Artist and activist Mikheil Sulakauri’s practice focuses on engaging deep dialogues with local communities. Central issues in his work are unregulated gentrification, the connection between art and religion, abandoned spaces and their owners, and governmental indifference to environmental protection. His most recent project, Arcadia Archeological Museum, reflected on the historic neighborhood Arcadia in Odessa, Ukraine where the authorities allowed developers to destroy one of the unique green zones in this legendary city by the Black Sea.
His concerns with cross-border experiences took Mikheil to Ossetia, the disputed territory in the South Caucasus recognized by most countries as part of Georgia, yet currently occupied by Russia. His work there sought to build bridges between the local community and the land. Finding a unique house about to be demolished, a local poet wrote a poem dedicated to this old work of architecture. I promise you… an old dream will come again – this line from the poem was written as a mural on the house’s wall.
During his residency, Mikheil is keen to explore the connection between urban development and indigenous communities as well as the cross-border issues in the US.