“Shvilishvili” is Georgian for “grandchild”; it can literally be translated as “a child of a child”. In this project, presented as a book-object, I question the value of family photography and family ties in modern society through an attempt to unite all of my relatives from one bloodline through photography. My family is divided between two countries - Russia and Georgia; the problems between its 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, members of my family pose for group portraits to form a chain of images in which each relative chooses with whom he or she wants to be photographed and thus 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, I discovered a lot of my grandmother Keto’s photographs in each of my relative’s houses. After her marriage and move to Russia, Keto started to send these images to her family in Georgia. After failing to understand anything about her biography through these images, I put portraits of her grandmother back into the original old plastic bags kept by my relatives for many years. The new photographs functioned as new shapes as well as evidence of my grandmother’s unexplainable and inexplicable life.
The shape of the book is unwieldy and questions what family albums hide.