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Anna K.E. to represent Georgia at Venice Biennale 2019
3D visualization: Russell Kirk. Courtesy of the artist and Simone Subal Gallery.

NEW YORK, NY.- For the 58th la Biennale di Venezia in 2019, Georgian artist Anna K.E. (b. 1986, Tbilisi, Georgia) will create REARMIRRORVIEW, Simulation is Simulation, is Simulation, is Simulation… (2019), a new, large-scale architectural environment for the Georgian Pavilion. The work, her most ambitious to date, brings together many of the major motifs in the artist’s work, which she has been avidly producing throughout her career in a dynamic and diverse practice that engages equally with video, sculpture, performance, drawing, and installation. K.E., who was trained as a classical ballet dancer, has an acute sense of how the body moves through space, and her fluid architectural environments suggest a choreography, leading viewers to weave in and around her installations. Her whimsical videos feature her own body as protagonist, restricted, contorted, or isolated, often pointing toward an evolving interdependency between our corporeal and digital selves. Absurd yet poignant allegories for contemporary life, K.E.’s works invite us to consider unconventional vantage points, illuminating how seemingly incongruous notions can coexist.

K.E.’s structure for REARMIRRORVIEW, Simulation is Simulation, is Simulation, is Simulation… will be equal parts public stage, ascending and descending tribunal platform, communal fountain, and sculptural object of observation. Her rising plateaus constructed of steel framework and brightly colored powder-coated tiles will recall a matrix of digital pixels at low resolution, transporting viewers into an environment that suggests a sleek synthetic model. As her title suggests, K.E. here creates a mirror whereby transitional processes are inverted and a flat simulation is crafted into a vibrant multi-dimensional landscape. Interspersed throughout the installation will be a compendium of her videos produced throughout her career, as well as steel faucet-like sculptures based on the original Georgian alphabet, Asomtavruli, which phonetically spell the English word “deranged.” In keeping with the concept of the Venice Biennale, “May You Live in Interesting Times,” K.E. here questions the structures of language and translation, methods by which information and meaning are conveyed. The word “deranged” itself refers to something that has become disturbed, irrational, or unstable—a mistranslation or “alternative fact” that may unhinge commonplace connections between language, form, and perception. As systems and institutions we once thought to be bedrock-stable now reveal themselves to be mere facades, artificial and precariously balanced, or even on the verge of collapse, K.E.’s works remind us of those fundamental idiosyncrasies we share, and which keep us human.

Anna K.E. (b. 1986, Tbilisi, Georgia) lives and works in New York and Berlin. Recent exhibitions include Queens Museum (2017); The Kitchen, New York (2015); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara, CA (2015); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta, USA (2015); the Renaissance Society, Chicago, IL, USA (2014); the Mannheimer Kunstverein, Mannheim, Germany (2012); the III Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Moscow, Russia (2012); and Kunsthalle Recklinghausen, Germany (2012). K.E. attended Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart and received a Master’s degree form Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (2010).

Margot Norton is Curator at the New Museum, where she has curated and co-curated exhibitions with Judith Bernstein, Pia Camil, Sarah Charlesworth, Roberto Cuoghi, Ragnar Kjartansson, Chris Ofili, Goshka Macuga, Nathaniel Mellors, Laure Prouvost, Pipilotti Rist, Anri Sala, Kaari Upson, and Erika Vogt, and group exhibitions “The Keeper,” “Here and Elsewhere,” and “NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star.” Most recently, she co-curated the first American survey of Sarah Lucas (September 26, 2018–January 20, 2019) and was recently appointed co-curator with Jamillah James of the 2021 New Museum Triennial. She holds a MA in Curatorial Studies from Columbia University, New York.

This project is commissioned by Creative Georgia (Ana Riaboshenko, Director); organized by Simone Subal Gallery and Project Art Beat and supported by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia.

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