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Koka Ramishvili

Born in the capital of Georgia within the former USSR, Koka Ramishvili belongs to the last generation of “Soviet” artists, whose work is strongly influenced by a historical experience and a cultural consciousness.

Ramishvili studied cinema and industrial design at the Academy of Art and Architecture in Tbilisi form 1975 to 1980. In the 1990s, he turned to “documentary” photographic work, dedicated to historical events linked to the collapse of the USSR and the coup in Georgia (War from My Window, 1991-1992). According to him, Georgia was too tormented at that time for artistic work based on a formal reflection. This is why at that stage, he preferred the “moving image” or the narrative thread of documentary photography. The elements of his life were “compressed and decompressed and presented with the help of an image ”.

It was only upon arriving in Munich in 1990, at the studio of Professor Wolfgang Flatz, that Ramishvili found the creative environment necessary for a deep exploration of images and their possible metamorphoses. Without settling for a simple formal analysis, Ramishvili constantly went back and forth between documents and images, always pushing the boundaries of different mediums. Photography started to mix with video, installation, as well as drawing and painting, challenging the purity of modernist categories and the relevance of binary models such as form-content, mind-matter and reality-appearance.

It was in the 2000s, after his arrival in Switzerland, that Ramishvili’s work became multi-directional, linking not only with social actions and political questions (Pronostic Eventuel, 1997-2000), but also with more private projects. His practice was gradually refined, revealing the artist’s reflections on the phenomenology of perception.

Koka Ramishvili represented Georgia at the 2009 Venice Biennale. He lives and works in Geneva.