process of drawing lines on the paper becomes similar to narrations residing in its repetition, tendentiousness, fixation on the details. Strong emotional coloredness of the film arise from the specially composed sound, the source material for which is only the slate pencils squeak on the paper.

Five watercolor series, which are exposed in the other hall of the gallery, are created under the effect of the same connection strategy which combines traditional methods and new, technogenic optics. And although they are only executed in the watercolor figure technology, the method of framing separates fragments which clearly refers to the cinema sphere. These are the problems of the general world picture together with sharp, almost hysterical fragments, which unexpectedly interfere with it and destroy it from within, which were first to be formulated as a blow up problem film of the same name by Michelangelo Antonioni. Developing the same logic, Koka Ramishvilis installations are now only a collection of the separate provocative fragments, intended to infect with doubt and contaminate by uncertainty not the films plot, but the action, proceeding outside, in the space of daily life itself.

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