By Rusudan Gvazava 2009.07.06
“People in Lithuania ask me why I go to Georgia so often, what I find there and whether it bothers me to keep going so often to the same country,” says Lithuanian Photographer Marius Abramavicius Neobisia.
Neobisia explains that he has found in Georgia things which fill him and things which somehow there are not enough of in Lithuania for him. “When I come here I feel so many positive emotions, have so many good impressions, and see friends and places where I can go to experience these kinds of impressions and relationships,” the photographer says. He explains his impressions and emotions about Georgia and the similarities between it and his home country Lithuania in the Academy+Gallery on 12 Shardeni Street, surrounded by his photo exhibition Photo Mystery about the two countries.
The exhibition opened on 1 July at 17.00 P. M. and will last until 11 July. Anyone interested can visit it free of charge. It has made Shardeni Street (in Old Tbilisi), a very popular bohemian hangout, even more attractive and, it can even be said, the place where Georgia and Lithuania meet in the photo series.
The photos were mostly taken in various districts of Georgia, in Tbilisi, Batumi, Kartli, Khevsureti and cities in Lithuania. “In this photo series Georgia and Lithuania are united and in some of the photos with two captions,” Neobisia commented. He also added that he fell in love with this country at first sight and now loves it as much as his home country, which is why he decided to unite the two in his photos and opened this exhibition.
Neobisia said he was in Georgia for the first time in 2007 for a week’s visit, experienced many emotions and met Georgian painters, sculptors and other artists. Through this relationship with Georgian artists the whole of Georgia was opened up to him and he found an absolutely different artistic space. “I firmly decided then that I would come back and do artistic work here and last year I was here six times,” he added.
In an conversation in the gallery we spoke about our countries and Neobisia admitted that he loves Georgia because it is also a small country, like his. “There are many similarities between our countries and our histories as both were formerly in the Soviet Union and have experienced many of the same kind of difficulties,” he commented. When Neobisia spoke about the history of our countries I of course naturally remembered with thanks how the Baltic countries including Lithuania responded to last year’s Russian aggression and supported Georgia and peace in the country.
Neobisia explained why he has chosen to call the exhibition Photo Mystery. “This exhibition is called Photo Mystery because like Georgia you have to look at the pictures very deeply to discover their meaning, as the first impression you gain is a tourist’s impression but then you find a lot of new things. It’s not only beautiful hills and mountains which make Georgia rich but there are a lot of deep mysteries in Georgia, as in the photos,” he explained.
Neobisia added that it’s even difficult to explain what appeals him about this country but there are many things you cannot express but just feel. He revealed that he has decided to take the photo series to Lithuania as well after a while. This is not Neobisia’s first exhibition about Georgia but his second. His first was with Georgian artists Gia Bugadze and Gia Gugeshvili in Lithuania in spring last year, containing his photos and Bugadze and Gugeshvili’s paintings of Georgia. He showed the photos from that exhibition at Caucasus House this year too but the photos in Photo Mystery are absolutely new, they taken about one month ago. “They are just one month old and it can be even said that they are very fresh, like I just took them and exhibited them, although usually an exhibition is prepared for some time,” he explained.
The photographer also revealed that when he came back to Georgia this time he was told by Gia Bugadze that one of the small parks near the Mtatstminda Park was now called the Lithuanian Park. “I was very glad to hear this and I at once had an idea to create a space there where various artistic works, sculptures, paintings and so on, by Lithuanian and Georgians artists, would be displayed jointly,” he said.
The photographer was returning home on the night the exhibition opened. However he commented that he was hoping to be able to see the Lithuanian Park before leaving Tbilisi.