off/line is the continuation of the Art Camp-series in the Shida Kartli region. It is an anual residency project for artists from Western Europe and from Georgia in Zemo Nikozi, a village directly at the demarcation line to South Ossetia*.
Long lasting tensions, and finally a war in this region on the southern slopes of the Caucasus, led to a de-facto separation of South Ossetia from Georgia in 2008. Zemo Nikozi is located within sight of South-Ossetia’s capital city Tskhinval/i* and was hit particularly hard during the war. The village has been secured by the Georgian military police and stigmatized as a danger zone up to today. This situation has its effects on everyday life. For instance, the residents do not obtain any bank loans, they live in a relatively isolated situation and do not have much occasions for exchange.
During their working stays in Zemo Nikozi, the artists live with local families in the village. In contact with the residents and in exchange among themselves, they address the question, what art can do in the specific situation between gradual post-war rehabilitation and a frozen conflict. The artists are free to pursue their own interests and methods. They are asked to find their own ways of responding to the specific encounters, topics and needs in Zemo Nikozi. Which perspectives can be found in the place and on the place? Which stories and everyday phenomena are manifested in the daily life in the village and which remain intangible? How can images and shared experiences be created which take into account the different backgrounds of Swiss and Georgian artists and the local inhabitants?
Their research and experiences are discussed daily in a local workshop space and presented in a final event. The objectives of the project concern, on the one hand, the place and the local population, on the other hand the structures of encounters, collaborations and the emerging artistic works.
* artasfoundation would like to underline that its use of names and titles particularly with regard to the conflict regions should not be construed as implying any form of recognition or non-recognition by the foundation or as having any other political connotation whatsoever.