CCA – Contemporary Art Center Tbilisi/Georgia 16-18 May 2013
Today in 2013, is Wilfried’s 2nd day in Georgia und tomorrow the the screenings @ -CCA Tbilisi will be starting. One day ago, he arrived in Tbilisi coming from Istanbul. During his 3 days presentation Wilfried will be asked, why he actually was considering the collaboration in Georgia, while he obviously has not any benefit of it, the hiddeen meaning of this question was, while the Georgians have no benefit it. Wilfried was explaining, that he was curious of how Georgia, the ex-Sovjet republic located at the edge of Europe, would have developed after the system change and whether there are artists working with audio-visual media – and he found contemporary art in an absolute desolate situation. The local people are still busy with their own survival and have no capacities to deal with art which is like elsewhere recognized rather as a kind of luxury. But the political change did not represent also the change of the personal once in power, and the Georgian society is similiar to Russia and other ex-Sovjet countries now under the rule and influence of the orthodx church on one hand and one or two oligarchs dominating politics and public opinion.
Wilfried is thinking, he would be in a wrong film – if already artists would be against homosexuals and other minorities, usually the most open minded social group, how would be the Georgian society in general? Wilfried will see his visit in Georgia suddenly with different eyes – Georgia wasn’t on a good way and for Wilfried – there is no place, because also art is discriminated. Himself completely open-minded, he feels like his sympathy for Georgia is dramatically shrinking, he feels increasingly uncomfortable and he will be glad to escape from the country after 3 days. Wilfried likes the local history and the landscape, but he does not like the mentality of the people he is meeting. The way, how dogmatically conservative the Georgian society was, the way it was art – at least, what is considered officially as contemporary art, and video as an art medium has no relevance, because there is no progressive art education and following studies of moving images is possible only outside of the country. So, the best creative people are leaving the country, like it happens in other post-sovjet countries, as well.
How desolate the situation of art is, shows the fact, that only a few younger people are involved in CCA and the audience attending Wilfried’s presentation is consisting of no more than 10 people, mostly students – but they will be really eager to follow Wilfried’s screenings, because it is a rare moment, that the Georgian people got the chance to view such a diversity of videoart around the world, but in the eyes of the locals Wilfried’s visit has no relevance, because nobody has any material benefit. And initiating a collaboration with CCA does not make sense, because Georgian videart does not exist which Wilfried might present in the framework of his global activities. So, Wilfried’s visit is quite embarassing for all sides, and that will Wilfried avoid in Future!