shvilishvili

Part I. The Georginan-Russian Family Chain.

Part II. Photographs my grandmother has been sending to Georgia since she moved to Russia.

«Shvilishvili» book, anti-family album

Shvilishvili
Hand-made collectors edition of 67
15×32 cm
Hardcover (canvas)
106 pages, color
weight around 450 gr
4 plastic bags, a rope 1 meter long
Print 15×20 cm
A box
*each 10 copies are somehow different from each other

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“Shvilishvili” is Georgian for “grandchild”, literally it could be translated as “a child of a child”. In this project, presented as book-object, the author questions the value of family photography and family ties themselfs in modern society through an attempt to unite her relatives from one blood line by photography. The family is divided between two countries — Russia and Georgia, — and the problems of it’s members on both sides of the border arise from the post-war political situation as well as the tragic story of a murder committed inside the family.

In the first part of the project the representatives of Romanova’s family pose for group portraits to form a chain of images where each relative always appears in two photographs: the previous and the next. The chain of photographs starts in Georgia, goes though several villages and cities and ends in Russia. While working on the chain, Romanova discovered a lot of her grandmother Keto’s photographs in each of the blood-line relative’s houses. Keto started to send these images to her family in Georgia since she got married and moved to Russia. Failed to understand anything about her biography out of those images, Romanova puts portraits of her grandmother back into the old plastic bags as her relatives kept them for many years — and rephotographes as new shapes and also an evidences of grandmother’s life, that now nobody can explain and understand.

The shape of the book is unhandy and questions the necessity of a family album in modern society, being an “anti — family album” itself.