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Contemporary Art Archive - Tbilisi

Archive of Academic Writings

2021 Edition of the Project is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Youth of Georgia

Ana Chaduneli, Terrible Dreams


16 January - 6 March 2021

Curated by Gvantsa Jishkariani

According to the “simulation hypothesis”, what we experience as reality is actually a giant computer simulation created by a more sophisticated intelligence. We can compare it to the video games, those that are created with no definitive ending, allowing the player to explore, discover, feel indefinitely. Harun Farocki's film Parallel, describes how software helps video characters stay within the game's borders and not fall out of the artificially created landscapes of the games world.

“Terrible Dreams” is an exhibition where artist creates microcosm, landscape, which can be observed from both – from inside, and from outside (from behind the gallery’s’ glass vitrine) – much like as the video game by its player – observed and experienced.

Dry, desert-like plants are one part of the installation. These plants are inseparable part of the artists’ hometown, and were collected there. These earth-colored plants, grooving from the soil and volcanic black stones that are randomly placed all around the gallery floor, are presented as a living sculpture of the exhibition and give the space more Zoo-alike, greenhouse feeling- emphasising the “artificial naturalism” effect. In this atmosphere, in this scenario, plants create shadows, that look like a maze, and cover the space with its mysticism.

Much like video games with never ending plot, repetition/continuation/endlessness of things is present in Anas’ work. Rendering of the same objects and characters into different dimensions in order to “perfect” them, or to create “glitch in the game” effect is much visible in “terrible Dreams” as well: small pond seen in her painting might be found as a sculpture somewhere in the installation; clay flower might transcend into the drawing, and there create the space without a main actor, waiting for one to appear.

“Terrible Dreams” – whole installation with its paintings, drawings, sculptures – feels like a stroll in the night forest: where shadows from the Lianas confuse your path, and reflections from dark waters show you the way out, just to lead you into the new dimensions of the game, still without the main character, still into the abandoned place where wild roses are overgrown onto the windows, and every road you can take, leads back into the game.


Born in Rustavi, Georgia 1990, Ana Chaduneli graduated from the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts 2009-2013 (BA), Center of Contemporary Art - Tbilisi (2012-2013), KASK-Royal Academy of Arts and Conservatoire Gent, Belgium 2018-2019 (MA).

Her artistic practice includes multidisciplinary media such as installation, painting, sculpture and video. Within her artistic practice, she researches imaginary worlds – dystopian landscapes formed by mystery (enchanted worlds) and fantasy. She uses traditional techniques and materials such as tempera, clay, and materials collected in nature. Chaduneli’s work explores forms and shapes from pagan to medieval cultures, including everyday objects and organisms. These objects transcend into each other, boundaries dissolve between them and encounter something sacral and symbolic.

Her works, especially paintings and drawings play with traditional orthodox mural structure, the Icon as its sublime center, overpowering any landscape and space trace. The work focuses on these spaces; recreating these missing landscapes, and nature which the Icon is overshadowing.

Chaduneli’s works have been exhibited both in Georgia and abroad including: Museum of Angewande Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany, Kiyv Biennial, Museum Goch, Germany; Parallel program of the Istanbul Biennial. She has taken residencies at Stiftung Binz39, Nordic Artist Center Dalsasen, Propaganda Residencies. Ana was awarded with the Tsinandali Prize for Visual Arts.