Opening: 14.09.2018, 19h

Portikus is pleased to announce the exhibition o potio n. by the artist Thea Djordjadze (born 1971, Tbilisi, Georgia). The artist’s approach is mostly site-specific, therefore the architecture of the exhibition hall at Portikus is the starting point of her new installation for o potio n.

Height is the significant feature at Portikus, which sprawls over several levels from the Maininsel to the Alte Brücke and beyond. The interior of Portikus is a white cube, with almost no visible past. In general, it is not so much the histories of sites that Thea Diordjadze refers to in her installations, but more their elements, axes, or the special idiosyncrasies that constitute a space. Consequently, the spaces in her exhibitions are not to be understood as mere presentation venues, but rather as studio/exhibition spaces that are at the beginning and the end of her thinking about the exhibition. Until the last moment, Thea Djordjadze allows her installations to develop and transform in the space, and for the space and the work to become accomplices.

Industrial materials, Plexiglas, aluminum, and colored metals often encounter wood, carpets, fabrics, handicrafts, and paintings. These contrasts leave the installations open to different narratives and interpretations, and also create connections within the arrangement through their own material qualities such as reflections.

Just as space itself is a receptacle for something, Djordjadze's works suggest a functionality through their form, which in her installations definitely evokes associations of strangely human forms, fragile artifacts, and even seemingly utilitarian everyday objects. The connection between the space and the installations, which often act as independent systems within the space, remains opaque, yet there is a noticeable, active exchange that is maintained in the limbo between functional architecture and a self-sufficient system.

Architectural elements, such as walls, platforms, or friezes, are incisions in a space that define paths and levels, delimitations and meanings, as well as pedestals, room dividers, and shelves, which, as containers, can assimilate and assume all meanings and roles. In the same manner, the exhibition’s title o potio n., denies a specific meaning in favor of an open constellation of mere letters, that might be an abbreviation, an unknown term or even concrete poetry.

Thea Djordjadze (born 1971, Tbilisi, Georgia) lives and works in Berlin. Her work has been shown in numerous solo exhibitions, such as Pinakothek der Moderne, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München (2017); MoMA PS1, New York (2016); Secession, Vienna (2016); South London Gallery (2015); MIT Cambridge (2014); the Aspen Art Museum (2013); Malmö Konsthall (2012); The Common Guild Glasgow (2011); Kunsthalle Basel (2009) and Kunstverein Nürnberg (2008). Major group exhibitions include the 56th Venice Biennale (2015); dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel (2012) and the 5th Berlin Biennale (2008).

In collaboration with the Creative Georgia and Georgian National Book Center, on occasion of Georgia’s appearance as the Guest of Honour at the Frankfurter Buchmesse 2018, with the generous support of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia.

Curated by Christina Lehnert

Photos: Diana Pfammatter


The exhibition was generously awarded the Dr. Marschner exhibition prize 'Ausgezeichnet Ausgestellt' in 2018.