The photographer Guram Tsibakhashvili is one of the most outstanding figures in Georgian contemporary artists. He has created a vast number of photographic works, ranging from pure documentary photo to conceptual artworks, photography with texts and drawings and media. His exquisite talent brings together two worlds: the reality - the life he experienced; recent history of Georgia, clash of Soviet thinking and Western values, political unrest, and his personal outlook, creative thinking and sensations. From 1980ies the artist has been engaged in public activities and in redefining his legacy by embracing broader values and aesthetics than those were allowed by the Soviet Regime.His projects - accomplished and ongoing - reflect the wide range of interests and creative nature of the artist . "Among the many othersthetic artistic projects" Definitions "," Ulysses "," Saplings "," Genetic-memory "," Private Museum "and" The Diary "are of the utmost importance.
His series of photographs called "Definitions" (1997-2001) shatter our views of reality by means of explanations and introducing explanatory red drawings to the images. Red touches, which can be found all across the black and white photos, are understated by artist as the "red" of the time he was raised in. The deliberate play with the image and text imply viewer's imaginative and associative efforts and suggest different ways of seeing simple themes exiting around us.
By applying the quotation from James Joyce's famous book "Ulysses" to his own contemporary surrounding, Tsibakhashvili's series called "Ulysses" (1989-1990) challenges the common perception of time and space and emphasizes the idea that the circumstances might coincide in different periods and cultural environments.
The series of works "Saplings" (1998) show people with their human "defects" - blood, scar, freckles, etc. with the idea that every human is a "child of the earth" and is deeply connected with its own roots.
Another artistic project - photo portraits memorized by the portrayed person- "Genetic memory" (2008 - ongoing) visualizes the idea that theface of a human reflects the genetic memory more really than the actual memory of a person.
The project "Private Museum" (2007 - Ongoing) capturesthe interiors and their decorations, showing the variety of objects, which are used to build "personal museums". The diversity of objects collected in these "museums" often displays their contrasting character and thevariety of their origins by the traces of globalization.
Finally, the series of black-and-white, color and digital documentary photos - "The Diary" (1983 - Ongoing) document the life of the country and its development and
Explore the transformative way - seen through the prism of the artist.
Awing to their exquisite artistic qualities Tsibakhashvili's photos have been repeatedly exposed to the public both in Georgia and internationally; Many art critics (including the famous photography critic Ian Jeffery) referred to his works and his art were published in different art magazines.
Alongside being an outstanding artist, Tsibakhashvili contributed to the development of photography in Georgia and generally in Caucasus. He was among the founders of the Caucasian Center for Cultural Development / Media Art Farm (2000), which was the first institution of high education in photography in Caucasus, Tbilisi Photographer's Housing (2007) and The First "Photo Magazine" in Caucasus (2007) .
His attempt to embrace reality by his attempt to embrace reality by his own workstablish Guram Tsibakhashviliamong the outstandingcontemporary artists, who challenge and change our frontiers of our realities.
Text: Ana Shanshiashvili