819-822-9600, ext. 2260 gallery@ubishops.ca


Andropov’s Ears

October 27 – December 9, 2023


Sophio Medoidze


A modernist monument in Tbilisi nicknamed Andropov’s Ears (after the then-head of the KGB, Yuri Andropov) has recently been demolished by the neoliberal Georgian government to be replaced by the symbol of capitalist prosperity: a shopping mall. Medoidze, who is based in London, opts out of this double negativity by filming both the remnants of Brutalist architecture in London and her sculpture of the missing monument. A voiceover reads from Medoidze’s fictional story about a couple who, in an unprecedented event in Soviet Georgia, occupy the Ears monument. Medoidze avoids direct historicisation by focusing on the interchangeability of real and imaginary references.


Sophio Medoidze (b. Tbilisi, Georgia, formerly USSR) is an artist, writer and filmmaker based in London. Her works often emerge from writing and unfold as installations incorporating film, sculpture, photography and text. Often depicting her native Georgia, her films are known for their use of innovative audio-visual techniques and improvisation, bridging the personal and the political into subjective and mythopoetic forms of storytelling. She has recently completed her first feature Let us Flow (Vidinot), working with the nomadic Tushetian community in Northeast Georgia. Her films have been shown at the international film festivals, such as short film festival Oberhausen, EMAF European media art festival, Berwick film festival, Kasseler dokfest.

Medoidze’s work is marked by precarity and explores the poetic potential of uncertainty. In the early 2000s, when she couldn’t practice due to her immigration status, she invented an imaginary collective, Clara Emigrand, to disseminate her work outside of a gallery context. Her works have been exhibited worldwide including at TATE Modern, OUTPOST Gallery, Paris Internationale, CAC Brétigny, LUX London, Fondation Vincent Van Gogh, Serpentine Galleries, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Close-Up film centre, Whitechapel Gallery, among others.

She is currently working on a collection of her writing and photography, publishing with DISTANZ & KONA books, and a new film commissioned by Le Cyclop de Jean Tinguely. In 2019 she was a recipients of Projections Commission (Tyneside Cinema).