REARMIRRORVIEW Simulation is Simulation, is Simulation, is Simulation…
curated by Margot Norton
Georgian Pavillon at the Venice Biennale, USA
11 May 2017 – 24 November 2019
For the 58th Venice Biennale, artist Anna K.E. will present a new, large-scale architectural environment and video installation for the Georgian Pavilion, curated by Margot Norton.
Titled REARMIRRORVIEW, Simulation is Simulation, is Simulation, is Simulation… (2019), the project brings together many of the major motifs in the artist’s practice and encompasses her work in video, sculpture, performance, drawing, and installation. K.E., who was trained as a classical ballet dancer, has an acute sense of how the body moves through space, and her fluid architectural environments suggest a choreography, leading viewers to weave in and around her installations. Her whimsical videos feature her own body as protagonist, restricted, contorted, or isolated, often pointing toward an evolving interdependency between our corporeal and digital selves. Absurd yet poignant allegories for contemporary life, K.E.’s works invite us to consider unconventional vantage points, illuminating how seemingly incongruous notions can coexist.
K.E.’s structure for the Georgian Pavilion will be equal parts public stage, ascending and descending tribunal platform, communal fountain, and sculptural object of observation. Her rising plateaus constructed of steel framework and brightly colored powder-coated tiles will recall a matrix of digital pixels at low resolution, transporting viewers into an environment that suggests a sleek synthetic model. As her title suggests, K.E. here creates a mirror whereby transitional processes are inverted and a flat simulation is crafted into a vibrant multi-dimensional landscape.
Interspersed throughout the installation will be a compendium of K.E.’s videos as well as steel faucet-like sculptures that are based on the original Georgian alphabet, Asomtavruli. Water circulates through the letters in a continuous stream, suggesting a purifying and unifying substance that transverses the structures’ binary poles—each a negative image of the other. The letters phonetically spell the English word “deranged,” which refers to something that has become disturbed, irrational, or unstable—a mistranslation or “alternative fact” that may unhinge commonplace connections between language, form, and perception.
As systems and institutions we once thought to be bedrock-stable now reveal themselves to be mere facades, artificial and precariously balanced, or even on the verge of collapse, K.E.’s works remind us of the fundamental idiosyncrasies we share, and which keep us human.
Anna K.E. (b. 1986, Tbilisi, Georgia) lives and works in New York and Berlin. Recent exhibitions include Queens Museum (2017); The Kitchen, New York (2015); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara, CA (2015); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta, USA (2015); the Renaissance Society, Chicago, IL, USA (2014); the Mannheimer Kunstverein, Mannheim, Germany (2012); the III Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Moscow, Russia (2012); and Kunsthalle Recklinghausen, Germany (2012). K.E. attended Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart and received an MFA form Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (2010).
Margot Norton is Curator at the New Museum, New York, where she has curated and co-curated exhibitions with Judith Bernstein, Pia Camil, Sarah Charlesworth, Roberto Cuoghi, Ragnar Kjartansson, Sarah Lucas, Chris Ofili, Goshka Macuga, Nathaniel Mellors, Laure Prouvost, Pipilotti Rist, Anri Sala, Kaari Upson, and Erika Vogt, and group exhibitions The Keeper, Here and Elsewhere, and NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star. She was recently appointed co-curator with Jamillah James of the 2021 New Museum Triennial. She holds a MA in Curatorial Studies from Columbia University, New York.
This project is commissioned by Creative Georgia (Ana Riaboshenko, Director); organized by Simone Subal Gallery and Project ArtBeat; and supported by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia.
Additional support is provided by: Stern Auto GmbH, Autorisierter Mercedes-Benz Verkauf und Service; Werk5 | New Craft; Goethe-Institut Georgien; TBC Bank; EY; Stamba Hotel Tbilisi; Philara Collection; Carbo Kohlensaeure GmbH & Co. KG.; Dr. Ulrich and Nathan Köstlin; Irakli Kiguradze; Mikheil Chkhartishvili; Ignacio J. Lopez Beguiristain and Laura Guerra; and Deborah Goodman Davis and Gerald Davis.