Friday, December 18, 2009

The Snakeskin

by Ingmar Bergman












Artistic creativity in me has always manifested itself as hunger. With quiet satisfaction I have acknowledged this need, but I have never in my whole conscious life asked myself where this hunger has come from and why it kept demanding satisfaction. During these last few years, as the hunger begins to abate, I feel a certain urgency to seek out the very reason for my activity.
A very early childhood memory is my strong need to show off whatever I have accomplished; skill in drawing, the art of hitting a ball against a wall, my first strokes when I learned how to swim.
I remember that I had a strong desire to draw the adults’ attention to these manifestations of my presence in the world. I felt that my fellow beings never paid enough attention to me. Whenever I found reality wanting, I would begin to fantasize, to regale my contemporaries with wild stories about my secret exploits. Those were embarrassing lies, which without fail broke into pieces against the surrounding world’s sober scepticism. Finally I withdrew from the real world and kept my dream world to myself. A contact-seeking and fantasy-obsessed child had been rather quickly transformed into a wounded and sly daydreamer.
But a daydreamer is not an artist except in his dreams.
It was obvious that cinematography would have to become my means of expression. I expressed myself by means of a language which transcended the world around me in a language which literally allowed soul-to-soul communication in terms which, almost sensuously, escape the restrictive control of the intellect.
With all the pent-up hunger of the child I was, I threw myself at my chosen medium and for twenty years I have tirelessly, and in a kind of frenzy, supplied dreams, sense experiences, fantasies, insane outbursts, neuroses, cramped faith, and pure unadulterated lied. My hunger has endlessly renewed itself. Money, fame, and success have been surprising, but basically indifferent, consequences of my rampage. Having said that, I am in no way downgrading of negating what I have possibly accomplished. Art as self-satisfaction obviously has its value, especially to the artist.
So if I want to be completely honest, art (not just the ort of the cinema) is for m unimportant.
Literature, painting, music, film and theater give birth to and feed upon themselves. New mutations, new combinations occur and are destroyed; viewed from the outside the movement seems feverishly vital, nourished by the artists' unbridled eagerness to project to themselves and to a more and more distracted audience a world that has ceased to ask what they think. In a few places in the world artists are punished, art itself is seen as a threat which must be fought of kept under control. Generally speaking, however, art is free, shameless, irresponsible, and as I said: its constant movement is intense, almost feverish; it resembles, in my opinion, a snake's skin full of ants. The snake is long since dead, emptied, deprived of its poison, but the skin moves, full of bustling life.
I hope and believe that others have a more balanced and allegedly objective opinion. If I raise all these tedious matters and if despite all I’ve said I claim I still want to create art, there is a very simple reason (putting aside all the purely material motivations).
The reason is curiosity. A limitless, never satisfied, ever renewed unbearable curiosity, drives my forward, never leaves me in peace; it has completely replaced my hunger for contact and fellowship of earlier times.
I feel like a prisoner who, after a long detention, suddenly stumbles out into the hurly-burly of life. I am in the grip of an uncontrollable curiosity. I note, I observe, I look everywhere; everything is unreal, fantastic, frightening, or ridiculous. I catch a speck of dust floating in the air; maybe it’s the germ of a film – what does it matter? It doesn’t matter, but I find it interesting, therefore I insist that it is a film. I come and go with this object that belongs to me, and I care for it with joy or sorrow. I push and am pushed by others ants; we are doing a colossal piece of work. The snakeskin moves. This, and only this, is my truth. I don’t ask that it be true for anybody else, and as a solace for eternity it’s obviously rather slim pickings, but as a foundation for artistic activity for a few more years it is in fact enough, at least for me.
To be an artist for one’s own sake is not always pleasant. But it has one enormous advantage; the artist shares his condition with every other living being who also exists solely for his own sake. When all is said and done, we doubtless constitute a fairly large brotherhood, which thus exists within a selfish community on our warm and filthy earth, beneath a cold and empty sky.

1965 when developing Persona

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

just dead

It was cold in Lit Cafe. They had opened the door. A man died outside in the street. He was sited on the sidewalk with legs stretched out and an umbrella covering his face.

Monday, November 9, 2009

მოკლემეტრაჟიანი ფილმები: ჟამთა ცვლა – 1989–2009

ახალგაზრდა კინემატოგრაფისტები სალომე ჯაში და რუსუდან პირველი თავიანთ ახალ დოკუმენტურ ფილმებს წარმოადგენენ, რომლებიც მათ საქართველოს გოეთეს ინსტიტუტის ხელშეწყობით გადაიღეს. ეს ფილმები ("ლიდერი ყოველთვის მართალია" და "სტალბერი") ქართული საზოგადოების განვითარებასა და მასში არსებულ ტენდენციებს ასახავს, რომელიც ბოლო 20 წლის განმავლობაში განვითარებულ მოვლენებს უკავშირდება.

2009 წ. 18 ნოემბერი, 18 საათი
საქართველოს გოეთეს ინსტიტუტი, ზანდუკელის ქ. 16

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Strangeland

I got there at 11.30 - very nervous. About the prospects of changing my life for ever -
To find out my appointment was for 10.30 -
I just burst out in tears

Love Tracey
The useless

(from Strangeland by Tracey Emin)
-----
Reccomend to read. This is the most brutal confession I have ever read.

My Booze Heaven (from Strangeland by Tracey Emin)

The phone's ringing. My head's ringing. It's Wobbly (Gillian Wearing).

'Wotcher, Wobs,' I said. 'Congradulations on winning the twenty grand'.

She begins to relate her highlight of the night before. And even though she was dead chuffed to have won the Turner Prize, it was my Rock Maiden Rides Out TV appearance.

'But I wasn't on TV,' I say. 'Last night I fucked up big time. I missed out on five hundred quid.

All I had to do was sit there and talk about "Is painting dead?" But I blew it to celebrate with you.'

Gillian insists I was there, live on Channel 4, pissed out of my brain, my final remark: 'I want to be with my friends. I've got to phone my mom.'

'Very funny, Gillian, but you don't get me like that. What a wind-up!' I hold on the phone - my brain's about to explode, but I'm laughing - and turn to the man lying next to me. 'Oi, Mat, wake up. Was I on TV last night?'

Grunts, 'No'.

'Hey, Gillian, get of the phone. My hangover's too bad. Just take your humour somewhere else.'

I close the call with her still insisting that it's all true.

I go back to sleep thinking, How wonderful that my friend has time to crack a joke, even at the height of her celebrations, in the wake of her success.

A few hours later, I'm sitting in a cafe in Shoreditch, drinking coffee and feeling slightly more alive. I open the Guardian.

Complete fucking horror.

It's me, wearing my Vivienne tan top with the accessory of a bloody-bandaged broken finger, pissed on the television. And now it starts to come back. It wasn't someone's house: those comfy chairs, those strange people. It wasn't a dream. It was real. It was me.

I switched my mobile on. The elctronic voice tells me I have twelve new messages. The first is from Angela Bulloch (another Turner Prize nominee), laughing. Just her voice, laughing.

Every bloody message is the same: all me mates, all of whom caught the Turner Prize coverage of video.

Radio 5 calls me. They want a quick interview. The Tate calls to reassure me that I have caused them no embarrasment: I am an artist and that's the end of it. My gallery is inundated with requests for me to appear on chat-shows.

My art's selling like hot cakes.

My mum calls to say, 'Thank you for remembering me, even though you were on the point of unconsciosness.' (She had seen it on the news.)

All the phones are ringing every few minutes. I can't cope. I'm emberrassed and confused. I don't understand. It's like remembering nothing from your childhood, being shown photos, being told events and, bit by bit, assembling a possibly false memory from those fragments.

Am I now the George Best of the art world? He was a bloody good footballer, world class. But what is he remembered for?

I still don't understand why I behaved as I did, drunk or not drunk. My broken fingure, and the painkillers I'd take for it, must have been something to do with it, although that's no excuse.

(a chapter My Booze Heaven from Tracey Emin's Strangeland)

Here's the actual video from Channel 4.

women with no name

Walked back with a Finnish director who lives in Beijing. He said there are 400 000 millioneres in China but some have no name. Those he has heard of belong to a ethnic minority and all of them are women. They just have nicknames. They were not given a name upon their birth.

3 Men That Made Me Happy in One Day

Finally Prague and out of metro for Florence Bus Station. A man is selling books right outside the metro. He stands with his back looking for something for two customers. Two Activias lie on the shelf next to the books. Maybe it's not worth asking and I can look around myself and find the bust station. I look around. No particular signs. He turns and I say excuse me, bus station? He tuns back and gets a piece of paper. Comes a step forward and hold the paper explains - 'go there', shakes hand meaning straight 'and then...' looks into the paper and says "right" ... "and then..." shakes hand meaning straight and looks into the paper again and I notice he has marked down several words and bellow the word "right" it's an arrow showing the direction of right and bellow the word "left" there's an arrow towards left. After a long journey with couple mistaken directions this makes me feel good even though I have to wait another couple hours at the bus station.

The bus arrived late in Jihlava, some time after 11.00. Several people got off and I had to ask direction since I had no desire to call taxi. broke. One woman said she had no idea where my hotel was. Three men stood nearby. Looking like boddies hanging around stations at this time. Middle aged men. I asked them. They started talking in Czech and I could only gather words. It seemed they were saying the place is somewhere close. A girl stood nearby. She asked if I spoke English. I said, yes. She said they are saying it's somewhere very close, that direction. Then her taxi arrived and the man said something like 'I will take you'. This was what I got and I said ok. He rolled my suitcase and we crossed the bus station. Getting out at the street he was talking things but we could not understand each other and there was nobody around. Suddenly he crossed that very street and turned ito a dark park corner. What I understood here he was saying don't worry, don't be afraid. something related to 'ne boysia'. I followed him thinking that he probably a shorter way and encouraged myself saying out loud half joking 'strashno'. He noticed an inconvenience and at the very first lit building he indicated: '.... (some kind of) institut'.

Finally out on another street, again nobody and the place which he thinks should be the hotel turned out to be a closed down restaurant. He had missed it by two buildings and we made it to the hotel. He took of his black glove from his shaking hand. We shaked hands, I expressed gratitude in all the possible jestures and then I met the porter. I said my name. He repeated my name and Anna's name, saying Anna Pshpshpsh. I laughed and said she will come in two days. He said 'if your friend not here, I will be your friend'. We laughed again and as I went to my room behind the door he waved his hand and said "Chusy".

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Last Night

A woman’s rhythmical screaming woke me up in the middle of the night’s silence. It sounded like a grief from a far away apartment block. I had a feeling that someone had just died. It must have been either a mother or a wife mourning loudly. The sound was very disturbing. I felt uncomfortable and attentive to every detail around me. I felt a slight quiver, a leftover illusionary feeling from the recent earthquake. …And then a sound of something knocking against my window.


The large window of my bedroom faces darkness. From there emerged an outline of a bird that convulsively kicked my window. I imagined it was an element from someone who had just died. The mourning had stopped.


Gradually I became aware that there was something flying in my bedroom. Something small and dark. I guessed it was a bet. It would have been a bigger panic I suppose if not that mourning. I covered my head with the blanket, got off the bed all bent down, switched on the light and opened the window. At the exact time when I was opening it, I realized that it had been locked. The bet flew away in the darkness. I locked the window back.

If the window had been locked, that meant that the bet got into my bedroom from the balcony door in the living room that I had left open. And entering the living room was like entering an old church inhabited by bets.

After a brief midnight shock and momentary understand that I HAD to cope with this, rolled in the blanket I crawled towards the switch and kneeled down on the floor. I switched on the lights. Patience was the only method now to get over this. One by one they flew into the darkness outside the balcony. I looked around and concluded I was on a safe side. Got up and walked towards the kitchen table and suddenly another one flew on top of my head and back. It seemed like an endless chaos. Again I kneeled and waited. The bet flew around the room and could not find his way out. It was only by chance that he appeared outside on the balcony and then somewhere at an unknown location when I locked all the doors and windows of my 11th floor apartment.

Scared in a particular way I still left the lights on and went to the toilet. Several drops dropped from the tap and I turned to the other remaining several drops of the bath tap to wash out the soap.

Going back to my bed I had trouble breathing and finding a place. I thought I will never drink and smoke. A sudden sound made me jump for the last time that night – pipes gradually and suddenly filling with water.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

StalinArt

"Why not paint it in lovely rainbow colours - or allow it to be repainted by a competition winner once a year ... or have installations added to it" - as extract from the discussion on the Stalin monument.

I came across the discussion on turning the Stalin monument into an artistic piece. Just view the blog here The Art Club Caucasus.

It would be just GREAT to turn Stalin into art. What do you think?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

la danza contemporanea

რამდენიმე დღის წინ რობერტო გავიცანი. მოვიდა, რომ აეროპორტიდან ავეყვანე. სადღაც საათნახევარი იყო გზა. აღმოჩნდა, რომ გაბრიელას ქმარი იყო, წარმოშობით მექსიკელი. 20 წელზე მეტია იტალიაში ცხოვრობს და არის თანამედროვე ცეკვის ქორეოგრაფი – fa la danza contemporanea.

პირველი, რაც დამამახსოვრდა და გვერდზე გავიხედე რომ თავში გამემეორებინა, იყო, რომ მსახიობობა ცურვის ცოდნაა ემოციების ზღვაში. მერე ამბობს, რომ ბევრი მსახიობი გიჟი ხდება – diventa pazza – რადგან ცურვა არის იცის.

მათი ცეკვა შინაგანი სამყაროს გამოხატვაზეა, ინდივიდუალურია, როგორც ვხვდები, როგორც კრისტინას მაიკლის "დაგდა".

როგორც რობერტომ მომიყვა, მის დასში სამი რამ განსაზღვრავს თითოეული მოცეკვავის პერფორმანსს – წინასწარ განსაზღვრული, გააზრებული იდეა, ემოცია, განლაგება, რაც უნდა გამოსახონ. მეორე, შესრულებისას არსებული ემოციური მდგომარეობა და მესამე, მაყურებლის რეაქცია – ჩართულობა და განწყობა.

ერთ ფრანგ მსახიობზე მომიყვა, რომელსაც უთქვამს, რომ სახის ნაკვთები იტყუება და შეუძლებელია სხეულის ნაკვთებით შინაგანი გადმოსცე. ამიტომ სახეზე რაღაც აიფარა, ხელები უკან წაიღო და გამოხატა მხოლო სხეულით, მკერდით, სხეულის ცენტრალური ნაწილით. აქ ერთი წერტილია, სხეულის ცენტრი, საიდანაც მოდის მთელი მოძრაობები და საიდანაც პირველ რიგში მოდის ემოცია. ის კისერს და თავს უკავშირებს დანარჩენ სხეულს. ასევე ხელები ამ წერტილის საშუალებით უკავშირდება სხეულს და შემდეგ თავს. Si chiama un grand'occhio. დიდი თვალი ქვია – და თითები მიირტყა. ამ თვალით იყურები ცეკვისას. ყველას შინაგანი სამყარო უნიკალურია და ამიტომაც ყველა მსახიობის ცეკვა უნიკალურია. ყველას თვალიც უნიკალურია.

მთელმა ამ ამბავმა, რაც რობერტომ მომიყვა, რაღაც დიდი შთაბეჭდილება მოახდინა უცებ იმ ღამეს, როდესაც დიდი ტბის სანაპიროს მივუყვებოდით, რომელიც ვიცოდი რომ იქ იყო, მაგრამ არ ჩანდა. ამ გრძელთმიანმა მექსიკელმა რაღაც საათნახევარში თავი მოუყარა ყველაფერს, რაც იმ საათნახევარში შეიძლებოდა გამეგო და მიმეღო. პარალელები გამახსენდა – ქართული ცეკვა და სუხიშვილების danza contemporanea გათანამედროვებული ცეკვა. ამ ცეკვას, შედარებით გათავისუფლებულ მოძრაობებს, ძალიან დიდი კრიტიკა მოყვა თავიდან. მიუხედავად იმისა, რომ ის მაინც კოლექტიური და სინქრონულია.

მერე დავფიქრდი და ქართული სიმღერებიც კოლექტიურია. რა თქმა უნდა, არა მარტო ქართული... არა ის, რომ ამაში რამეა ცუდი ან კარგი მაინცდამაინც. უბრალოდ კოლექტიურია და მორჩა. არა ინდივიდუალური. კი, ეს ფოლკლორია. რობერტო მეუბნებოდა, რომ მის danza contemporanea–ში მექსიკური ტრადიციული ცეკვების ელემენტებს ხმარობს. თანამედროვე ცეკვა ფოლკლორის ადამიანზე მორგებაა, არა ფოლკლორის გაგრძელება.

რაღაც დასკვნამდე მივედი, რაც ისედაც შესანიშნავად იცის ყველამ – საზოგადოება, რომელიც ინდივიდუალიზმის წინააღმდეგია, ამას ცეკვაში ავლენს. გამახსენდა სცენა, სადაც გოგო და ბიჭი ცეკვავენ განსაზღვრული ილეთებით, მათ გარშემო კი სხვებს წრე აქვთ შეკრული და სინქრონულად უკრავენ ტაშს. ეს იყო პირველი იმიჯი, რომელიც თავში მომივიდა.

და მერე მაიკლის "დაგდას" პერფორმანსი, სადაც არაპროფესიონალი მსახიობები ჩვეულებრივი ადამიანები, როგორც ვხვდები, სცენაზე თავიანთ დაფებზე გამოსახავენ და ხატავენ იმას, რასაც იმ წუთას განიცდიან.

მერე ვიფიქრე და რობერტოს ვკითხე – თუ მოცეკვავე არ ხარ, ცეკვით როგორ უნდა გამოხატო შენი ემოცია, რა მოძრაობებით. რობერტო მეუბნება, რომ მაგალითად მისალებას სხვადასხვანაირად გამოხატავ იმის შესაბამისად, თუ რა დისტანციაზე, სად არის შენგან სალმის მიმღები. ხელს ხან ისე იქნევ, ხან ასე, უფრო გამოხატულად, ნაკლებად გამოხატულად. მნიშვნელობა აქვს დინამიკას, სიჩქარეს.

სალამი მარტივი გამოსახატია, მაგრამ როგორ გამოხატავ მაგალითად "it"–ს, რომელიც On the Road–ში Dean-მა და Sal–მა აღმოაჩინეს – რაღაცა, რაც ნამდვილად იცი რომ არის, მაგრამ არ იცი რა არის.

რობერტომ მითხრა, რომ la danza contemporanea, მისი შინაარსი და გაგება და la danza expressionata – გამოხატვაზე დაფუძნებული შემოქმედება 20იან წლებში დაიწყო და თავიდან ძირითადი აქცენტი ფერებზე კეთდებოდა. ეს იყო განთავისუფლების დრო – გამოხატვის განთავისუფლების დრო.

მაშინ როდესაც ვთქვათ 1666 წელს ლონდონის დიდი ხანძრის დროს, როგორც მგონია, მსხვერპლის რაოდენობა ნაკლებად აინტერესებდა ვინმეს (თუმცა შეიძლება ვცდები და ეს ცუდი მაგალითია), ახლა ადამიანს, თითოეულს, ცალკე არსებულს, ყველაზე დიდი მნიშვნელობა აქვს და მას აქვს თუნდაც სიკვდილის უფლება, ჰოლანდიაში ფიზიკურიც კი. მაგრამ ფიზიკურს რომ თავი დაანებო, ამ ქვეყანაში სიკვდილის უფლება რაღაც ვალდებულების არსებობას უკავშირდება, burdain არის. იმდენად ცხოვრობ სხვისთვის, რომ შენი სიკვდილი პირველ რიგში სხვებს ეხება და შენ მეორეხარისხოვანი ხარ.

collective vs. individual
social folk vs. contemporary individual perception

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Change

Tonight I decided to write about change. Is change anything that will every come to this place? I've been happy that I'm part of a process, part of a change. That it's interesting. And then I've realised that it has always been like that, it has always been a process without any actual change. Just a circle. No, not even a circle, one unmoving spot.

This evening it struck back that there is a change... But change towards the worst. I realised I was admitting this. Change towards living in a real authoritarian country. Moreover, a country with constant warfare (readiness for warfare), rather, a region settled by people who hate each other, ethnicities, who think they are the only true ones.

This is the perfect environment for radicalism - the radical enslavement and probably the radical protest (is this where terrorist attacks come from?). Can radicalism change things, I mean the way we live in this country? But the thing is that it is not only this country. It's the whole environment around it - Abkhazia, South Ossetia, North Caucasian autonomous, Karabakh, Azerbaijan and Armenia - a region that has been through wars for two decades recently. What is the state of mind in this kind of environment. Is war a way to conserve things, boil it on high heat?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A MR. MINISTER in Humburg

If you happen to be in Humburg on October 1st, don't miss out screening of A MR. MINISTER, directed by Salome Jashi and Giorgi Tsikarishvili, first aired at Dutch VPRO. The film is presented within a festival about the Black Sea Region in five German cities with readings, discussions and a short film programme.

Location: 'Europa-Lounge' at the KörberForum Körber-Foundation in Hamburg.
In cooperation with the FilmFestival Cottbus - Festival of East European Cinema.
















A MR. MINISTER (22 min.) shows the character of Bakur Kvezereli, 27 year old minister of agriculture. He is the youngest member in the cabinet of ministers led by Mikheil Saakashvili in Georgia. This ambitious young man claims there is nothing he dislikes in himself. Balanced with human feelings the film reveals one piece of the young and controvertial Georgian government.

For more info about the screening just click here: inter:est

Monday, August 31, 2009

SPEECHLESS at festivals

After premiered at
One World Human Rights International Film Festival in Prague this March, the film went to
DocuDays: Human Rights Film Fetival in Kiev.

The film is about to be screend at
Ro-IFF Romanian International Documentary Film Festival held from September 26 to October 4;
Ad Hoc: Inconvenient films 2009 held during October 22-30 in Vilnius, Lithuania;
dokumentART - European Filmfestival Neubrandenburg/Szczecin 16.10. - 21.10.2009



I visited a military hospital in Gori, Georgia, on the third day of war in August 2008. What I saw in the courtyard of that hospital became my impression of war in general.

Speechless is an experiment with human faces. It tells a story of the tragedy that cannot be expressed through words or dramatic images. It is a silent for reflection. Speechless was filmed right after Russia-Georgia war last year.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

the Urals and thigs I did not know

the film as a film was fine. Voiceover was a bit annoying. It was a nature film called 'The Urals'. It gave me some emotional information which I did not know.

I did not know that the Urals is the place where European and Asian continents meet.
I did not know that when tempreture drops down to -30C, treest start to burst, a rare acoustic experience.
I did not know that red bugs (I don't know the exact type of bug, I've seen them in Georgia too) have sex for up to 24 hours.
I did not know that a male bear bites violently his lady bear in the neck while intercorse.
I did not know that bears scratch with their back on threes to mark the area. While scratching their fur gets stuck in the trunk.
I did not know that Desna, which is was a bycicle mark in my childhood, is in fact an animal living exceptionally in the Eastern part of the Urals. It has low fur and a long nose resembling a trunk with big nostrills. Moves around almost like a rat sniffing around with its long nose and lives around low water and mud.



The Urals
http://www.filmfestivallessinia.it/it/i-film/concorso-2009/the-urals/the-urals_2_345_174_0.html

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Trip

It was supposed to be a trip for work. We went to film the president visiting a patriotic camp. He never arrived. It was the August war 'anniversary'. We waited the whole day for his spontanious decision to appear there, at the place that was burnt down last year during the war. The spontanious decision was never made. It was mostly cloudy and I sat at the beach. The waves were dark and the space was unlit. A guy was teaching a girl with big boobs how to swim. They were the same height and standing in the water touching their bellies he had grabbed both of her arms and would not let them go. The girl's face was serious, pretending to be frightened of depth of the water. The flirtation was so concealed but yet so obvious.

Then there was the evening sun. The light was warm and colorful.

No sun the next day. The whole morning, up until late afternoon we sat on a balcony talking this and that and even drank wine. I discovered a fantastic park in Zugdidi where I wanted to run in the mornings and drink coffee in the afternoon in a construction that I pretended would be a cafe, but is a run down shack now. Trees were tall and dirty ponds looked wild. The pond remimded me of a film, where a family - three kids and their parents swim in a village pond and it is frighteningly calm and quiet there.

In this region, Mingrelia, every second person wears black clothes, a sign of grief. It seems the war ended last year there. The grievance is such a big part of this culture. The cemetaries along the road and none behind each of them. A long row of large cemetaries overlooking the road. A car driving up to a dozen drunk man shouting out with joy seemed part of this grief, as if they were all about to die.

We were on the road again and I referenced Jack Keruak's 'On the Road' all the time. Even though I don't like the spirit of that book, it did influence me in a way in freeing the road. Cracking nuts in the back we drove through Guria and then to Imereti and then, after a night, after getting lost on a village road, but freeing a cow that had its head stuck in a wired fence, we hit the road towards Tbilisi - the end of the trip.

ჩიფსები და პატრიოტები

განმუხურის პატრიოტთა ბანაკი (მშვიდობისა და მეგობრობის ახალგაზრდული ბანაკი თუ ქალაქი, როგორც შესასვლელში აწერია), 7 აგვისტო

მუსიკა ჩაირთო Alarm, alarm... შეკრების მუსიკაა ეს. მზე ზღვაში ჩასვლისკენ იყო და პატრიოტები ბანაკის სხვადასხვა ნაწილიდან სტადიონისკენ მორბოდნენ. ასე 200 კაცი. რაზმებად დაეწყვნენ. ჩამწკვირდნენ. ყუთები ჩამოატარეს. DJ-მ თქვა – ვინც მე არ შემახვედროსო... რა არის–მეთქი. – ჩიფსებია. – თქვა და მერე სხვას გასძახა – კიდევ დარჩა? ხუთი დღეა მაგას ვჭამთ და კიდევ დარჩაო – დააყოლა.

რაზმებს ჩიფსები დაურიგეს. დორიტოები. მერე რაზმებმა ერთობლივად დაცხეს ტაში. ჩიფსების განაწილება მიდიოდა და DJ-მ სიმღერა ჩართო – "მაგრად დაჰკარი, მაგრად დაჰკარი..." რაღაც საბრძოლო სულისკვეთების სიმღერაა, ნელებში გადის. შენ გაიხარე, გესმის რაო – ვიღაცამ მიაძახა იქ სადაც ვისხედით.

მერე პატრიოტები თავიანთი კოტეჯებისკენ გაიქცნენ, ხელში დორიტოების პარკებით. ერთ ბიჭს მაისურის შიგნით ქონდა ამოდებული, ზოგს იღლიაში ქონდა ამოჩრილი, ზოგსაც პირდაპირ ხელში ეჭირა და მირბოდა კოტეჯებისკენ. ყველანი ერთად მირბოდნენ სხვადასხვა მიმართულებით, ჩიფსებით.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Herzog while filming 'Fitzcarraldo'

Of course we are challenging the nature itself... and it hits back. It just hits back. That's all. And that's grandiose about it. And we have to accept that it is much stronger than we are.

Kinski always says it's full of erotic elements. I don't see it so much erotic. I see it more full of obscenity. It's just... Nature here is vile and base. I wouldn't see anything erotical here. I would see fornication and asphyxiation and choking and fighting for survival and growing and just rotting away.

Of course there's a lot of misery. But it is the same misery that is all around us. The trees here are in misery, and the birds are in misery. I don't think they sing. They just screech in pain.

It's an unfinished country. It's still prehistorical. The only thing that is lacking is the dinosaurs here. It's like a curse weighing on an entire landscape. And whoever goes too deep into this has his share of that curse. So we are cursed with what we are doing here. It's a land that God, if he exists, has created in anger. It's the only land where creation is unfinished yet.

Taking a close look at what's around us there is some sort of a harmony. It is the harmony of overwhelming and collective murder. And we in comparison to the articulate vileness and baseness and obscenity of all this jungle, we in comparison to that enormous articulation, we only sound and look like badly pronounced and half-finished sentences out of a stupid suburban novel - a cheap novel.

And we have to become humble in front of this overwhelming misery and overwhelming fornication, overwhelming growth, and overwhelming lack of order. Even the starts up here in the sky look like a mess. There is no harmony in the universe. We have to get acquainted to this idea that there is no real harmony as we have conceived it. But when I say this, I say this all full of admiration for the jungle. It is not that I hate it. I love it. I love it very much. But I love it against my better judgment.

(speaking of the Amazons)



It's not only my dreams. My belief is that all these dreams are yours as well. And the only distinction between me and you is that I can articulate them. And that is what poetry or painting or literature or filmmaking is all about. It's as simple as that. And I make films because I have not learned anything else. And I know I can do it to a certain degree. And it is my duty because this might be the inner chronicle of what we are. And we have to articulate ourselves, otherwise we would be cows in the field.

Werner Herzog while filming Fitzcarraldo
from the Burden of Dreams

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Patriotic Camp (predeterminations)

What was my motivation to go there? It had been on my mind for the past four years – the patriotic camps.

The camp – collective

Patriotic – one idea

Now I understand that collective one idea is just the means for something bigger. But this something bigger was yet to come to my mind when I stepped in that circle with some predetermination.

The predetermination

I didn’t like the idea of patriotism in contemporary Georgia and the meaning it carries. I considered that preaching patriotism in these camps would be a complete ‘patriotic brainwashing’. At that time I identified patriotism with nationalism, superiority, fetishism of the past and constant readiness for war. When the camps were founded some military officers taught the ‘Patriots’ how to shoot. They lived in military tents and exercised much physically. They resembled a youth military unit.

I was wandering what these young people of 15-23 years old thought patriotism was. So I went for a research. Last year I recorded interviews where most of active camp participants claimed patriotism meant loving the country. And there came my next question.

-What does it mean to love the country?

The answers I received were almost similar. -Loving the country means fighting for it in war, defending Georgian traditions, toasting. I think these were the basic answers.

The primitivism of the idea of patriotism made me both laugh and outrage.
Some facts I knew about the camps at that time:

1. They sing/listen to a national anthem every morning.
2. They raise the national flag.
3. The camp is divided in squads. Each squad of around35 people has a leader.
4. Each squad has a name (სახელი), slogan (შეძახილი), credo (დევიზი), and a hymn (ჰიმნი) of patriotic nature.
5. They wear uniforms – a red cap that says patriot, a red t-shirt with the Georgian flag on the left sleeve, a rain jacket resembling the Georgian flag from the front side.
6. Young people are selected from all over the country and they spend 10 days together in wooden cottages that replaced tents soon after the camps were established.
7. The camps are supported by the Presidential fund.

I think that was it. And this year, with this knowledge about the camps I decided to spend the whole 10 days with them. These 10 days turned out to be an observation not only of them, but also of myself.
And now I know the name for them ‘the Patriots’ - they are the civil military unit, who, ‘if necessary, can go to war without thinking it twice’.

Transformed determination

The Leader is Always Right ლიდერი ყოველთვის მართალია

Will be coming soon…

Thursday, July 9, 2009

responsibility list (incomplete)

Responsible to love. Responsible to communicate. Responsible to appreciate. Responsible to kiss. Responsible to comment. Responsible to care. Responsible to react. Responsible to reply. Responsible to call. Responsible to talk. Responsible to behave. Responsible to say. Resposible to complete. Resposible to be. Responsible to be here. Resposible to adopt. . .

Make other responsible to love. Make other responsible to communicate. Make other responsible to appreciate. Make other responsible to kiss. Make other responsible to comment. Make other responsible to care. Make other responsible to react. Make other responsible to reply. Make other responsible to call. Make other responsible to talk. Make other responsible to behave. Make other responsible to say. Make other responsible to complete. Make other responsible to be. Make other responsible to be here. Make other responsible to adopt. . .

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I am the building

I am made of false brick. I have three floors. I wish I was sold to a wealthy businessman to refurbish me. But now my pieces are taken by various people not caring about me as a whole, but caring about my separate corners which now belong to them.

I am a tired being. I am both functionless and functioning. I am functionless because these different people who have nothing in common with each other have paralyzed me with their mixture of diversity and on the other hand I’m functioning because I’m now always noisy, chaotic, changing. As if they live over my dead body. Even a stray dog is attached to me and birds have nests in my window corners.

Let me tell you something. My hatred towards these people, my inhabitants, is overcome by compassion. I feel sorry for them. They are like ants dwelling in me. I am the only place for them. They live in me and they earn money with me. They rent me out. They sell things from me. They play in me. But they sustain me. They take care of me as far as I am need to them individually.

Nora, she is so caring. Her flat on my second floor is always clean. And items in her shop at the entrance door are always neatly arranged. Someone broke a window of her shop recently. How cruel. Must have been one of those young men playing cards in my hall every evening. They are the only ones not earning anything. Just spending on slot machines, gambling.

Someone trying to earn money is Nana. She lives on my third floor. She moved just recently and covered up my broken windows with polyethylene. Nana owes money to Nora and works next to her, in the restaurant which is my core, a fabulous construction of a soviet designer. Life must have been happy then. Or at least they were pretending that life was happy then. Now everyone confesses that life is a disaster. The meaning of it is to eat and die. Well ok, there’s some joking sometimes.

Tsatsia is the main joker, Nana’s companion. She loves to make explicit jokes. Dying her hair blond she still considers herself sexual, this short woman. Nana and Tsatsia together look like a puzzle that will never go together. Well, my whole inhabitants are like that puzzle. They have nothing in common accept that they are all poor. That is what unites them, something very basic and I myself, once being a hotel, have now become basic - a basic place for survival.



(working paper from doc.film project 'Restaurant Bakhmaro and Those Who Work There' aka 'The Building...')

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Fish

Now that I’m changing my attitude towards my life, towards who I am and what I represent, this gives me courage and this is because of a foreign city. Maybe this is once again an illusion and just a small blow of inspiration that will not last for long.

A hotel, a modern brick building, a tiny room with no place for a suitcase, white walls, a view on tall buildings and a monitor – a TV hung on the wall showing all the same aquarium with all the same fish (with a distinct yellow one) swimming routinely and continuously accompanied by some ‘underwater’ music. The monitor – the fish – switches on automatically as soon as you enter the room. And this calming ‘window’ into the harmonious aquarium carries in fact a convulsive neurotic movement with all the same calmness, all the same calmness, all the same…

I have been thinking on the way of protest recently with an idea never really coming to my mind. I haven’t been thinking enough or being courageous enough. And there it was - a way of expression by Niki de Saint Phalle, an artist, who had a gun, something like a hunting gun and shot colors instead of bullets at a specially designed wall expressing this or that. ‘She wanted to shoot at man, society, church… all the evils’ - an explanation said.



Art is protest, philosophy, psychology, self-expression, expression of anything, anyone, art is the individualism even put to the extreme. Art is a meaning, not beauty. A toilet seat can be a piece of art if it given a meaning. That was what Duchamp did but maybe this is the annihilation of art and not the opposite. A Spanish artist Pepe Espaliu (1955-93) found art in the meaning of masks. He was intrigued by African masks, which he wanted to see exhibited the wrong way around, so that the viewer would be struck less by the presence of the mask than the absence of the whoever.

A black man sat next to me in an open café and took a book “The Sex Lives of Cannibals”. He did not read it. He read newspapers. The sun was there with occasional clouds. I was reading J.M.G. Le Clézio, a futuristic novel The Flood.
“A world in which all objects, every atom could be expressed by the letter A, and every happening and construct , of whatever sort, traced out the formula of magic square:

A A A A
A A A A
A A A A
A A A A

- this is to say, in which they kept up a constant process of simplification and purification, until the moment (impossible to describe it) was reached at which event and object, chain and link, were merged in a single phenomenon, A. The moped moved along the section of street between corner X and street-lamp Y, with a fading sound and reflected light glinting out from its hubs. But the moped as such was limited to this particular stretch of street, to the sound it made, to a glitter of light. In a moment its motion would be arrested, perhaps for a thousand years, or alternatively it might repeat, again and again, that quick, rhythmic passage from corner X to street-lamp Y, till the movement itself because the expression of its being. The rain would always go on falling here, the sidewalk would stretch away to the right for all eternity, yet both would be something different, rain and sidewalk no longer; there would be no more moped, no more corner, no more street-lamps, either lit or unlit, no more peeling walls, no more sounds of chains or wet tires, no more bleak, chilly smells of dew-heavy smoke-drift hanging in mid-air; instead there would be a small, peaceful, undisturbed picture, a still-frozen image, dead before it had a chance to achieve immortality, part of a game which was no longer understood… Everything would come to this in the end. Meanwhile the water went on trickling down the gutters, and a whole host of small objects floated this way and that in the puddles along the road. It was the beginning”

I adored the idea of such constant repetition that then it turns into nothingness and an existence of a sound is determined by pauses in between.
The existence of me would be nothingness, dead, without these ‘pauses’, without other objects, humans, thoughts, emotions... breaking the constancy of it.


A painting by Francis Bacon (1909-92) – Three Figures and a Portrait (showing his lover who committed suicide)

He described his paintings as looking “as if a human being has passed between them, like a snail, leaving a trail of the human presence and memory trace of past events”.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Culture Houses - history made into art

video
Symbol of a collapsed epoch and transient time – remnant culture houses are captured during the process of decay.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

'არ შეიძლება მხოლოდ და მხოლოდ ანალოგებით აზროვნება. დიგიტალური გახდა მსოფლიო ' ნათ

დღის მატარებელი

გუშინ სამტრედიიდან დღის მატარებელს მოვყვებოდით. ბილეთი: 5 ლარი. გამოდიოდა 12:30–ზე, ჩამოდიოდაი 6:20–ზე. სამტრედიაში ერთდროულად ორი მატარებელი ჩამოდგა – ზუგდიდი–თბილისი და ოზურგეთი–თბილისი. ჩვენ ოზურგეთისაში გვქონდა ბილეთები და რომ ჩავსხედით მერე მიგვაჯახეს ზუგდიდს და ერთად დავიწყეთ გრძელი გზა დედაქალაქისკენ.

მგზავრობა ისეთი რამეა, თან ამდენი საათი, უნდა დალიო. სანამ ჭუჭყიან ფანჯარასთან მე სიმონა დე ბოვუარს ვკითხულობდი, გვერდითა სკამებზე ორ კაცს წინ პლასტმასის ბოთლები ელაგათ. ბოთლები მეორადი იყო. შიგნით რა ესხა არ დავკვირვებივარ, მაგრამ ერთი ბოთლს მეორის თავსახური ეხურა და ასე. მე ყურში მუსიკა მქონდა გარჭობილი, ისინი სვამდნენ. ჩვენ ერთ ქვეყანაში ვცხოვრობდით, მაგრამ სხვადასხვანაირები ვიყავით. ჩვენ საერთო ენა გვქონდა, მაგრამ სხვადასხვანაირად ვსაუბრობდით. ისინი მალე გაითიშნენ და დაიძინეს. ცოტა ხანში ერთს გაეღვიძა და გულის გადახსა მოუნდა. ჩემს მეგობარს ტელეფონში თავისი ბავშვის ფოტო აჩვენა.
–აბა თუ მიხვდები რამდენი წლის არის.
დათომ უთხრა – რავი, იქნება ასე ხუთის.
– არა, სამის არის, – ისე უთხრა იმ კაცმა, რომ დათოს პასუხი ზუსტად ის იყო, რასაც ის კაცი ყველაზე მეტად მოითხოვდა.
– ვაა...

მერე მალე ამ კაცმა ხელი გადმოაგდო და ისე დადო ზედ თავი, რომ როდესაც გაიღვიდძებდა იმ ხელს დიდ ხანს ვერ იგრძნობდა. თან ორივეს ხვნეშა აღმოხდებოდა შიგა და შიგ, განსაკუთრებით მაშინ, როდესაც მატარებელი ერთი სადგურიდან დაიძრებოდა და ისეთ "ძორგანიეს" მისცემდა რომ თავს წინა სკამზე მიარტყამდი.

დღის მატარებელი აქამდე ერთი ვიცოდი. თბილისი–ბათუმი–თბილისი. ბათუმი და თბილისი საშინლად განსხვავდება ყველაფერი დანარჩენისგან. რატომ ვერასოდეს ვერ ვიმახსოვრებ ამას. ეს მატარებელი ძალიან ჭუჭყიანი იყო და მის ტუალეტში თითოეული იმ ადამიანის კვალი იგრძნობოდა, რომელიც იქ ოდესმე შესულა. ტუალეტი ამ მატარებელში იყო ხელოვნების ნიმუში. მისი გამოყენება იყო მძაფრი შეგრძნება. იქიდან გამოსულს ცოტა ხანს მარტო ყოფნა მინდოდა. სველი სალფეტკები რომ ამოვიღე და კეტების ძირები გავიწმინდე ჩემს სკამზე დავბრუდი და მოხარშული კვერცხი შევჭამე. მიკვირს, იმ ტუალეტის მერე მაშინვე რატომ მოვინდომე ჭამა. რომ ვჭამდი ამაზე ვფიქრობდი. ვფიქრობდი რომ ვზივარ ტურტლიან სკამზე, რომელსაც სუნი ასდის, ჩემს გვერდით ძინავს ორ მთვრალ კაცს და ხვნეშენ. დაუბანელი თმები გადაზეპილი აქვთ. ახლახანს შევიგრძენი ყველაზე ბინძური ტუალეტი ჩემს ცხოვრებაში. რატომ ვჭამდი?

თბილისს რომ ვუახლოვდებოდით, ერთმა კაცმა გაიღვიძა და თვალები რომ გაახილა ბურდღუნებდა – სად ვარ, სად ვარ? რომელი საათია? სად ვარ?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

CULTURAL REVOLUTION!

No, all these demonstrations in Georgia, all these the same, and then some fundamentalist orthodox fanatics holding a demonstration that they are deprived from their religion, that misha should go, that 'why', that 'jos', that 'dzirs', etc. are just stupid. It does not go anywhere. This political and religious shit. This new slogan 'Why?' is just oriented on past. 'Why' does govermnet stink? Because the same people who oppose it once supported it. No individual responsibility and this going-nowhere question 'Why'. I suppose 'Kmara'(enough), was also oriented on past when Misha came to power, but it had some connotation about the future as well. But all these problems that we think we've been having for the last twenty years actually have nothing to do with politics and the government. And religion is just an outcome. An outcome of BRAINS of these people completely oriented on past and on an absurd demand of the present.

I am having an awful desire to go out in the street naked with a megaphone and preach that church just makes people blind. I wish I was a stranger to have that courage. But it will come.

CULTURAL REVOLUTION will come in Georgia! All those who demand orthodox fundumentalism and political absurdity will have a huge brain shock. Of course they will resist, but that's the challenge. They will be like little insects trying to achieve something, but their time will be gone. It will be time to of individual knowledge, individual responsibility, individual freedom.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Another one

Tonight I saw one more dead body in Tbilisi. I don't want to count any more. If I count now, I will remember all of them. It's at least five, the ones I've seen with my own eyes. People gathered aroung the tree which the car ran into and next to it someone lying. He was not covered. No body I've seen was covered. And people staring.

I think this is the strongest reason why I want to get out of this country.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Taking off

One of those take offs. The airplane speeded on the grumpy asphalt and I leaned back straight, as I do always. And the second it took off, I closed my eyes and leaned even stronger to the back of the chair, feeling almost lying on it and this physical feeling was so strong, probably because of my emotional state. Together with that awkward physical sensation I felt overwhelmingly happy. So happy that tears gathered inside my eyes. I felt so there, so alive. Happy, out of nothing.

It must have been the book. I had been reading it for more than four hours now starting from the airport in Prague. One line, which the book characters found in one of the bars saying ‘Combat alcoholism by drinking wine’ made me smile. I had been drinking wine each evening last week, and in fact I’ve been keen on wine past three years.

Little details that construct life is in fact life itself. Just small details. Or things, that can be expressed in small details. There is this large nonsense, immobility, routine and then, there are these small details that mean so much.

The sixth chapter. Anne goes to Chicago and meets Luwis. The characters in this book unfold in front of me like absolutely real people, whom I study, observe, change opinion about them, change the way I perceive them. I recognize myself in those simple words and I feel confident. No more loneliness.

‘But if I come, that would be to see you. Do you have any time?’
‘I have all my time’, he said laughing. ‘My time is all mine.’
From ‘The Mandarins’ by Simone de Beauvoir

How at that moment I wished I were brave enough for my time to be all mine. No, in fact that’s just a justification of wasting my time, or rather, taking it too seriously. I take my time too seriously. Happiness has no time frame. It exists in somewhere beyond time and space. And sometimes I grasp it. I just need a push. In this chapter she is happy. No, that is not the word.

‘Nothing was asked of me; I had to be exactly what I was and a man’s desire transformed me into a miracle of perfection. It was so restful that if the sun had stopped in the middle of the sky, eternity would have slipped by without my noticing it.’
From ‘The Mandarins’ by Simone de Beauvoir


Before these hours of reading on the plane and in the airports, we got into a car to drive from Kolin to Prague. There were three of us and we had to squeeze in the back seat as we were told the driver had a company. En elder woman, Marjike, grew nervous as the driver stood talking of the phone, not hurrying to start moving. He did not speak English. And it was funny conversation as Marjike was explaining to him that her plain was leaving at 3.00 and the driver giving a long monologue in Czech with a ridiculing face. So we waited. The one sitting between us in the back was Sofia, a beautiful Spanish energetic woman. She took everything so close, I wished I could be able to get involved in other people’s demands so easily. I thought her unshaved armpit suited her and it looked beautiful, as if that’s how it should have been anyhow. Then a blond girl walked out of pizzeria across the road holding a pizza box. She was wearing cheap jeans and a pink jumper. There it was, we had been waiting for her. She sat next to the driver and I imagined them together. As they ate pizza, they were looking at each other and exchanging words and I felt they both had in mind their previous night or an upcoming one. Their pizza eating interaction had something erotic to it. They resembled couple for some film I had seen once or several times.

Landing in Tbilisi made me close the book. I was restless. I wanted to continue. At least continue to be awake. It was over 3 o’clock in the morning when the plane landed. And now, I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

maps

In the inn where they had just dined, they were drinking a muderously stron white liquor. Dubreilh had already set up his paraphernalia at one end of an oilcloth-covered table.
'Yes', Henri said. His eyes obediently followed the pencil point along red, yellow, and white lines. 'How can you choose between those little roads?'
'That's the fun of it'.
The fun of it, Henri thought, was seeing how perfectly the future followed your plans: every turn, every upgrade and downgrade, every hamlet was in its foreseen place. What security! You felt as if your life was a cocoon spun from within your own body. And yet the metamorphosis of printed words and lines into real roads, real houses, gave you what no man-made creation can give: reality.

from The Mandarins by Simone de Beauvoir

Thursday, March 19, 2009

from Prague to Brussels

I thought I would wait until the bus would get to Germany. I was enjoying the torment of keeping them in the head and promised myself would hold them on until Germany. But then it was the fear which has always come true. They just drip away…

At one point, some long time ago, I realized I was not unique at all. I remember it was a disappointing feeling. But then it was also that I found myself more open. Because I already know how others were. They were just like me.

Now listening to my small iPod that Christina brought me, carrying that bag and the jacket I wore today, myself reminds me of you. All the way we were driving I was feeling reshuffled as each composition was so different from the next. I felt alive.

It was also because of The Mandarins. I am being reaffirmed that I want more. The skin around me is so tight and also so fluid making you both rigid and slightly movable inside, confirming there is a possibility to move more. I’m not sure if I put this right. That energy which is maybe beyond my capacity is torturing me pleasantly. I want to do drugs. I want to transform together with any tiny detail of experience. She is so much like me but also so distant. The approaching, pushing away the distance is so desirable but also so dangerous. Like a pleasant hazardous play.
The love that I desire to bare in myself, which I might be bearing anyhow, is the life.

The other day I watched a film by a Polish director ‘Yodok Stories’. I’ve become extremely sensitive to the unhappiness of others. This film is about concentration camps in North Korea. Unbelievable, how unimaginative cruelty can exist in the modern world, which we call postmodernism, or info wave or computer era, or whatever. Everything is just nothing to what is happening in this country of over a dozen million inhabitants. In these concentration camps, as told by the witnesses now residing in South Korea, people are tortured inhumanly because their loyalty towards the leader has been doubted. Without trial, only because a member of their family either escaped from the country, or said there is not enough rice for everybody, was captivated. Some would die of hunger there; some would eat a child to survive. The guy was saying, someone had confessed he had killed a 5 year old child, thrown away the head and eaten his hands and legs. One woman was telling, in the camps, children had big bellies because of malnourishment. Mothers had to find pregnant rats and get the baby rats out of their stomach, because they had no fur yet, and to feed them to their children. She said these kinds of rats were rare and children who ate unborn rats did not have big bellies.

For those who had to be executed, there were special cabins. They are narrow cabins for one person to fit in. But they are not as tall as a human being. That means, whoever is sent inside, has to stand there slightly bent. This is the execution. They have to stand there like that until they die.

There was one boy who had escaped North Korea through crossing the river towards China. The first thing he said that surprised him was that someone smiled at him. He said at home I would never let myself express my feelings. I imagined, or at least I tried to imagine, how it is to live never, never expressing what you feel. With the camps, the stories were told in such a calm way. The way you tell something that is very common. And these stories are the most (I cannot even give it a name) I have ever heard or felt.

Another thing was that those who would manage to escape to China, would be captured by Chinese and sent back to North Korea, where they were naturally sent to the camps. Neglect has such a major part in all our minds. I regret once in a while, probably only when the humanity’s injustice opens my eyes, why I not an activist. Such a stupid thought. A thought of temporary convenience.

I was happy driving sitting in the bus, listening to music, looking ahead of me at the road and thinking of different things that had inspired me recently. I should have seen Prague in warmer weather. It had this spirit of waking and walking and sitting on a bench on the river side. I saw Andy Warhol’s motion picture.

“I cound never finally figure out if more things happened in the sixties because there was more awake time for them to happen in (since so many people were on amphetamine), or if people started taking amphetamine because there were so many things to do that they needed to have more awake time to do them in…” – Andy Warhol.

So one video depicted his partner, a man, sleeping for several hours. So that if the sleep would ever become extinct, this would be the evidence that this is how it was. Then there were portraits of other people, most beautiful women and most beautiful men, as he called those video installations. Then there were couples kissing. I liked the idea of the kissing sequence to be a revenge of the new movie industry rule not to show couples kissing for more than 3 seconds. Here they kiss for three minutes. And also there was a man’s face being given a blow job. The face and the title of video Blow Job create the coherency. Each of the two would have no meaning without the other. I admire the idea of context out of fragments.

The definitions make life simple to judge, but can be an easy mislead, or just an assumption, which stores so much more beyond.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

'I don't think it matters much what kind of tag you put on things that happened in the past,' I said. 'What matters is the future'.

'That's just it,' he said spiritedly. 'To make something good of the future, you have to look the present in the face. And I get the distinct impression that these people here aren't doing that at all. Dubreuilh talks to me of a literary review, Parron of a pleasure trip. They all seem to feel they'll be able to go on living just like before the war'.

The Mandarins, Simone de Beauvoir

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A restart. The suitcase story

This is a hastily written story about the suitcase which carried years of the past.

It was the end of my two weeks in Berlin. My flight was scheduled for 16.50. I was supposed leave the bike at Janina’s. It was snowing slightly. And I was riding this old rusty bike which used to belong to Janina’s grandfather. I met a man the night before. He suggested I don’t ride that night because of slippery road so we took metro together. In that last carriage he said he owned exactly the same kind of bike, with the same white lines and shape and that it said at the back wheel that it was released in 1936.

Before going to Janina’s I met Urte on the bridge at Kotbusse Tor. She introduced me to her father and his girlfriend and then they went to see a Dali exhibition. I wanted to drink coffee. So we sat in this nice café. I had a double espresso, Urte had something with milk and I also got a sandwich. I felt comfortable in there and had no wish to control time. I have been seeing Urte probably every day since Berlinale started. It was an exhausting and extremely pleasant two weeks that seemed like a rubber vacuum, which stretches but has no exit.

We parted and I went on to leave the bike. It was probably a 10 minute ride to Janina’s place at Gneisenaustrasse. I knew she would not be home. So I just rang somebody’s bell and as the door opened I headed towards the inner yard to lock the bicycle. Then wrote a small note, tied it up with the bike key and threw it in the postbox. I felt happy.

Coming back to Schleissesche Tor I was in a hurry. I still had to pack a bit. And I wanted to see Giorgi before he would go to work. I had been living with him the past three days in an area which I honestly liked. Giorgi gave me some things to take with me to Tbilisi. I zipped it all up, gathered trash and ate the remaining banana and kiwi salad.

The suitcase was full.

After locking the door from outside and throwing the key in the post box hole, I had to elaborating a special technique to bring this heavy thing down from the fifth floor. It’s easy, even if I’m holding a trash box in my hand. You just drop the soft side of the suitcase from stair to stair. It does not make much noise and the weight it unnoticeable. Well ok, this probably wouldn’t work on plastic Samsonite suitcases. Mine was not a Samsonite. It was blue. I had bought it in London, in a small shop at Charring Cross road three years ago. It was not a special one.

It must have been over 2.30. I was ok with time. I came out, put the suitcase right next to the door and went to the corner to dump the trash. I also looked around the corner looking for a larger bin and there I suddenly saw Leandro. So strange. He was holding an 8mm camera. He said he was filming some staff in Berlin. He had told me about it earlier. He had this fascinating idea at the Talent Campus for his documentary, for which he had already found full funding. The project was called Dead Youth and it was about frequent suicide cases among teenagers in one of the Argentinean towns, which had a huge oil mine. What he wanted to show in his film was the absence. I also loved the idea about different sounds of the wind… Anyway, Leadro was still in Berlin and he said he wanted to stay for several more days. I said I was leaving just now, hugged him and came back to the corner to pick up my suitcase.

The wall and the door looked different now. There was no suitcase there. Just the empty merging of the street with the building. The first feeling was that of emptiness. Now, I had nothing to carry. I missed this weight so much, that I started to feel the panic. What do I do now. I stood there and saw someone’s head sticking out from somewhere. I ran there, had a look. It was an old man. Buh! Then a shop across the road. The guy said he had not seen anyone. Then a bar. We could not find a common language to speak. Then a guy who was smoking a cigarette outside. He felt very sorry. Nothing. The first thing was my passport and the ticket. I made sure I had it with me. And money and the cards were with me. But this sudden loss of things which I would remember one by one in the coming half hour made me sob as I was passing a doner place in the snow.

The blue suitcase started to unwrap in my mind. My earrings. One a very precious present, with purple shiny stones, and the other my favorite, yellow stone with silver. My necklaces. One that I had bought in Riga years ago. I wore it all the time. Almost every day. And the other with turquoise stones and a silver textured piece in the center. Also an old present. Another necklace, from my mother.

What else was there. Clothes were easy to remember. When I was comparing them with the earrings, I did not care any more. But then it was the red scarf from Cappadocia. Why did not I put it on? I kept another scarf from Iran in my backpack to keep my laptop safe. So the Iranian one had the fortune to survive. Oh, my worm socks. They have been so helpful both in Berlin and in Chokhatauri. And the shoes I had bought just about two months ago, which Janina liked.

...My old, very old Dr. Martens boots, which I had brought in Berlin just in case it would have been very cold. Oh, my Talent Campus bag and an accreditation which I wanted to keep. Ella’s accreditation was there as well. I had promised to send it back to her. I could not find mine, so she just left it to me three days before. My Georgian ID. My underwear. My crèmes for face and a comb. It was a plastic comb. Green. I had been using it for years. Catalogues and a book which I was supposed to read. My old black jacket with a pin. I felt slightly revealed that I did not have that jacket any more. I have worn it so much, that it was just like a piece of something, shapeless and I really needed to get a new one. But I just could not get rid of it. I kind of adored it somehow. I also felt relieved that my black velvet trousers were in that suitcase as well. I bought them when I started working in a restaurant in London. I worked for five days and was asked to wear something black. So I got it for very cheap specially for the restaurant but have been wearing it ever since. My yellow bag, a present from Lejava, and a blue one, which I had bought in Berlin were now sniffed by somebody. I was sitting in Metro, U7, and crying.

This feeling of loss was making be dizzy. My feet were now wet from snow when waiting for a bus and the realization that nobody knew of my current trauma made me feel good. I felt fresh.
I still had an hour when I entered the departures. I got the ticket and looked at the departure board. My flight was not listed there. Even from the bus I had this feeling that I was going somewhere wrong. And in deed it was a different airport on the other side of Berlin. Fuck. This U7 has airports on each end.

Someone was unpacking the taxi right outside and I asked him like crazy how much it would cost to take me to Tegel. He said 50. I only counted 45 in my purse. I said I only have 45. He did not mind. He could speak only words in English. I had to say I was having a bad day. I told him my suitcase had been stolen and now I’m in the wrong airport. He looked at me with a noticeable pity and straight away offered a cigarette. He even insisted on it I think. When the meter kicked 40 Euros, he turned it off. His gesture to let me keep the remaining 5 Euro note made me feel safe. I was in time. Sad and also refreshed. A restart. But Berlin had to have this kind of an end. Something like this. I find it logical and pleasant.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

exploring mydeathspace.com

There is this website called http://www.mydeathspace.com/. It puts up notices of death of http://www.myspace.com/ members. I am also a member there. So, I've been exploring this page for several days already. I don't know how to name the feeling I get reading the death notes and then looking at their myspaces.

There is this girl - Amy, who was shot by her husband. Her space is open. Her myspace address is www.myspace.com/davidswifyamy . About herself she writes that she's 25, happy and loving his David. Her photos are also open. There is one photo of her 'baby holding a big gun'. Photos of their lovely house is also up there in a separate album. The contradiction between the death note and her myspace is so cynical.

There are others...

There is this girl, who killed her 2 year old son. The note said she had problems with her husband and since this very son was her husband's favorite, she pushed on him often. In her Myspace her mood is romantic and loving. She's now in jail, possibly for a lifetime.

Today I explored a third case. husband killed his ex wife. The wife's profile is closed. It just says 'Sarah in Heaven'. There is a little notice next to her picture saying 'you were born an original, don't die a copy'.

The husband writes about himself:
'What's there to say and where to begin. I live in Newark, have a 1 year old daughter who's the most beautiful thing in the entire world and every time I look in her eyes I see the second most beautiful thing in the world, her mother.' This was a year before he strangled her. And the photos are so intimate.

There are notices of suicide. These spaces are so private I feel I'm looking into somebody's death. Their virtual identity is still there and they either do not exist any more or are sentenced to years of jail because of murder.

I became attached to this strange space, which is disturbing and strange.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

დღეს პირველად შევხედე ახალ ამბებს. თვალი მოვკარი, რომ თბილისში აქცია გამართეს ისრაელის მხარდასაჭერად. არც მომისმენია წესიერად. შემდეგ წავიკითხე, ისინი მხარს უჭერდნენ ისრაელის ბრძოლას ტერორიზმის წინააღმდეგ. დღეს მართლა პირველად შევხედე ახალ ამბებს, ოღონდ არა ტელევიზორში, არამედ ინტერნეტში. ორი კვირაა, რაც ისრაელი ღაზის სექტორს ბომბავს. ამას აღარ ქვია ბრძოლა ტერორიზმის წინააღმდეგ. მაგალითად ეს ამბავი: საავადმყოფო ღაზაში.

მართლა პარადოქსულად მეჩვენება, რომ ქართველები, რომლებმაც ომი საკუთარ თავზე ახლახანს, ოთხი თვის წინ გამოცადეს, სხვა ომს აქეზებენ. ქართველები, რომლებმაც რუსეთის დაბობვა საკუთარ თავზე გამოცადეს, ისრაელის ბომბებს ამართლებენ პალესტინელების წინააღმდეგ, მით უმეტეს მაშინ, როდესაც მსხვერპლი და ზარალი პალესტინელებში მეტია, ვიდრე ჩვენთან იყო. რა უკუღმართობაა ეს.