Interview with Natalia Vatsadze

Hello, Natalia! Please, tell us about your projects and activities.

Hello, my name is Natalia Vatsadze. I am an artist and independent curator and one of the founders and members of the artistic collective Bouillon.

My artistic research and curatorial work is devoted to performances and socially engaged art in post-soviet reality.

I am one of the founders of Flying Painter, Georgian brand creating clothing, which by their content are Art objects. Flying painter is a platform which helps artists deliver social, political, critical or even romantic messages to the public.

Which tasks and goals do you have within the Bouillon art-group? What did you achieve and what are you currently planning to do?

Bouillon Group is an artist collective founded in 2008 and based in Tbilisi, Georgia. Teimuraz Kartlelishvili, Vladimer Lado Khartishvili, Konstantine Kitiashvili, Ekaterina Ketsbaia, and Zurab Kikvadze and I create multimedia participatory artworks ranging from public art installations to performative actions. The artist collective is dedicated to designing and producing art works collaboratively based on interplay of spaces, imagery, sexuality and the history. Our group makes performances, actions and artistic interventions in the public and private spaces. Group Bouillon represented Georgia at Venice Biennial in 2013. In 2018 we have been awarded the first edition of the Zygmund Walishewsky Visual Arts Award of the Polish institute in Tbilisi. Currently we are working on Curatorial projects, which we hope will take place in August in Poland . Because of the pandemic we postponed two exhibitions.

Which project of yours or your art-group is the most important for you and why?

Too difficult to answer, but maybe the first part of Social Aerobics, Religious Aerobic. It was the Project we showed at the Venice biennale. It was a project we worked for more than one year, we fought with each other and we still don’t have one common position in the group.

What is the role of Georgia in your art-activities? Is it affected by the country’s culture or history? Would it be possible to create a similar art-group or projects somewhere else? 

Bouillon Group has some works connecting with art-activism and I think it’s just some very quick position of the members of the group on political , social and cultural problems we have in our country. I don’t think that it is affected by the country’s history or culture. Of course it’s possible to create a similar art-group or projects somewhere else. There are many examples of it. Only one difficulty is staying together as long as we did. It’s definitely our culture effect 🙂

Within the ARTIF project you have been working with a human rights defender from Belarus. What does this experience mean to you? How unusual or, otherwise, familiar was it for you to work together with people of different cultures?

From my past experience I was very skeptical about such collaborations. I think I’m lucky to meet Elena as she was thinking absolutely the same, she was in Georgia at this time and we had a chance to meet each other several times. This is the reason our collaboration happened.

But I think one week is not enough time to make a project. In one week you can find common interest and then develop it. It was unusual to work from the internet. As I know you are planning one meeting in Tbilisi, I think that’s great.