Relic, 2023

2020-2022, 5 drawings, Japanese ink on paper.
Exhibited at Larnaca Biennale 2023, Larnaca Fort, Cyprus

In this work, I trace changes in everyday life in my family, succeeding the fall of the Soviet Union in the 90’s.
Religious lifestyle, especially Orthodox Christianism had been vastly suppressed or infiltrated by the Soviet propaganda due to its social outreach, which became an important base for its excessive practice after the fall of the USSR.
I revisited this topic through a standart “Khrushchevka” apartment where I grew up in Tbilisi, where my family no longer lives but owns the apartment.

In the ’90s and early 2000s, the process of adopting a new spiritual lifestyle started spontaneously and chaotically in a way, which continues until now. As a 10-year-old child, I remember, It became popular to be part of the Orthodox Church. This is what my family did too. We christened our home, started attending prayers at Church, collected excessive amounts of icons and other spiritual items, and even cut pictures of icons out of magazines to worship them.

After moving out in 2006, I revisited my childhood home in 2021. Looking at the rooms, 65 square meters, I noticed that most of the furniture and items remained untouched, as in a museum exhibit. Most apparent in this setting were the Orthodox icons, that spoke of that particular time when Orthodox christianism rushed into our family as if without notifying us.
The dresser was full of dusty icons, three vases on top of the China cabinet and three different icons of Christ lent against them, a three-legged nightstand in the corner, full of icons, magazine cutouts arranged like Tetris, spreading onto the walls, some of them directly taped onto wallpaper. It made me remember how, mainly through my mother, we learned new religious gestures and prayer and fasting became part of our lives.

By redrawing some of these settings and bodily movements, I revisit the moments of change that have affected our family.