curated by Tony Just and Lisa Offermann
“This is an exhibition of stories. Stories painters paint. The title of the exhibition is an invitation to look closely. To listen with ones eyes refers to the way all of our senses inform each other to create meaning.
This show started as a conversation and a desire. The conversation took place with Lisa Offermann and Nika Lelashvili from LC Queisser. We discussed the concept of stories and their portrayal in painting. There is an atmosphere of storytelling in several of the artists I met in Tbilisi. The desire was to bring three of these painters together and see the results. At the invitation of Tom Woo to realize this desire, Lisa and I began to expand the geography of the artists to include some other story tellers we know and love from our time in New York and Berlin.
One of the stories I tell about my time in Tbilisi is how my perceptions were regularly challenged in ways that felt both unsettling and beautiful. An example I use is the Georgian word for father is mama. This reversal of the language I was familiar with made me pay closer attention to the sounds of what was being said even though I don’t understand or speak Georgian. This man before me doesn’t look like a mama but I am hearing the words mama. All of the artists featured similarly challenged my experience of looking at their work and each has enriched my visual and imagined life.
Stories are a way to make meaning from the absurdity and beauty of life. Painted stories do the same. I leave you with a joke I recently heard Brenna O. share during her performance here last month. It does a similar thing with language and its intention is a thoughtful light hearted laughter with a dash of soul. It contains some of the tragicomedy of life.
what comes between fear and sex?
I would like to thank everyone who helped make this exhibition possible. Lisa Offermann for helping to curate the show and organise it. Nika Lelashvili for taking me to meet Elene Chantladze. Thank you to the artists, Elene Chantladze, Thea Gvetadze, Nika Kutateladze, Jonas Lipps, Amy Sillman and Amelie von Wulffen. Thank you to Jake Jackmauh at Amy Sillman Studio. Thank you to all the galleries who assisted with shipping and support. LC Queisser, Tanya Leighton, Gallery Artbeat, Gio Marconi. Thank you to Tom Woo and everyone at Efremidis.”