‘All of the summer was chaotic, lots of things have happened and it has left them in the middle- vague, uncertain. All those feelings and sensations have stayed with us till October, we still live in summer. This summer was immensely inspirational and all the stuff we went through during it’-hence the Summer Leftovers in the Frontline café as Maksime Machaidze, the curating artist explains. The Stupid Kid Factory is a collective of very young and interesting people. Most of them are teenagers producing very promising art- good quality, lyrical and unexpected. Often ignoring the specificity of Georgia, these kids could have easily been from anywhere in Europe, which might as well be a compliment for the society where moving out of the house and any attempts of being independent before marriage are not welcome to say the least.
The hero of the evening, Maksime, in a red hat and the shirt – Tripping into darkness has an undeniable charm in his restless moving, expressive talking and the passion while mixing the music. He is the soul of the Stupid Kid Factory; gathering the group, it is almost always him who comes up with the conception and then organises events. As Maksime calls it, he ‘just happened to have all the qualities for bringing stuff together’ and indeed there are no hierarchies in the Stupid Kid Factory-‘These are not the people who would let me choose their art- it would be absurd and there would be no synthesis. All of us know what we like and what not. I just do the final touches sometimes.’ Filled with childish boldness, on the edge of impudence, Maksime is definitely too young to be so mature. Not acknowledging any educational institutions, he works on himself. ‘They don’t teach in the academy; they don’t teach anywhere. In my opinion the academy even harms the kids. The ones that don’t have a very firm stance and attitude are instantly converted to their ideology which is quite problematic.’ This approach shared by the majority of creative teenagers leaves the academy devoid of some thrilling names.
Anka Bochorishvili’s drawings were definitely the discovery of the evening; accurate and precise, almost like a jeweler's work, the illustrations of the circus freaks on their breaks are striking compositionally and aesthetically; and of course the stunning craftsmanship. The mood of solitary figures with their heads bent down in the process of eating somehow communicate the sensation of quiet solitude, exhaustion and the melancholy of the autumn. The popular twisting of the circus clown’s persona into a depressive character is perfectly infused with Japanesque aesthetics. Japanese engravings, her sole inspiration are nicely reflected in her art. The Spaceships and Pilots series was inspired by the anime Cowboy Bebop.
Qeu has presented a series of photos from her summer accompanied with the quotes by Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. The shots from her trips tie into the autobiographical sense of the book. Indeed, the art these kids produce is indispensable from their everyday lives, their friends and the environment they dwell, just like Kerouac’s On the Road. ‘We’ve spent all of the summer together and everything exhibited here, we’ve created together’ says Qeu explaining the same faces and silhouettes peering from the photos. ‘There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars’- one of the series is called. But even more so, it exemplifies the unattainable desire of soaking in the world around and transforming it into art that these kids share.
The most memorable trip to Taniantkaari, as Qeu describes it, creates the series of Stars, painting the mood that long stays with the viewer. The warmth of the fire drawing the abstract shapes and the blur of the captions give a very precise idea about the fun of the evening, leaving the viewer slightly jealous they weren’t there. Focused on the truthfulness of the sensations and experiences these kids go through, none of them edits their photos, nor does Qeu.
A first-year student of Psychology, Ninka wants to be a make up artist, but in the meantime she has exhibited photos and the ones taken this summer are particularly interesting. Acknowledging the importance of the text in the photography, the team decided Maksime would annotate the photos- actually, create stories for the shots. The twin captions of the mundane, neglected or the loved accompanied by texts, unleashing the sensuality of the shots. Ninka even thinks the seemingly unimportant details such as a date or the location are vital for apprehending the photo and creating a story of your own- in here the spectator’s work is done by Maksime- maybe to win the hearts of photography skeptics.
As for Maksime’s actual art, he has exhibited the customised skateboards and clothes, prints on wood, leather and paper. ‘This is the art that I myself would love to hang on my wall. I love hip-hop music and I have been listening to it all of the summer. I decided to pick out the summer soundtracks and the quotes from there. This is not something I’ve spent ages thinking about, but something I know is visually correct. This is the ideology that I support and put into my aesthetics. My attitudes and personal opinions were secondary in this case.’
As these artists are only beginners it was particularly promising to catch some of the positive trends- that Qeu brought in and has integrated the book that is acknowledged as classics; that Ninka is a psychology student that wants to become a make-up artist who also makes art; that Maksime manages to be the curator as well as being an artist, write music and texts; that he does not believe in educational institutions and at the age 18 he is able to notice the fundamental problems in them; that both Ninka and Qeu use analogue instead of digital and never edit their photos in Photoshop.