Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili

Georgian Ornament

Les Rencontres de la photographie d'Arles

Selected for the Louis Roederer Discovery Award 2021

July 5  - September 26, 2021

Opening week: 5-11 July


Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Georgian Ornament, 2021
Installation views, Eglise des frères prêcheurs, Selection for the Louis Roederer Discovery Award - Les Rencontres de la photographie d’Arles
Photo : Marjorie Sardanne

We are pleased to announce the selection of Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili for the Louis Roederer Discovery Award 2021.

About the Award

Since its creation, the Rencontres d'Arles has promoted photography and all its stakeholders, from photographers to artists, curators and publishers. With this in mind, the Rencontres associates the Louis Roederer Discovery Award with all exhibition spaces. Through their trailblazing work, galleries, art centers, non-profits, independent venues and institutions are often the first to support emerging artists.

The 11 projects were selected from numerous submissions, largely from Europe. Reflecting a desire to question and rethink techniques and genres, they attest to a keen interest in the body and its place in the world as well as in the materiality of photography. The shortlisted projects will be on display at the next Rencontres d'Arles. 

These artists take photographs, make videos, create installations, explore archives and experiment with digital tools. They tell stories—personal, collective or intergenerational, real or fictionalized; turn the medium’s processes, canons and gestures upside-down; and develop them in physical or virtual space. Some express their commitment and perspectives on their environment in abstraction or novel forms, others through narratives that comment on a humanity both tense and mobile.

Familiar and impersonal at the same time, the plastic bag is at the center of Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili’s most recent work. The artist, fascinated by an object both fragile and enduringly pollutive, has for several years collected specimens of what she calls a « future fossil ». In the country of Georgia, where she was born, a number of these bags intended for tourist consumption display traditional ornamental motifs, similar to those you find in Byzantine churches. The curtain presented here is characteristic of the artist’s method: derived from a 4 x 5-inch negative to which she has apposed a plastic bag illuminated by a finger light—a clubbing accessory—the curtain has been adapted to the nature and dimensions of the exhibition site. The translucent textile material and its falling drape recall the artist’s interest in the play of transparency and light as well as in the motif of the window that appears in many of her works, while the black edges recall the analogy between the rectangle of the photograph and the window that opens onto the world.

Sonia Voss, exhibition curator.