Kamikaze Loggia

Kamikaze Loggia

Georgian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Photo: Levan Asabashvili / Urban Reactor.

April 18, 2013

Kamikaze Loggia
June 1–November 24, 2013

Preview: May 29–31, 2013
Opening: May 30, 2013, 5:15pm

Venue: Pavilion at Arsenale
Venice, Italy



Artists: Bouillon Group, Thea Djordjadze, Nikoloz Lutidze, Gela Patashuri with Ei Arakawa and Sergei Tcherepnin, Gio Sumbadze

Commissioner: Marine Mizandari, First Deputy Minister of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia
Curator: Joanna Warsza

Presentation of the Pavilion in Berlin
May 8, 2013, 7pm
Georgian Embassy in Germany
Rauchstraße 11, D-10787 Berlin

The Pavilion of Georgia at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia will be a parasitic extension to an old building in the Arsenale. This informal structure called a “kamikaze loggia”—characteristic of Tbilisi—will be designed by the artist Gio Sumbadze, who is a researcher of the typology of these architectural additions. Vernacular extensions of modernist buildings have been created since the 1990s as an organic response to the new, “lawless” times after the fall of the Soviet Union. They increase the living space and are usually used as terraces, extra rooms, open refrigerators, or—as in Sumbadze’s case—an artist studio. It is said that a Russian journalist named them “kamikaze,” drawing a parallel between the romantic and suicidal character of such an endeavour and the typical ending of most Georgian family names “-adze.” This architecture also refers back to the local palimpsestic building technique, which since the Middle Ages has allowed new houses to be built on top of existing ones on the steep slopes of the Caucasus Mountains, thus not monumentalising the past but expanding on it for the future.

This year the Pavilion of Georgia will take the form of a kamikaze loggia hosting an exhibition of the Bouillon Group, Thea Djordjadze, Nikoloz Lutidze, Gela Patashuri with Ei Arakawa and Sergei Tcherepnin, and Gio Sumbadze. The exhibition looks at the creation of such informal architecture, a manifestation of the refusal of dominant structures, in order to incorporate provisional liberty, local self-determination and contemporary appropriation of the infrastructural legacy of Soviet master plans. The exhibition aims at presenting the extraordinary range of informality, bottom-up solutions and the concept of self-organization in Georgian art and architecture. Looking at local examples of self-initiated environments—e. g. kamikaze loggias, “euroremonts,” “beautifications” or other modifications of the Soviet heritage—the project will seek to examine their anticipatory and often progressive potential. It will cast a critical look at the social, political and ideological discourses of the last twenty years in Georgia—thus introducing an artistic scene of a country that sometimes is described as “Italy gone Marxist.”

During the preview days there will be daily performances by Bouillon Group, Nikoloz Lutidze, and Gela Patashuri with Ei Arakawa and Sergei Tcherepnin.

Artistic Advisor: Nana Kipiani 
Assistant Curator: Sandra Teitge
Project Managers: Gvantsa Turmanidze with Nino Bezarashvili and Anna Asatiani

Supported and funded by the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia.

Media support by ARTAREA TV 2.0

Publications on occasion of the exhibition

Kamikaze Loggia
Published by the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia

With contributions by Levan Asabashvili, Bouillon Group, Levan Chogoshvili, Thea Djordjadze, Nana Kipiani, Nikoloz Lutidze, Marine Mizandari, Marion von Osten, Nini Palavandishvili, Gela Patashuri with Ei Arakawa and Sergei Tcherepnin, Lali Pertenava, Gio Sumbadze, Jan Verwoert, Joanna Warsza

Design by Nini Palavandishvili 
May 2013, English, free copy

Ministry of Highways
A Guide to the Performative Architecture of Tbilisi
Joanna Warsza (Ed.)

With contributions by Ei Arakawa, Ruben Arevshatyan, Levan Asabashvili, Bouillon Group, George Chakhava, Thea Djordjadze, Didier Faustino, Yona Friedman, Nana Kipiani, Nikoloz Lutidze, Marion von Osten, Nini Palavandishvili, Gela Patashuri, Lali Pertenava, Marjetica Potrč, Richard Reynolds, Slavs and Tatars, Gio Sumbadze, Sophia Tabatadze, Éric Troussicot, Jan Verwoert, et al.

Copublished by the Other Space Foundation; Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory; and Sternberg Press. 
Design by Kasia Korczak and Krzysztof Pyda 
May 2013, English

Press contact
Denhart v. Harling / segeband.pr / dh [​at​] segeband.de / T +49 179 4963497

Kamikaze Loggia – the Pavilion of Georgia at the 55th Venice Biennale
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Georgian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
April 18, 2013

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