Parsons Collaborates with State Department to Curate Georgia’s Artisterium

Textile Lab will be on display at Georgia’s Artisterium through October 15. Photo by Laura Sansone.

This month, Parsons is playing an active role in an important international contemporary art exhibition, which is taking place in Tbilisi, the capital of the Caucasus nation of Georgia. Lydia Matthews, a professor of Visual Culture at Parsons, was commissioned by the U.S. Embassy in Georgia to curate the artists representing the United States in this event, called Artisterium. Her appointment came out of a series of curatorial workshops she led this past spring in Georgia, through the local branch of the Open Society Foundations.

Now in its fifth year, the theme of the current Artisterium is  “The Protest That Never Ends.” Protest is an area of particular interest to Georgians, who swept out their government in 2003, following an internationally condemned national election. That protest movement, dubbed The Rose Revolution, was the template for the “Color Revolutions” that swept Eastern Europe in the following years, and helped inspire the Arab Spring.

Matthews, working under the umbrella of Parsons’ Curatorial Design Research Lab, has assembled a group of American artists who each tackle this theme in their own way. In Streetwise: Discover Eliava Project, Matthews explores how artists, designers and local citizens can resist the status quo and re-envision their environment. Ghana ThinkTank, an art collective that the Vera List Center for Art and Politics hosted last year for a weeklong residency, is presenting Georgian Think Tank, which attempts to put the issues crucial to modern Georgians in new and illuminating context.  Also taking part in the exhibition as a participating artist is Laura Sansone, an assistant professor in the BFA Integrated Design program. Lola Ye, a graduate student in Design and Technology, oversaw the exhibition and graphic design for the U.S. installation.

Artisterium is on view through October 15. For more information, visit the exhibition website.