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The News in Brief

Wednesday, February 8
Georgia Supreme Court judges silent over who 'pressured' them

Two Supreme Court judges have still not revealed who tried to put pressure on them in a case about the ownership of a large TV station critical of the government.

Judges Besarion Arveladze and Paata Katamadze, who told the prosecutor general in a letter that they were being pressured, walked out of a meeting of the High Council of Justice on Friday without making comments to the media.

The High Council is a body responsible for appointing judges and assessing their performance.

Arveladze and Katamadze are presiding in a private lawsuit over the ownership of Rustavi 2, a TV channel sympathetic to the United National Movement party and a constant thorn in the side of the current government.

Despite the high public interest, the Prosecutor General’s Office is withholding the text of the complaint letter sent to the office by the two judges.

Rustavi 2’s director claims the judges were pressured by the domestic intelligence service, the State Security Agency, to silence the government’s most vocal critical voice, while the Prosecutor General claims that it appears that the threats came from a former government official linked with the United National Movement.

The case caused uproar in a country whose justice system Europe and the United States have spent millions on reforming. (DF watch)

President : future elections will be deviation from normal electoral pace

As Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili has declared, future parliamentary elections will cause constitutional collision once constitutional changes are made.

Margvelashvili made his remarks to Iberia TV in an interview.

In response to former parliamentary speaker Davit Usupashvili’s assumption that Margvelashvili may resign as the rule of electing the president might be abolished, Margvelashvil said it is early to discuss such issues.

“The artificial appointment of the presidential elections will naturally cause a constitutional collision, as according to one version of the constitution, the president will be elected, and according to another variant, he will be granted his power by the government. In general, further elections will be a deviation from the normal electoral pace,” he remarked.

According to him, the public needs the institute of the presidency. (IPN)

Georgian artists, Project ArtBeat set for VOLTA New York fair

Some of the most celebrated contemporary artists from Georgia will exhibit their works at one of the highlight events of the international art scene in New York next month.

Artists Lado Pochkhua, Levan Mindiashvili and Tamara Kvesitadze will be among creators representing 96 gallery venues from across the world at the VOLTA NY fair in New York.

Celebrating the 10th anniversary edition of the global fair, the participating galleries and artists will come together at the city's Pier 90 venue from March 1-5.

Described by fair director Amanda Coulson as "an inspiring force for artistic discovery”, the VOLTA NY event will focus on solo presentations.

The three Georgian creators featured at the exhibition will represent galleries from Tbilisi, Berlin and New York.

Tbilisi-based Project ArtBeat will take up booth E6 at the occasion to present works by Lado Pochkhua.

The New York-based Georgian artist’s exhibits will showcase his series The Book for the New Aristocracy.

[Pochkhua] will create a salon simulacra in the gallery booth while considering the existential emptiness of modern power”, said Project ArtBeat in a preview of the display.

Born in Sokhumi, Georgia, Pochkhua graduated from Tbilisi State Academy of Arts with a degree in painting and printmaking in 2001.

Currently based in New York, his works have been exhibited at exhibitions and venues including the 2009 Prague Biennale, while he has also featured at the inaugural exhibition of the Brooklyn Box Gallery in New York.

The VOLTA fair will also exhibit works by Levan Mindiashvili, who will represent New York’s The Lodge Gallery at the occasion.

Dealing with subjects including "preconditions created by sociocultural constructions”, Mindiashvili’s work is based on varying art disciplines.

The artist’s hand-produced sculptures often visualise images of his experiences from places of his past residence and seek to challenge established understandings of "truth”.

Mindiashvili graduated from the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts in 2003 and the National University of Art of Buenos Aires in 2012. His past artistic series include Borderlines, which focused on the connection between urban landscapes and identity and was exhibited at the Lodge Gallery in 2014.

The Brooklyn-based artist’s portfolio also includes the 2016 display Unintended Archaeology, for which he collaborated with another Georgian creator Uta Bekaia.

The participation of Georgian artists in VOLTA NY fair will also be marked by the display of works by Tamara Kvesitadze.

Representing Berlin’s Galerie Kornfeld, Kvesitadze is currently featured within the exhibition Supper Club in the German capital.

Founded in 2005 by dealers Kavi Gupta, Ulrich Voges and Friedrich Loock, VOLTA brings together contemporary creators and galleries for two international art occasions - VOLTA, held in Basel, Switzerland, and VOLTA NY, hosted in New York.

The 2016 edition of the Basel occasion featured Georgian artists from Project ArtBeat as newcomers of the display. (