ANDRO WEKUA’s “Pink Wave Hunter” Is Like a Post-Soviet Version of Superman’s Kandor

1492766_888392074511574_1775995613_o

Georgian artist ANDRO WEKUA opens his exhibition “Pink Wave Hunter” tonight at the Benaki Museum in Athens, inaugurating a new collaboration between the Benaki and the Deste Foundation. Wekua uses mixed media, sculpture, and installation to channel personal memory and the political history of his native Caucasus region into narratives that vacillate between the ultra-real and dream-like fictions. For “Pink Wave Hunter” the artist presents a series of sculptural models of buildings drawn from memories of his childhood in the popular seaside town Sukhumi, Georgia, where Wekua lived until his family was forced to flee during the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict of the 1990s. The town was subsequently devastated by the civil war, leaving the artist and his family part of the Georgian diaspora unable to return to home.

Like a post-Soviet iteration of Superman’s Kandor—the capital city of the superhero’s devastated home planet, Krypton, which was preserved in miniature in a glass jar—Wekua’s Sukhumi is a sentimental play between reality and representation. The sculptures are conjured from the artist’s personal recollection (and supplemental online research) and therefore contain blank spaces that correspond to what Wekua terms “memory gaps.” “I am more invested in the architecture of this city, and how its nature is being conserved and untouched while being allowed to deteriorate,” Wekua says. “For me this city is constantly unreachable, a mirage of sorts. Maybe this city does not and has never existed.” Presented on simple tables or risers, the moderately scaled architectural forms offer a melancholic presence synonymous with empty stage sets and movie facades, an enigmatic tableau that questions the intersections of history, memory, and fantasy.

For more information on Andro Wekua, see 032c‘s portrait of the artist.

www.deste.gr
www.benaki.gr

Andro Wekua, Pink Wave Hunter, 2010–2011. Installation view. Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

Andro Wekua, Pink Wave Hunter, 2010–2011. Installation view. Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

Andro Wekua, Pink Wave Hunter, 2010–2011. Installation view. Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

Andro Wekua, Pink Wave Hunter, 2010–2011. Installation view. Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

Andro Wekua, Pink Wave Hunter, 2010–2011. Installation view. Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

Andro Wekua, Pink Wave Hunter, 2010–2011. Installation view. Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

 

 

 

 

Deeper

  • Dev Hynes Collaborates with OAMC and Adidas on a Capsule Collection

    Under the music moniker Blood Orange, Devonté Hynes has spent the last decade softening the strident ego of mainstream pop with the wistful jazz and new wave tones, as well as musings on identity, belonging, and vulnerability, on albums such as Cupid Deluxe or Negro Swan. Singer, songwriter, producer, and director Hynes, who goes by Dev, brings his solitary sensibility to his other projects, too – whether scoring films and fashion shows, collaboration with visual artists, or, more recently, starring as the face of a capsule collaboration between adidas and OAMC, a menswear label founded by Luke Meier and Arnaud Faeh in 2013.More
  • 032c Cosmic Workshop Collection

    032c COSMIC WORKSHOP 'Morning' Triangle Puffer Scarf

    €80
  • New Arrivals

    Buffalo by 032c Jodhpur Ankle Boot White

    €450
    Buy Now
  • 032c Cosmic Workshop Collection

    032c COSMIC WORKSHOP 'Rock Bottom' Vest Grey

    €190
    Buy Now