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Exhibition

#156 Sophio Medoidze, Artificial Sleep (Her her her her her her her HER) Solo Show

28 Jan 2022–6 Mar 2022

Overview

All welcome.

In Artificial Sleep (Her her her her her her her HER), artist and filmmaker Sophio Medoidze premieres her new short film ‘falling bodies’, accompanied by sculptural works. The work forms part of her upcoming film ‘Let us flow!’, which  will explore the effects of digitisation on the remote communities of Tusheti, Georgia, where free wifi access was only recently introduced by the government to the villages (where previously one had to walk 10km to make a phone call). Medoidze explores the dilemma that the Tusheti people face: whether to ‘modernise, or remain faithful to tradition’. 

The work focuses on a bareback horse racing tradition in a remote mountain region in North-east Georgia, where midsummer celebrations of “Atingenoba’ take place - a mixture of early Christian and Pagan practices.  These rituals play a crucial part in maintaining social relations in an isolated mountain community; the roads are closed for most of the year, due to heavy snow, and the population engages in cyclical migration - one of the last nomadic communities to do so. Prioritising a dialogical form, Medoidze writes: ‘I choose to speak with the Tushetians, rather than about the Tushetians’. The work explores ritual and its role in maintaining community ties, performative masculinity, collectivity, and the symbolic and physical division of the sacred space.

Medoidze further introduces the work with her poem, ‘Madoli’, about the mountain deity Dali:

Madoli - Sophio Medoidze

How did it start she couldn’t remember or 

she would not have been able to write it down,

life performed a kind of black magic trick on her, that shrunk her body

and her cheeks, that were hollow.

that same life that she adored with all her hot heart and hips,

and felt everywhere down to her toes on her ninth birthday.

Her her her her her her her HER.

Arguments always pinned her enthusiasm down,

arguments always pinned her enthusiasm down and she was silent -

her only defence other than words in any language ever spoken -

which gave her an air of importance, even though she was very slight.

Her her her her her her her HER.

Others were always louder, happier, more wrapped up in their own world and less interested in her than she was in them;

Except man, who noticed her and some adored her.

Her her her her her her her HER.

 


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