Ioanna Tsulaia

All That Glitters Isn’t Gold, 2020

Construction net, plastic bags

There are a lot of lost items in everyday life.

Workers stretched a construction net between the trees near my house. In a few days, the wind waived those nets up like flags. I took this useless net for myself. A stolen net of several meters piled up in my studio just like autumn leaves. As time went by, more and more it reminded me of the city that is constantly being built, constantly immersed in noise and is about to be absorbed by the dirt entirely. When I was a child, my mother used to tell me not to litter in the street. I used to collect trash in my pockets until I stumbled upon a bin.

Lately, my attention has been drawn to the pollution that the environment already seems to have adopted to. I was annoyed and objected to people throwing garbage in the street. The smell of emissions is sometimes mixed with the smell of garbage and every morning, the sweeper collects someone’s trash bags, bottles and cigarette butts instead of the leaves… when there exists a trash can…

Noone is surprised by a plastic bag flying into the tree branches anymore. When I was little, I admired my grandmother’s “woven market bags” and baskets. It amazed me how people would collect these colorful plastic bags diligently. The most amazing of all was the fact that someone actually sat in the office of some company and thought of the colors of these plastic bags. While working on the piece, I visited the station square market, bought those plastic bags on the wholesale, and selected colors. I know this adorable senior seller and have cute colorful plastic bags. I discovered that the black ones are low quality and white ones – otherwise, and apparently the colors are distributed around the market according to seasons of the year.

Construction net and these polyethylene bags are an image of the environment in which I wake up every morning and spend all day with trash in my pockets.   

Ioanna Tsulaia (born 1998) lives and works in Tbilisi. She has been studying at the Free University, School of Visual Arts, Architecture and Design (VA[A]DS) since 2017. She has participated in the following exhibitions: Crosscurrents 2 at the Window Project Gallery (2019), VA[A]DS in Kutaisi (2019) and  VA[A]DS at Maudi (Tbilisi, 2020), Oxygen (2018).