Working predominantly in sculpture and video installation, Keti Ortoidze’s work explores the dynamics between power structures and individual agency.
The recent project ON EFFORT AND LETTING GO (2019) is a multi-channel film installation filmed in the Georgian spa town of Tskaltubo. The film captures various scenes from the bathhouse: a group of bathers swim in unison; a young woman receives a water massage while the hum of the pressurized faucet echoes across the marble room. The work challenges the indoctrination of wellness within socialist and capitalist societies.
During her residency at Callie’s, Ortiodze created a new series of sculptures that revisit the work of Eileen Gray (1878-1976) by quoting fragments of her designs. In doing so, Ortoidze not only references the formal qualities of Gray’s designs, but invokes the symbolic power of the illustrious designer, who was infamously marginalized by a male-dominated industry. Objects that make reference to Gray’s Non Conformist chair and a lesser-known bedside table design are reconceived and presented alongside cast resin elements that borrow the shape of historic bathing shoes, but harbor inside them discarded materials: found fabric, a dart. The installation observes the complexity of social hierarchies and the division of power. The recurring elements—the armrest, the bedside table, the bathing clogs, and the dart—further tangle the relationship between labor and luxury.
In September of 2020, Ortoidze’s studio presentation of new sculptural work opened at Callie’s, titled so care-fully.