"They named a brandy after Napoleon, they made a herring out of Bismarck,and Hitler is going to end up as a piece of cheese."



Videoart at midnight #138: Tekla Aslanishvili

Eintritt frei | admission free

Tekla Aslanishvili  based between Berlin and Tbilisi, is an artist, filmmaker, and essayist. Her practice explores shifting fault lines between governments, communities, and landscapes through the lens of large-scale infrastructure projects. Engaging in interdisciplinary collaborations and employing experimental documentary approaches, she excavates the layers of politics, technology, geology, sabotage, myth, and resistance that form the foundation of transit and energy infrastructures.

Tekla Aslanishivli will show:

Scenes from Trial and Error, 2020,  Georgia, Germany, Netherlands, 30:00 min
The endless tests of developing a futuristic smart city and deep-sea port reshape a small fishing village of Anaklia on the shores of the Black Sea in west Georgia. The documentary film investigates the material and social conditions that are produced as a result of these ambitious infrastructural investments, aimed at transforming the country into a trade corridor for the speculative New Silk Road project.

Scenes from Trial and Error maps data-driven urban planning strategies, as well as myths, financial speculations and errors that accompany today’s global infrastructural politics, through the lens of a seemingly insignificant real estate project of Anaklia port and the city. By exploring the awkward landscapes and architectural frictions that have emerged over the last decade onsite, the film observes how the operational logics of large scale infrastructural investments and even mistakes, which the fantasies of technologically managed smooth urban life inevitably contain, are being manifested in a design of peripheral geoengineering projects. Through artistic-scientific collaborations with international researchers, the film partially positions itself at a distance from the actual events and speculates about the possible scenarios of development from a future perspective.

A State in a State, 2022, Georgia, 47:00 min
A State in a State is an experimental documentary film that follows the construction, disruption, and fragmentation of railroads in the South Caucasus and Caspian regions. It examines railways as the technical materialization of the fragile political borders that have re-emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Revolving around the scenes of delay and waiting that constitute cargo mobility, the film reads the optimistic narratives about the New Silk Road against the grain. It observes how the iron foundation of connectivity can be used as a weapon of exclusion and geopolitical sabotage. Dotting the same lines, other forms of sabotage are deployed by workers to disrupt the political violence. Looking at historic and current practices of resistance, A State in a State explores the potential of railroads for building a different infrastructural consciousness and the lasting, transnational kinship among the people who live and work around them.

Developed in artistic-scientific collaboration with Dr. Evelina Gambino, Produced by The Han Nefkens Foundation.

Tekla Aslanishvili (*1988 in Tbilisi, Georgia) completed her studies at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts in 2009 and holds an MFA from the Berlin University of the Arts in Experimental Film and New Media Art. Her work has been featured in various international exhibitions, such as Taipei Biennial 2023; Hong-gah Museum Taipei; MCAD – Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila; Wiels, Brussels; Eye Filmmuseum, Amsterdam; Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt; New Visions – The Henie Onstad Triennial for Photography and New Media, Oslo; Transmediale 2023; Loop Festival / Antoni Tàpies museum Barcelona; NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore; Neue Berliner Kunstverein; 14th Baltic Triennial; Tbilisi Architecture Biennial; Videonale 18; Short Film Festival Oberhausen; Kunsthalle Münster; EMAF – European Media Art Festival.

Tekla Aslanishvili is a 2018–2019 Digital Earth fellow, the nominee for Ars- Viva Art Prize 2021 and the recipient of the Han Nefkens Foundation – Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Award 2020. Currently, she is a postgraduate fellow at the Berlin Centre for Advanced Studies in Arts and Sciences at the Berlin University of the Arts.

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