Nina Sanadze<br/>
<em>Call to Peace, Anatomy of the Dream</em> 2023 <br/>
Photo: Andrew Curtis<br/>

Nina Sanadze

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Fed Square

Level 3

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Until 4 Aug | Free entry

Open 10am–5pm daily

Nina Sanadze surveys the work of Melbourne-based contemporary artist Nina Sanadze. With a practice combining installation, sculpture and found objects, Sanadze references public statues, structures and monuments as metaphors for societal transformation, sometimes incorporating physical fragments and traces of public sculpture into her work.

The exhibition presents six sculpture and installation-based works which interrogate the meaning that statues carry, and the ways they reflect the values and priorities of the time and place in which they are erected or removed.

Inspired by the public monuments in her childhood home of Tbilisi, Georgia, where Soviet icons replaced imperial statues, Sanadze’s work reveals that our cities, monuments and public artworks are constantly in flux, reflecting their contemporary moment.

The works on display reference Australia’s colonial monuments in order to explore and question the emotional resonance of public art. In the installation Monuments and movements, the artist references Melbourne-based sculptures, including the Queen Victoria (1819–1901), Edward VII (1841–1910) and King George V (1865–1936) monuments in Melbourne. Replicating these monuments as flat, folding silhouettes on wheels, this installation presents these sculptures in state of flux between being assembled or dismantled, drawing attention to ideas of permanency and the ephemeral.

In Apotheosis 2021, a collage of sculptural fragments, Sanadze has used collected remnants of Soviet sculptor Valentin Topuridze (1907-1980), Sanadze’s family friend and childhood neighbour. Gifted from the family of the sculptor, Sanadze has reconstructed elements of Topuridze’s archive, piled into a large-scale installation which question complex historical legacies.

Bollard city 2018 examines the use of bollards and barriers, and related concepts of public safety, personal freedom and trust in the community. The work includes oversized bollards appearing to be made of heavy concrete, but are actually composed of lightweight cardboard and polystyrene, offering a sense of transience to these often-permanent structures.

Sanadze has held international solo presentations at Kunstall 3,14, Norway (2023), the 3rd Tbilisi Triennial, Georgia (2018), and she has staged various public art projects including the public art event, Returning the Names, together with Memorial Italia, held at the Venice Biennale, Italy (2022). Sanadze has also participated in group exhibitions at the La Trobe Art Institute, MADA gallery, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Living Museum of the West, ACE Open, Institute of Modern Art, 101 Collins and Gertrude Glasshouse, George Paton Gallery, and Buxton Contemporary Public Screen.