The Venice Questionnaire #19 – Vajiko Chachkhiani

The artist explains in a few words his plans for the Georgian Pavilion

A Living Dog in the Midst of Dead Lions, 2017. Photo: A Living Dog in the Midst of Dead Lions, 2017. Photo: Sandro Sulaberidze. Courtesy the artist A Living Dog in the Midst of Dead Lions, 2017. Photo: Sandro Sulaberidze. Courtesy the artist Vajiko Chachkhiani. Courtesy the artist


ArtReview sent a questionnaire to artists and curators exhibiting in and curating the various national pavilions of the 2017 Venice Biennale, the responses to which will be published daily in the lead-up to the Venice Biennale opening (13 May – 26 November). 

Vajiko Chachkhiani is representing Georgia. The pavilion is in the Arsenale.

What can you tell us about your exhibition plans for Venice?

For the installation I will dismantle an abandoned small wooden house from the countryside in Georgia and re-erect it in the pavilion, complete with furniture, pictures and other daily object of a simple life. Inside the house a self-contained irrigation system will simulate permanent rain. A weak yellow light will illuminate the interior that can be seen by the visitors through the windows and the porch. Over the six month course of the exhibition the steady watering will change the interior: some objects may disintegrate, and moss will grow over them. In contrast to the interior, the exterior of the house will stay the same. The installation will create its own narrative over time following a kind of natural dramaturgy. This built-in process is an important feature of an artwork that allows for subtle change.

How is making a show for the Venice Biennale different to preparing a ‘normal’ exhibition? Or another biennial?

The difference lays in the amount of time to conceive and build the work and in its scale. The approach however is more or less the same. Maybe within the vast context of the Biennale the installation comes across as more of a statement.

What does it mean to ‘represent’ your country? Do you find it an honour or is it problematic?

It is neither one nor the other. I didn’t think of it till now, but I hope I represent the voice of people.

Did you visit the last Venice Biennale? What’s your earliest or best memory from Venice?

My best memory from the last Biennale is the Danish Pavilion [Danh Vo] and having an Aperol with a friend.

You’ll no doubt be very busy, but what else are you looking forward to seeing?

Other interesting projects.

28 April 2017