“The best possible play is one in which there are no actors.”
-Samuel Beckett on his 1963 play, Play
Harkawik is pleased to present Ani Gurashvili's second exhibition with the gallery and her first in Los Angeles. Scattered Gems is an exhibition marked by the departure of the figure and the exploration of the interstitial setting between presence and absence. The feeling evoked is like that of an audience member waiting for the commencement of a grand performance, their eyes trained hazily on a spotlit velvet curtain. One waits for the curtain to be drawn, for the action to be revealed, but in those moments of wait, light drips from the barrier between the viewer and the drama of the future. The curtain becomes a veil, the veil, a psychic meniscus. The proscenium in slick, repetitive, orbular symmetry is transformed into an echo of a scream in a theater thick with potential.
Gurashvili employs a vocabulary of abstraction that highlights a biomorphic presence. The show’s titular painting, Scattered Gems, reminiscent of the transcendent disembodied figures of Agnes Pelton, offers crimson spheres paused in motion as they pass through a central legged horn that twists the sonic and the sentient. This feeling of witnessing physical evidence of an otherworldly happening is echoed in winding, intestinal links of gas that escape a chest pushed ajar by a loaf of scored bread in Baguette. In Circulation, a telling work from 2019, a light exposes energy in motion. Buoyant like flesh, a system is unveiled by a spotlight that becomes the main character. Its motion and illumination recalls Samuel Beckett’s 1963 play, Play, in which actors were transformed into urns, their voices disembodied energies rising from pots of ashes. They speak only when spotlit, eyes straining against the torture of announced being. The light scores a contrapuntal composition out of that which moves through its halo. A spontaneous fugue sounds from the center of its heat. The residue of presence is felt in the nothingness beyond the reach of the spotlight.
Ani Gurashvili is a Georgian painter living in Vienna. She has presented work in Austria, Georgia, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and Poland. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Media Arts from the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts in 2012 and a Diploma in Painting from the University of Applied Arts, Vienna in 2021. Her solo exhibitions include The Soft Breeze of Mortality, Harkawik (New York, NY), and Cautious Watcher, Patara Gallery (Tbilisi, Georgia). Group exhibitions include Patara Gallery, and Why Not, Tiblisi; Pilot, Vienna; White Crypt, London.