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BL CK B X: Sophio Medoidze, Jackals and Drones

Wed 15 Jan - Sat 22 Feb 2020 / Wed-Sat, 12pm-4pm

LUX, Waterlow Park Centre, Dartmouth Park Hill, London, N19 5JF

Join us for the exhibition’s opening event on Saturday 18 January, 2pm-4pm, with a reading and discussion of Medoidze’s work. A special breakfast viewing will take place on Wednesday 29 January, 9am-10.30am. Both events are free and open to all. 

LUX is proud to present a new solo exhibition of London-based artist Sophio Medoidze. BL CK B X: Sophio Medoidze, Jackals and Drones spans more than ten years of artistic practice, bringing together moving image, photography and sound works. Medoidze’s distinct visual style and her signature mode of direct address play with the conventions of both video and the cinema, stripping film of its artifice in a way that it becomes even more artificial.

As Mike Sperlinger has written, “Her films are animated by a peculiar uncertainty principle which propels the viewer from image to image, abruptly and repeatedly shifting between different layers of reality. Often depicting her native Georgia, Medoidze’s films are mosaics in which scenes of mythic otherworldliness oscillate with documentary details, often small and comic.”

Xitana (2019), the most recent work in the show, is a teaser of sorts for a feature that Medoidze is currently developing with Tyneside Cinema. It’s a humorous reflection on the accelerated development that the remote countryside in North-Eastern Georgia has recently undergone, after remaining largely unchanged for centuries. The clash between modernity and tradition is a constant thread in Medoidze’s work, exemplified by the contrast between her slick, fast-cut editing and the archaic traditions of Georgia’s mountainous regions. 

Her work displays lightness even when dealing with politically charged geographies and patriarchal narratives from which the artist is excluded. Taking both the position of a native and a tourist, Medoidze’s distanced but nuanced approach can be critical and full of empathy at the same time. Whilst the beauty of the Georgian landscape is overwhelming, Medoidze’s taste for the absurd and the self-reflexivity of her address, draw us in and pull us out at the same time. 

Still from 'Jackals and Drones' (2016-18), by Sophio Medoidze. Courtesy of the artist.

Production still from ‘Jackals and Drones’ (2016-18), by Sophio Medoidze. Courtesy of the artist.

The exhibition includes Xitana (2019, 6’), Jackals and Drones: Chronicle of a Summer (2016-2018, 16’), Black sea is really black (2015. 6’) and This video is about children and language (2009, 8’). The sound piece Sound works: Andropov’s Ears (2014-ongoing) will be presented in the LUX Library, alongside images and writing.

Xitana is a work commissioned by Tyneside Cinema as part of the artists’ programme Projections, using public funding from Arts Council England.

Still from Xitana (2019), by Sophio Medoidze. Courtesy of the artist.
Still from Xitana (2019), by Sophio Medoidze. Courtesy of the artist.

About the artist

Sophio Medoidze was born in USSR, brought up in the Republic of Georgia and lives in London. Her work is marked by precarity and explores the poetic potential of uncertainty, subverting traditional ethnographic forms through relatedness and humour. The desire for a community (both actual and imaginary) drives her mythopoetic narratives forward. Her work has been shown at Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles, Serpentine Gallery, Close Up Film Centre, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Whitechapel Gallery and the Tbilisi Art Fair. She is currently working on her first feature in Georgia.