Behind the Curtain

Alisa Berger

The term „iron curtain“ is a metaphor used to describe a strict separation and traces back at least until the early 19th century, originally referring to fireproof curtains in theaters.
Today, Georgia endure more cultural, perhaps spiritual, conflict, but less truthful: a tug of war between the past and the future. In countries where the Orthodox Church has a strong influence, homosexual hatred is prevalent, a zero-tolerance drug policy is lockick up people for trace amounts of soft drugs, the club culture has become political due to the fact of its sheer existence . It represents the future possibilities of Georgia, a liberal society released from the pressure of the Soviet era.

This exhibition shows a closed, inaccessible gallery. It’s display-windows are covered with a not ironed typical post-Soviet curtain which is constantly in slight movement and illuminated by strobe-light.

The exhibition is accompanied by the music of Georgian Techno-artist Michail Todua.

Now 33 years old Michel Todua has been in prison for over five years. While spending his life as a promoter of DJs and parties, he was stopped randomly on the street and taken to the local police station for drug testing. Todua was detained in the Tbilisi Department of Correction without legal or financial help and was sentenced to nine years in jail. While he’s now successfully making and releasing music from within the strict confines of his prison cell, many thousands people have been locked up under the same kind of circumstances and not been granted the similar degree of welfare.

„A not ironed curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Tbilisi, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia; all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Post-Soviet sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Post-Soviet influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing new measure of liberation from a decentered force of movement, heat and the freedom of flashing light.“
Based on a speech by Winston Churchill

Alisa Berger is german-koran artist working within film, video art, mixed media installations and performances. She was born in Republic of Dagestan and raised in Ukraine and Germany, currently lives and works in Tokyo and Cologne. She studied film and fine arts at Academy of Media Art Cologne (KHM) and Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá.
Alisa Berger is part of the curating team of FAR OFF art fair and also part of performance duo bergernissen (

Her artistic works have been presented in a variety of venues, festivals and museums worldwide, among them the BACC - Bangkok Art & Culture Centre, MOMA Moscow, Anthology Film Archives, European Media Art Festival EMAF, Videonale Bonn, Dovzhenko Film Centre, KAI10 Arthena Foundation, KINDL - Centre for Contemporary Art, NCCA - Ural National Centre of Contemporary Art, HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein Dortmund.

Recurring themes in her work are psychological processes and structures, the human relationship to value systems, the human body, ritual actions and the play with stylistic elements from the horror genre. Throughout her works the autonomy of the individual and his/her body is illuminated as an insecure area.

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September 20 - August 3, 2018