January February March

At the 18th International Architecture Biennale in Venice, presents the Georgian pavilion January February MarchAND a research-based exhibition about an artificially altered settlement in the Dusheti region of Georgia.

The project symbolically focuses on water reservoirs, their formation and impact on ecological, urban and demographic changes in the era of rapid political and climate change, exploring the relationship between the flow of time and energy. Energy as the primary life force and human methods of its consumption, distribution and preservation – energy policy; the temporality or permanence of such a policy within a common historical reality.

How temporary is our environmental footprint? Can we analyze water as a determinant of order? What types of flows are we talking about when we talk about energy flows, migration, time and ebb of the landscape itself? What are the costs of canceling an order or creating a new one? To what extent can human spatial and political development bring about changes in nature and society and vice versa? What physical and conceptual forms disappear or remain with such transformations? Are natural creations, their memory, history and artifacts that mark their past lives, permanent? What will be left after defining such places, and above all – taking into account the global and local context – what will be their future?

In 1985, in Georgia, in the region of Dusheti, between the Alevi, Gudamakari and Kartli ridges, the first hydroelectric power plant unit was launched. The 11.5 km2 power plant is still important in generating electricity and supplying Tbilisi with water; however, due to the development, the village of Zhinvali was completely flooded, which forced the entire local population to migrate; today, the local ecosystem of the Aragvi River does not exist. Water covered Eneolithic settlements and significant examples of cultural heritage; the church of Jvaripatiosani – among them – built in the 12th century, is submerged for several months, and after the water has dried, it reappears for the rest of the year. In addition to climatic and seasonal influences, the entire area is flooded and drained according to Tbilisi’s water consumption – peaking in January, February and March when the capital uses more water.

The pavilion proposes an installation inspired by artifacts and ancient remains unearthed during research, attempting to reconstruct the spatial memory of the area through one of its primitive archetypes. Rectangular building blocks, composed of river deposits, cover almost the entire exhibition space, culminating in the center of the hall, shaping the interior of the sunken Jvaripatiosani Basilica, offering a negative image of the church – emptiness as a solid. The four rooms of the Pavilion will combine an exhibition of publications, video art and documentary materials created during the research.