The April 2012 exhibition of Now. Here. This. features Alevtina Kakhidze. Based in Muzychi, Ukraine, 19 kilometers from the city capital of Kiev, Alevtina Kakhidze is a conceptual artist who works with ideas of consumption, consumerism and power. i cannot draw without words especially if i draw my house is a new project by Kakhidze for which she will draw all of the items in her home. This new work can be seen an extension of previous projects, like The Most Commercial Project, where she drew items she liked from store windows and priced the drawings the same as the actual objects, or For Art Collectors, where she drew works by blockbuster contemporary artists and photocopied them into editions for sale. Her work simultaneously questions value, desire and materialism while being deeply autobiographical. Having grown up in the Donets region of Ukraine, known for coal mining, she has experienced Ukraine’s abrupt and chaotic changes from the days of the USSR to the post-Soviet imbalanced environment that it is today. Kakhidze’s work is meant to be funny and charming, but it also speaks to Ukraine’s 1% vs. 99% and what it means to be shocked by and absorbed into capitalist changes.
Her village of Muzychi, where she lives with her husband and many pets, is a quiet place where contemporary art held little meaning to its inhabitants until her arrival. Kakhidze is on her third year of hosting an artist residency, where she gives up her own studio to another artist for a month, and recently hosted the Muzychi Christmas Art Fair, where she and other contemporary artists sold work in efforts to deepen Muzychi’s history. Now her friends and neighbors have been exposed to contemporary art and find new meaning in it, though it might not be the traditional art to which they are accustomed. And more importantly, her home in Muzychi and everything in it is the focal point of artistic activity. Each object, her home’s interior, and even her dog named Duchamp is a purposeful choice by an artist who completely and utterly blends art and life.
Alevtina Kakhidze attended the National Academy of Fine Art and Architecture in Kiev (1999-2004) and the Jan van Eyck Academy in the Netherlands (2004-2005). Since 2002 she has exhibited in Ukraine as well as internationally.