Here There and Everywhere: Anticipating the Art for the Future
People: Part V   Politics

A Prayer For Sakartvelo
Roger Colombik • USA
Sergiu Lupse • Romania

About their work, the artists poetically write:
The plane headed due north, well above the clouds, the politics and the news. Smooth sailing—the lighthearted humor of the pilot diverted our attention towards volcanoes and frontiers where borders disappear in the mist. There was mention of the Olympics, the world and ceremony and peace.
The television has inverted our world—night becomes day, day becomes night as the swimmers take their mark, the gun is fired and bodies glide to world record speeds and bodies lie scattered in Tskhinvali and Gori.
Three days of listening to posturing, mispronunciations and political machinations. Three days of watching news footage and home videos from Gori, scouring the images for Zura’s family, the home that the grandfather built, their quiet neighborhood nestled into the hillside. Imagination runs rampant through hospital wards and makeshift morgues. Is it a cruel twist of fate or precise military guidance that the Stalin Museum has survived unscathed? The bear roars overhead in cross border incursions and night-time raids. Zugdidi has been targeted. Where are the children hiding, the refugees from Abkhazia who already lost everything? Where are the young girls who dreamed of becoming journalists, to share their stories with the world? The planes are closing in on Telavi. The planes are closing in on Tbilisi. Keti, where are you? Natia, where are you? Karo, Misha, Rez, Lana, Sopo, Mari, Zura, Besso, Dato… The phone rings and rings, their voices carried across the waters only in memory.
Keti’s restrained accent fills the receiver as television broadcasts echo through the house, momentarily drowned out by the shrill screams of a grandchild at play, as babua Devi chases little Dmitri out into the garden, as Giorgi’s new composition is deftly being practiced upon the ivory. News of David in Beijing with the Georgian delegation is discussed, his design for the Georgian Olympic Pavilion awakening the world to this fabled land. The conversation veers from anguish to bombs to hopelessness to…Modernism. Of new insights on Kandinsky, to publications in progress, to projects and research waiting in the wings. For this is a Georgian home: children, books, music, art, dance and song. A house of culture—a country of perseverance, as families huddle together awaiting the night, as families whisper prayers, in anticipation of morning.
Oh Natia, I know that you’ll continue to dream and work towards a civil society. Oh Karo, I know that you’ll continue to brush your pain upon canvas after canvas. Oh Nino, hold that little child tight and sing her a lullaby of peace. Oh Tamara, Gio, Aleko, Lika and Lasha. We wait to hear your voices, day after day.” *Sakartvelo is the traditional name of Georgia in the Kartuli language”

A Prayer For Sakartvelo is a five-part sound and video installation that will be featured at Texas State University’s Grey Box.

Exhibition Venue:
CGrey Box, Texas State University •
San Marcos, Texas, USA
January 20—February 17, 2009
Grey Box is an alternative gallery space for use by visiting artists, faculty and students at Texas State University in San Marcos. The gallery is housed in the Department of Art & Design and serves as a “black-box” space for performance and installations.