Tekla Aslanishvili

in the IBB Video Space

Film still: Two people in bright orange work clothes and white helmets stand in front of a building pit, their heads and bodies turned in different directions.

Tekla Aslanishvili, Scenes from Trial and Error, 2020 (Still)

© the artist

Tekla Aslanishvili is an artist, filmmaker and essayist. Her work reflects on the intersections between history, geopolitics and infrastructure for transport and energy. She often adopts an interdisciplinary perspective by collaborating with researchers and develops experimental documentary formats after an extensive research phase.

Scenes from Trial and Error (2020)

Two films are being screened at the Berlinische Galerie: In “Scenes from Trial and Error” (2020, 30 min.) the artist takes a close look at the planned city Anaklia in Georgia. A little fishing village on the Black Sea is to be transformed into a futuristic „smart city“ but for the last 20 years implementation has failed again and again. The film examines the impact of this ambitious infrastructure project aimed at turning the country into a trade corridor for the “New Silk Road” connecting Asia with the West. It also speculates on potential development scenarios for the future.

A State in a State (2022)

“A State in a State” (2022, 47 min.) has its primary focus on the “BTK” rail route which runs from Baku in Azerbaijan via the Georgian capital Tbilisi to Kars in Türkiye and about the fragile political boundaries that have emerged in the South Caucasus and Caspian regions since the collapse of the Soviet Union. In a range of interviews – with journalists, railway workers and researchers – Aslanishvili explores how railways are used as instruments of exclusion and geopolitical sabotage. At the same time, she flags up strategies adopted by workers to counter state coercion – as well as the transnational bonds between people who live and work around these infrastructures.


Scenes from Trial and Error, 2020 (Excerpt)

A State in a State, 2022 (Excerpt)

The artist

Tekla Aslanishvili was born in Tbilisi in 1988 and lives there and in Berlin. She studied at Tbilisi State Academy of Arts and Berlin University of the Arts. Her work has been shown widely, including at the SculptureCenter, New York; the Taipei Biennial 2023; Eye Filmmuseum, Amsterdam; Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt; EMAF – European Media Art Festival, Osnabrück; and the International Short Film Festival, Oberhausen.

IBB Video Space

Since 2011 the IBB Video Space has been screening artists who work with time-based media. The programme features not only established names in contemporary video art but also up-and-coming artists rarely seen in museums to date. For these, the Berlinische Galerie seeks to facilitate an institutional début. Each screening brings a new encounter with work that raises questions about the medium and about social or political issues. Importance is attached to including marginalised perspectives and to shedding light on the impact of power structures.