“Ephemeral Manipulations," a multimedia exhibition that blurs the lines between the tangible and the digital, the seen and the unseen, has recently opened at Artarea Gallery in Tbilisi, Georgia. This group show represents five female artists with different backgrounds and is curated by independent researcher and cultural practitioner Mariam Shergelashvili. Exploring the intersection between the concept of "blur" and the digital image, “Ephemeral Manipulations” invites viewers on a journey through the delicate nuances of soft feminine expression, imaginative manipulations, and non-binary perspectives.

The exhibition, which runs until May 14th, is initiated by Mariam in the framework of her founded collaborative platform unarchived_semiotics and in collaboration with R.A.V. (Reach Art Visual), a visual art consulting company dedicated to exploring and sharing the dynamics of the Georgian art scene worldwide.

At the core of "Ephemeral Manipulations" are the participating artists, each offering a distinct lens through which to explore the theme of blur and digital imagery. From digital artists to photographers, the lineup includes Tea Nili, KetoMa, Kristine Tusiashvili, Tama Kvantaliani (Yamadatelsa), Nina Tsotsoria, and the curator's creative project "Unknown Errors."

Tea Nili, a conceptual digital artist based in Germany and Tbilisi, deconstructs and reconstructs digital imagery, offering viewers a glimpse into an alternate museum of the imagination. Her works, influenced by media archaeology, challenge conventional notions of art history and invite contemplation on the digital age's impact on perception.

Photographer KetoMa's unique style blurs the boundaries between photography and painting, infusing her images with vibrant colors and impressionistic flair. Representing her recent works from the series “Woman in the Shadow” is a testament to the power of visual research and the dynamism of her artistic vision.

Kristine Tusiashvili, whose creative practice spans video installations, performances, and photography, brings a wealth of experience to the exhibition. With a background in art theory and history, her works reflect a deep understanding of the medium's potential to evoke emotion and provoke thought.

Nina Tsotsoria, a visual artist and graphic designer, offers a fresh perspective on the intersection of art and technology. Her pieces challenge perceptions of the digital world, inviting viewers to reconsider their relationship with technology and the role it plays in shaping our reality.

Tama Kvantaliani, also known as Yamadatelsa, explores themes of identity and personal experience through multimedia disciplines such as 3D animation and installation art. Her works, characterized by striking visual language and multimedia elements, invite viewers to delve into the depths of the subconscious.

Rounding out the exhibition is the project "Unknown Errors," a site-specific collage of social media random error images. This installation prompts viewers to reflect on the digital age's pitfalls and the blurred boundaries between the virtual and the real.

As visitors journey through the Artarea Gallery, they are invited to question conventional boundaries, challenge the clarity of perception, and embrace the beauty found within the blurred edges of identity and innovation. "Ephemeral Manipulations" transcends traditional confines to paint a vivid portrait of limitless imagination, offering a glimpse into the ever-evolving landscape of contemporary art.

The exhibition is realized within the collaborative platform unarchived_semiotics with the support of R.A.V. (Reach Art Visual), Artarea Gallery, and the Peter Moennig Foundation.

To delve deeper into the inspiration behind "Ephemeral Manipulations" and the broader scope of her work, we sat down with Mariam Shergelashvili, the project author and curator behind this multimedia exhibition.

Mariam, could you tell us about the concept behind "Ephemeral Manipulations" and what inspired you to curate this multimedia exhibition?

Everything that is not visible on the surface and cannot be touched, is fast-moving but still leaves a special impression on us. These unseen and intangible aspects continually intrigue me as compelling subjects for investigation, offering a unique lens through which to understand the world. What is the ephemera that shapes our perceptions indefinitely? This question naturally prompts exploration into the dynamic interplay between reality and imagination, particularly accentuated in the digital age. I find it a pertinent and multi-faceted issue—the prevalence of visual content and the flow of information. Exploring this creatively has become the central theme for me in initiating this exhibition.

In tandem with theoretical inquiry, this exhibition has long been envisioned as a spatial visual puzzle. Now, through the contributions of diverse and intriguing artists, the pieces have finally fallen into place. The exhibition's intentional focus on women artists is no coincidence. Their collective gaze offers a unique lens that transcends gender, speaking a universal language while also expressing subjective emotional responses to themes such as identity, societal constructs, randomness, and the dynamic balance between chaos and order in the world. Beyond their individual visual aesthetics, each artwork stands as a robust, self-contained entity, engaging in an organic dialogue that fosters a diverse comprehension of perception. In doing so, they open up new dimensions of reality, enriching our understanding of the world.

Beyond "Ephemeral Manipulations," what drives your passion for curating multimedia projects, and how do you see these projects contributing to the contemporary art scene?

The embrace of a multimedia and multidisciplinary approach stands as a pivotal accomplishment in today's landscape. As both an independent researcher and curator of contemporary art, it serves as my guiding principle, facilitating a rich exploration of varied perspectives and mediums in the artistic realm. I'm intrigued by the exploration of diverse perspectives and the quest for a modern language, seeking out innovative forms of expression in the process. Often this is not a static result-oriented situation, but a constantly evolving and challenging process. I believe that exhibitions of this type broaden the creative spectrum, fostering new or revised visions where nothing is predetermined, answered, or set in stone. On one hand, it serves as a mirror to the tumultuous state of the modern world, offering reflection. On the other hand, it presents a remarkable opportunity to introduce entirely fresh perspectives into the fold. Throughout this journey, I find it endlessly fascinating to engage in dialogue with artists of varied practices and experiences within the contemporary art scene. "Ephemeral Manipulation," much like my other curatorial projects, brings together representatives from various generations under a shared vision. In this ongoing dialogue, an exchange occurs, giving rise to a new stage. As a curator, you create the opportunity to not only support young emerging artists but also create a new narrative through the prism of a specific history and decade, alongside with the established experienced artists.

As someone deeply involved in the Georgian art scene, what do you see as the role of initiatives like unarchived semiotics and organizations like Reach Art Visual in shaping the cultural landscape?

Unarchived semiotics is a collaborative, research-based, and conceptual platform for multimedia thematic projects. The platform was established in 2022, and it is showcasing its third consecutive project. The primary focus of unarchived semiotics is to foster thematic collaborative connections within the artistic sphere. Semiotics, which is a very interesting discipline itself, defines the main motivation of the platform. However, the purposefully emphasized term “unarchived” in the platform’s name underscores the openness and flexibility of this motivation. Different and broader than unarchived semiotics is the spectrum with which R.A.V. operates. In this capacity, R.A.V., functioning as an art organization, serves as a mediator and supporter for a diverse array of artistic projects. Both organizations are dedicated to the promotion and advancement of contemporary artistic endeavors. unarchived_semiotics and organizations like Reach Art Visual play a vital role in shaping the contemporary Georgian art scene by fostering creativity, promoting cultural exchange, and supporting the next generation of artists. Through their efforts, they help to elevate Georgian art onto the global stage, ensuring that it continues to thrive and evolve in the years to come.