David Meskhi - Keep Falling
29 August - 13 October, 2019
Project ArtBeat, 14, Pavle Ingorokva str., Tbilisi, Georgia
‘The fascinating moment between leaping and falling is difficult to put into words. The brief feeling of weightlessness when the body reaches the highest point, pausing momentarily before reversing direction and gravity pulls it back towards the ground, except the last step never happens in my photography… The dusty cosmos on a gymnastic carpet makes it all blurry by magnesium powder.’
The increasing degree of abstraction observed in Meskhi ’s work makes it difficult for the viewer to locate the photographic motifs spatially, depriving the photographs of any documentary character. The use of this artifice lends Meskhi’s images a mystical, intangible quality. Like creatures from another world, the half-naked, well-trained bodies seem to plummet from the sky. Meskhi ’s characteristic images in the exhibition are paired not only with photographs from his short time in the military training program but also with long-distance and close-up photographs of sun - and moonscapes, whose qualities and traits captivate the artist to a similar degree as human body movements. They basically continue subject of the bod, giving human celestial different meanings and qualities.
‘My first childhood images; sounds and feelings I start to collect in two places: first in small apartment of an old, beautiful town of Tbilisi , capital of soviet Georgia and sport school, where I used to go with my father all the time, where I grew up... My father was a gymnastics coach just like his Father. Most of our family albums looked like art books full of images collected from different sport competitions... everything around me was influenced by sports...
Life in the Soviet world was based on unity. No individuality, army-style equality and very conservative principles. At home, nobody spoke candidly about outspoken unconventional ideas and everything was pretty much levelled with the imposed ideology of our country in general. Except one thing: my family had a glimpse of a different, banned world — our coffee table was different from all other same looking coffee tables in all other same looking apartments...
Beside daily newspapers with boring photos of old people and happy factory workers, you could always find a figure of flying gymnast from sports competitions booklet, brought by my father from a faraway place, as well as issues of virtuously designed soviet photo magazines. These flying sportsmen were like super-powered heroes from another universe - the world outside the Soviet Union. Watching those booklets functioned as a key, like a door to magic places...’ - David Meskhi
David Meskhi is a photographer based in Berlin, Germany. He was born in 1979 in Tbilisi, Georgia. After gaining a Master’s Degree in Hydro ecology, Meskhi decided to change his profession entirely and turned to art. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Photo Journalism at Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film State University, Tbilisi, Georgia. Since 2004 Meskhi has been working as a photographer and photojournalist for several magazines, and his artworks have been exhibited in Georgia, Germany, France, Austria, Israel, Russia and the UK.
Selected solo and group exhibitions:
2018/19 - I DO SPEAK LANDSCAPE, Braunsfelder Family Collection, Cologne, Germany; 2018 - Lara protects me, Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; 2018 - Post-Soviet Visions, Calvert 22 Foundation, London, UK; 2017/18 - Golden Boundaries / Youth Culture in Contemporary Photography, Robert Capa; 2011 - IMAGO, Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig (GfZK), Leipzig, Germany; 2011 - Explications 1.2, Georgian National Museum, Tbilisi, Georgia.
Photo Credit: Guram Kapanadze