Purple Magazine
— F/W 2007 issue 8

Andro Wekua

Suspicious Nostalgia: Thirty-year-old Anro Wekua grew up on the Black Sea, in Sochumi, Georgia, once a resort, now a ghost town. After spending time in Germany, he now live sin Zurich.

His photographs, sculptures, collages, and drawings are freighted with a nostalgia and visionary suspicion, redolent of the Eastern Bloc’s metamorphosis into Western madness. Colorful, vaguely constructivist drawings and collages evoke an age of photocopiers and fax machines, not of computers.

They are visually reminiscient of Beat Generation street-savvy poetics, Kenneth Anger’s stylistic decadence, and the collages Wallace Berman showed at the Ferus Gallery in L.A. in the sixties (and was arrested for). One might think of Thomas Hirschhorn’s cardboard rooms of collages, but Wekua’s moody pastiches are weird rather than political, more like Odilon Redon’s symbolist paintings, circa 1880. His photographs exhibit the soft paranoia of nineties “indie” movements, echoes of, say, Wolfgang Tillmans.

Wekua’s use of black paper and fabric channels the funky sweetness in Sadie Benning videos and collage. But Wekua is a refugee from a closed, ultimately dysfunctional world now making his way through the West’s unpredictable potential. His works are like notations describing the ineffability of comfortable estrangement.


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F/W 2007 issue 8

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