Berlin Biennale
6th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art

Thea Djordjadze
* 1971 in Tbilisi (de), lives and works in Dusseldorf (de)

deaf and dumb universe (working title)
2008, Installation, mixed media, dimensions variable

It is as if Thea Djordjadze transformed one of her sketches into an airy, linear structure in the midst of the exhibition space of the Neue Nationalgalerie. As a reaction to the exact symmetry and glass-lined minimalism of the building, she creates a domestic-seeming inner space that resists the squaring of the glass façade, coffered ceiling, and granite slabs that dominate.
Djordjadze’s artworks often bear references to her interest in literature, music, and art history. Much inspired by the work of Austrian-American architect, designer, and artist Friedrich Kiesler, who designed the famous exhibition architecture for Peggy Guggenheim’s New York gallery The Art of This Century, Djordjadze is especially interested in Kiesler’s idea of the endless line. In his project The Endless House, all points meet; there is neither a beginning nor an end. Like his contemporaries Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich, Kiesler sought to free space—but with completely different results, for he saw this achieved by bent surfaces and sensual forms.
For her new project, Djordjadze uses a modest architectural structure (simultaneously reminiscent of the privacy of living spaces and the dramatic character of theater stages) to direct our attention to a plethora of her small plaster sculptures. The various organically-shaped pieces in turn attest to Djordjadze’s intense engagement with tactile forms. The artist describes her relationship with various sculptural materials thusly: “They rule over me, and dictate my approach.” In allowing this to be the case, her process includes experimenting up to the end so that the plaster forms can develop fully and solidify only in the last moment. Djordjadze’s own endless forms and lines thus find refuge in her miniature exhibition space within an exhibition space, the artist’s construction of a poetic counter space to Mies’ museum.

Kunstwerke Berlin

Kulturstiftung des Bundes

The Berlin Biennale is organized by
KW Institute for Contemporary Art and funded
by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.