I Pity the Garden
VR experience and auto-generated real-time simulation
I Pity the Garden by Tbilisi-based artist duo Mariam Natroshvili and Detu Jincharadze is an immersive artwork about a premonition of the end. Through large-scale video installation and VR experience, the viewer is led into a realm of magical realism within the Anthropocene Epoch.
For Natroshvili and Jincharadze, artists born a few years before the collapse of the Soviet Union, the feeling of the end has always been integral to their everyday life and has existed as a cornerstone of their collective memory. Living within the volatile environment of the Global South means to exist with the constant anticipation of various kinds of endings. This end does not necessarily mean disappearance, it can also embrace the start of something new. However, the drama of how events unfold too often resembles a dystopian reality or a horrific fairytale, where the metaphorical garden dries out, dies, is set ablaze, and is ultimately rendered empty.
I Pity the Garden takes the viewer into a mesmeric environment modeled by the mythopoetic forms of the artists’ narrative. It’s an observation of signs marking the end: a horizon on fire, a deserted city, a barking dog chained to a wall made of words, a place where supermarket shelves are taken over by a horde of insects. The setting is similar to an abandoned video game where no human is visible and only the traces of irreversible mistakes and wounds in the earth can be seen. The central scene of the VR experience is the Ghosts Garden, a virtual garden that unites plants that have become extinct as a result of human intervention. This ecological crisis, in real life and represented here in VR, is one of the signs of the end.
I Pity the Garden is a poetic work that reflects on a shaken environment detached from objective reality. The audience is invited to move through an interactive and self-generating visual sequence of a non-linear puzzle, composed of real places and fragmented environments that illuminate a world shaken by human deeds. It’s an artwork that employs this technological age’s language of new surrealism in order to speak about the end and the beginning.
Mariam Natroshvili and Detu Jincharadze are the Tbilisi-based artists working together since 2011. Their practice includes multimedia, interdisciplinary, and curatorial projects. Focusing on themes such as the disappearance and oblivion, the key medium of the artists are words, texts, VR, and CGI imagery. They research the personal and collective memory transformed by significant socio-political events. The duo has participated in many international and local exhibitions, including “Houston, we have a problem”, Artisterium VII; “Buildings are not enough”, Tbilisi Architecture Biennale; IDFA doclab, and other projects | www.sadarismelia.com
The title of the work, I Pity the Garden, is sourced from a work by Persia's most famous modernist poetess Forugh Farrokhzad (1934-1967). In her poem about the dying garden, written in the author’s strong eco-feministic voice, Farrokhzad reflects on the sensory relationship between a woman and the changing world around her.
Organization and Acknowledgments
I Pity the Garden has been made possible through the support of The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Youth of Georgia.
Commissioner: Magda Guruli, Tbilisi based contemporary art curator | https://bit.ly/3GrwOdU
Curators: In-between Conditions - Giorgi Spanderashvili, Khatia Tchokhonelidze, Vato Urushadze
In-between Conditions is a Tbilisi-based multimedia art platform founded in 2018. The platform combines media art, new technologies, science, and other hybrid forms of contemporary culture and tends to elaborate a complex curatorial approach focused on identifying changing socio-political contexts, developing cultural infrastructure, and generating manifestations for knowledge production | www.inbetween.media
CTO: Alex Lashkhi, StormBringer Studios OÜ
Exhibition Design: Luka Murovec, raumlaborberlin
Sound Designer/Composer: Davit Khorbaladze
Graphic Design: Elene Gabrichidze
Project Manager: Tamara Topuridze
Text Editor: Gabriel Adams
Local Partner: Nuova Icona, a non-profit cultural association, founded in Venice in 1993, dedicated to the support and promotion of contemporary visual arts | www.nuovaicona.org
Active Partner: Spazio Punch, a non-profit Venetian organization founded on Giudecca island in 2011 that investigates and organizes cultural events, exhibitions and talks | www.spaziopunch.com
Scientific Advisor: Mr. Rafaël Govaerts, Head of Plant & Fungal Names, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Additional support: TBC Concept, Goethe-Institut Georgien, cARTveli Art Foundation
Tbilisi Parallel Program: In tandem with The National Pavilion of Georgia at the 59th La Biennale di Venezia, a 7-month period of activity will run in Tbilisi, Georgia. It includes a series of presentations, workshops, talks, and screenings which will bring together Georgian and international authors, researchers, and artists.
Cultural Residency Program: The 7-month exhibition period will host a rotating roster of young art professionals from Georgia where participants will gain professional and cultural exposure.
Exhibition dates: 23 April-27 November, 2022
Inauguration: 22 April, 5-10 p.m.
Opening week: April 20–22, 11am–8pm April 23–September 25, 11:30am–7:30pm September 26–November 27, 10:30am–6:30pm Closed on Tuesdays
Location: Spazio Punch, Fondamenta S. Biagio, 800/O, Giudecca, 30133 Venice.
Nearest Vaporetto stop: Giudecca Palanca, Line 2.
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