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WIELS, Brussels

A State in a State
by Tekla Aslanishvili

at WIELS, Brussels


© A State in a State, Tekla Aslanishvili, 2022, 47min., Georgian, Russian and English Spoken. English Subtitles

We are pleased to extend an invitation to the artist's talk of Tekla Aslanishvili with curator Patricia Couvet, that will take place at WIELS Brussels, on Thursday 21 September.
The artist will discuss her practice and research, focusing on the film A State in a State, on display at WIELS from the 21 September to the 29 October, which is the result of Aslanishvili winning the Han Nefkens Foundation – Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Grant 2020, in collaboration with Art Jameel, Dubai/Jeddah; Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila; NTU CCA, Singapore and WIELS, Brussels. 
Curator Patricia Couvet will speak with Tekla about the work and the geopolitical context it addresses.

A State in a State (2022) is an experimental documentary film that follows the construction, disruption, and fragmentation of railroads in the South Caucasus and Caspian regions. It examines railways as the technical materialisation of the fragile political borders that have re-emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Revolving around the scenes of delay and waiting that constitute cargo mobility, the film reads the optimistic narratives about the New Silk Road against the grain. It observes how the iron foundation of connectivity can be used as a weapon of exclusion and geopolitical sabotage. Dotting the same lines, other forms of sabotage are deployed by workers to disrupt the political violence. Looking at historic and current practices of resistance, A State in a State explores the potential of railroads for building a different, infrastructural consciousness and the lasting, transnational, kinship among the people who live and work around them.

Tekla Aslanishvili (b. 1988, GE) is an artist, filmmaker and essayist based between Berlin and Tbilisi. She graduated from the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts in 2009 and holds a MFA from the Berlin University of the Arts - department of Experimental Film and New Media Art. Aslanishvili's films have been screened and exhibited internationally at Eye Filmmuseum / MACA Amsterdam; Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt; New Visions - The Henie Onstad Triennial for Photography and New Media, Oslo; Transmediale 2023, Berlin; Loop Festival / Antoni Tàpies museum, Barcelona; Neue Berliner Kunstverein; Baltic Triennial 14, Vilnius; Short Film Festival Oberhausen; Kunsthalle Münster; EMAF - European Media Art Festival; Videonale 18; Tbilisi Architecture Biennial. She is a 2018–2019 Digital Earth fellow, the nominee for Ars-Viva Art prize 2021 and the recipient of the Han Nefkens Foundation - Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Award 2020.  

Patricia Couvet (b. 1994, FR) is a curator based in Berlin. With a background in cultural history (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne), her work relies on the entanglement of human and social sciences with the curatorial. In 2019, she attended the post-graduate program in Curatorial Studies at KASK, Ghent. Currently, she co-curates two initiatives by the art collective Slavs and Tatars in Berlin: the residency-mentorship for emerging art professionals from Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia and Pickle Bar, a project space with a slavic take on the aperitivo bar that focus on performative and discursiveformats. Recent projects include "Clouds and Power" at Mill6chat Hong Kong (curated by Slavs and Tatars and Mi You) (2023), Nikolay Karabinovych's solo exhibition "Why do you stand at the door?" at Jewish Museum of Belgium (2022) and "Sauer Power Klubnacht" at Humboldt Forum Berlin (2022). 

Credits: The film is developed in artistic-scientific collaboration with Dr. Evelina Gambino, Margaret Tyler Research Fellow in Geography at Girton College, University of Cambridge.  
Research and script: Tekla Aslanishvili / Evelina Gambino
Music: Ani Zakareishvili / Nika Pasuri
Cinematography: Nikoloz Tabukashvili / Tekla Aslanishvili
Typography: Dato Simonia
Editing: Tekla Aslanishvili
Field recordings: Viktor Bone
Sound mastering: Irakli Shonia
Colour: Sally Shamas
Produced by the Han Nefkens Foundation, Barcelona
In collaboration with Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona; NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore; WIELS, Brussels; Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD) Manila and Art Jameel, Dubai.  Additional support: Berlin Senate for Culture and Europe


A State in a State
by Tekla Aslanishvili

at WIELS, Brussels
Avenue Van Volxemlaan 354,
1190 Brussels

Thursday, 21 September
18:00 I Screening A State in a State
19:00 I Conversation Tekla Aslanishvili & Patricia Couvet


22 September – 29 October 2023
WIELS Auditorium

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