My Backyard

My Backyard
Adler Guerrier, Niko Lomashvili,
Koka Ramishvili and Michael Stickrod

April 5 – May 5, 2007
Newman Popiashvili Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition with work by Adler Guerrier, Niko Lomashvili, Koka Ramishvili and Michael Stickrod. My Backyard comprises works that address the notion of conflict that no one would want to have in his or her own backyard ? ?not in my backyard!? Sharing a site of production, these works were all filmed or photographed at the artists? homes.

The exhibition is proud to showcase the work of two Georgian artists: Koka Ramishvili and Niko Lomashvili.

War From My Window is a set a twelve black-and-white photos shot from Koka Ramishvili?s window during the twelve-day civil war in Tbilisi, Georgia in December 1991. In these photographs, one finds a wintry cityscape and smoke from bombings subtly captured from within the landscape and through the natural frame of a window. The anonymity of this landscape and the relevance of the subject to images of various wars happening simultaneously in distant places underscore the ongoing relevancy of this sixteen-year-old series. Koka Ramishvili lives and works in Geneva, Switzerland, and, most recently, his work was shown at Post Soviet Photography at the Tate Modern in London and at the Moscow Biennale.

Niko Lomashvili, also Georgian, creates series of digital prints on paper over which he then draws with a pencil, thus mimicking the look of Soviet-era classical illustration art. His series Number of Shots, also taken during the civil war in Tbilisi, Georgia in 1991-92, depict beautiful young girls (some of them in dancers? tutus) with guns in their hands and a wall with bullet marks on them. Number of Shots simultaneously shock and attract the viewer drawn to their beauty and startled by the traces of their violence. These powerful images were featured prominently in ?”After the Wall: Art and culture in post-Communist Europe” traveling exhibition that originated at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm in 1999.

Haitian born and Miami based artist Adler Guerrier groups together color photographs in order to map out his nocturnal wanderings through deserted downtown Miami. These compelling trajectories of cityscapes, night skies and the lonely artist before a high-walled fence invite reflection on racial solitude within the confining spaces of urban America. His art follows the Taoist axiom: “You can see the whole universe from your window.” Guerrier simultaneously indulges in and demystifies the stereotype of the fl⮥ur as he renegotiates how to imagine that Baudelairian wandering dandy. Adler Guerrier?s work was included in 2001 Freestyle exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem as well as in 10 Floridians at the Miami Art Central, among others.

Michael Stickrod is a recent graduate of Yale University School of Art. In his eleven-minute video After the War, the artist travels to his parents? backyard to witness and record his father?s experience during the Vietnam War. Once again, a 35-year-old story retold to a son resonates uncannily with today?s world events.

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