Tekla Aslanishvili: A State in a State
A State in a State (2022) is an experimental documentary film by artist and filmmaker Tekla Aslanishvili that follows the construction, disruption and fragmentation of railroads in the South Caucasus and Caspian regions. The film looks at railways as the technical materialisation of the fragile political borders that emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Revolving around scenes of delay and waiting constitutive of cargo mobility, A State in a State gives an alternative reading to optimistic narratives about the New Silk Road, as well as how the iron foundations of railway connectivity can be used for exclusion and geopolitical sabotage. Looking at historical and current practices of resistance, A State in a State explores the potential of railroads for building a different infrastructural consciousness, and for lasting transnational kinship among the people who live and work around them.
A State in a State was made possible through the Han Nekfens Foundation – Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Grant 2020, in collaboration with Art Jameel, Dubai; Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila; NTU CCA, Singapore and WIELS, Brussels.
A talk with the artist will take place on Thursday, March 2nd, 2023. More details here.
Tekla Aslanishvili (b. 1988) is an artist, filmmaker and essayist living and working in Berlin and Tbilisi. Her works emerge at the intersection of infrastructural design, history and geopolitics. Tekla graduated from the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts in 2009 and she holds a MFA from the Berlin University of the Arts – the department of Experimental Film and New Media Art. Aslanishvili’s films have been screened and exhibited internationally at Tbilisi International Film Festival, Loop Barcelona – Antoni Tàpies museum, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, PACT Zollverein, Neue Berliner Kunstverein, Baltic Triennial, Tbilisi Architecture Biennial, Videonale 18, Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Kunsthalle Münster, EMAF – European Media Art Festival. She is a 2018–2019 Digital Earth fellow, the nominee for Ars-Viva Art prize 2021 and the recipient of the Han Nefkens Foundation – Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Award 2020.
Tekla Aslanishvili, A State in a State, 2022.
Single-channel video, colour, sound (Georgian, Russian and English), English subtitles, 47’00”.
The film is developed in artistic-scientific collaboration with Dr Evelina Gambino, Margaret Tyler Research Fellow in Geography at Girton College, University of Cambridge.
Produced by the Han Nefkens Foundation and supported by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe.