The winners of the Batumi “Photolab” project – Agnieszka Gotowała (Crystal Abyss) & Gela Shekeladze (Red dress)

1 – 10 November 2019

About the Photolab winner: On the closing day of the 2019 Batumi Photo Festival, the winners of the Photolab project were announced. The projects won Gela Shekiladze and Agnieszka Gotavala. The winners will receive monetary awards for project development, and next year their photo projects will be exhibited at the Contemporary Art Space. The competition consisted of several stages. On August 30, ten contestants met with curators and presented their ideas. They received individual recommendations from their mentors, refining the concept and presenting it at a renewed meeting on September 1. It was after this match that the winners were revealed.

Artist Statement: Agnieszka Gotowała

I’m multidisciplinary artist, I work within the visual and performance arts. In my practice I focus on the processes of the research, exploration and transformation in the fields of states of human and nature, and the memory and identity they contain. I’m interested in interdependence between visual and performance arts as the correlation between what is visible and sensible.

With photography I’ve had the experience for many years, in which I constantly change my attitude to it. For some years I practice with diferent methods of working with body, especially Butoh. Both, the photography medium, body and nature too constitute the potencial carrier of traces, memory and identity for me. I work with their exploration.
I’m fascinated by nature, experiencing it on many levels, especially this sensual. Being in this space, that is not obvious, which hides the depth of the mystery. Which is at once familiar, but untamed, intimate but raw, tangible and elusive. I’m interested in the complexity and spirituality of the natural world, as well as the translation of the processes of changeability and cyclicality into the human character in the context of boundlessness time and space. Creating is for me about experiencing this mystery. About entering such a multidimensional space and finding various pieces there, which I assemble and process by myself.

My work, especially long-term projects, are usually a kind of ritual.
At some level, I touch deep layers associated with the subconscious as well as the world of dreams, which go to conscious dimensions usually after some time. In my work, I like to follow what I’m attracted by, sometimes on an unconscious level. I often work with the picture in such a way, that I follow the subtle bond, that is formed at the special moment. It usually gives Agnieszka Gotowała the direction and character of my actions, in which the essence is also the interpenetration and interdependence between realities.

In my works and activities I focus on the relationship between the cover and uncover, as well as the dependences between. Work through photography, especially analog, which is the base of my practice, work with body and nature give me the opportunities to access what is important to me. At present processes occurring within this relationship primarily are the starting form for my artworks, the dynamics of interaction and their perception.

The topics to be covered by Photolab are largely free. Participants can submit their preferred project, which is evaluated by the invited international jury. Anna Raboshenko, the curator of Modern Art Space, says the goal of the photoblog is to help startup artists develop ideas.“Photolab is a very interesting project. Since we do not want to compete or replicate the experience of photo festivals in Georgia, we have come up with a flexible format – a “lab” where people can submit projects for development. This project helps beginner photographers develop their ideas and present completed projects to the general public, ”says Anna Raboshenko. The project “Photolab” was launched for the first time this year within the framework of the Batumi Festival and aims to support beginner photographers.


Agnieszka Gotowała

여러 분야에 관여했던 아티스트로서, 나는 비주얼 및 퍼포먼스 아트를 만든다. 작업할 때 내가 초점을 두는 것은 연구 과정, 인간 및 자연상태 분야의 탐색 및 변화, 그리고 여기서 찾을 수 있는 기억과 정체성이다. 나는 보이는 것과 느낄 수 있는 것에 관한 비주얼 아트와 퍼포먼스 아트 간의 상호 의존성에 흥미가 있다. 나는 사진에 대한 태도 변화를 많이 겪었고 사진 관련 경험이 많다. 몇 년 동안은 특히 부토처럼 신체에 대한 여러 시도를 해봤다. 사진 기법, 신체와 자연, 그리고 나의 경우 기억과 정체성은 모두 흔적의 매개체가 될 잠재력을 가지고 있다. 나는 이것들을 탐구한다.

여러 실험 단계를 거쳤기 때문에 나는 자연, 특히 감각에 흥미를 느낀다. 이 공간에 있다보면 이는 명백하지는 않고 깊은 불가사의 안에 숨어있다. 어딘가 친숙하지만 길들여지지 않은, 친근하지만 날 것의, 실재하지만 규정하기 힘든 것들. 나는 자연 세계의 복잡성과 정신성, 그리고 경계 없는 시공간 내 인간 성질의 가변성 및 순환이 재미있다. 나에게 창조란 이 불가사의를 탐색하는 과정이다. 그리고 다차원적인 우주에 들어서 여기 존재하는 여러 조각을 내가 직접 찾고 모으는 과정이다.

특히 장기간 걸린 나의 작품들은 보통 의식 절차와 비슷하다. 어떤 부분은 내가 무의식이나 꿈의 세계와 관련된 깊이 존재하는 막을 만져 보통 어느 정도 시간을 들여 의식 차원으로 끌어올린 것들이다. 나는 작품 속에서 때로는 무의식적 차원인 매력적인 것들을 추구한다. 이런 방식으로 작업하다 보면 특별한 순간 만들어지는 미묘한 관계를 형성하게 된다. 이로 인해 실제 현상 사이의 상호 침투, 상호 의존 현상을 밝혀 낸다.

내 작품과 활동을 통해 나는 겉과 내용 간의 관계와 상호 의존성을 밝힌다. 내가 특히 자주 사용하는 아날로그 식의 사진 기법, 신체와 자연을 사용한 작품은 내게 진정 무엇이 중요한지를 알게 해준다. 이 관계 내에서의 과정은 내 예술 작품의 시작 작품이며 그 안에서의 역학 및 관점을 나타낸다. 

Artist statement: Gela Shekeladze

Do you have a fish or an elephant memory?
What does provoke your mind to remember or forgot any things?
It was around 4:30am, one of the most coldest winter morning when I couldn’t sleep and decided to go through all of my negatives.
I found one, which I’ve never printed or scanned it was a girl, standing with her legs far from each other and her dress her long, long dress!
I couldn’t remember who was that girl, when I did that photo or why and started to think about temporary things in our lives.
About the thing which provokes our minds to remember one particular thing and don’t
pay attention to the rest of it.
I couldn’t really say that the dress was red as it was black and white negative (And still, it’s not printed or scanned even for now) but I could say so out of the tones  That’s why the project is in black and white and it was dedicated to the temporary things in our lives, but now that looong, looooong dress is on my mind for 9 months and it’s not
temporary anymore. Now I’m playing on the border of temporary and eternal things in our lives
and the Red Dress is metaphor of everything temporary or eternal in our lives. and it’s for you no matter if you have a fish or an elephant memory!



당신은 물고기의 기억력을 가졌습니까, 코끼리의 기억력을 가졌습니까?

무엇으로 사물을 기억하고, 또는 망각했습니까?  

나는 매우 추웠던 어느 겨울 네시 반 아침, 잠을 이루지 못해 지금까지 찍은 네가티브들을 꺼내봤습니다.

그 중 한 번도 인화하거나 스캔해본 적 없는 사진을 찾았습니다.

아주, 아주 긴 드레스를 입고 다리를 쭈욱 벌리고 있던 소녀였습니다.

소녀가 누구였는지,

대체 언제, 무슨 이유로 사진을 찍었는지 기억나지 않아 나는 삶의 덧없는 것들에 대해 생각해봤습니다.

특정한 한 가지를 제외한 나머지를 기억 속에서 잊어버리게 만드는 어떤 것에 대해.

흑백 네가티브였기 때문에 드레스의 붉은 색을 볼 수는 없었지만(나는 아직까지도 그 사진을 인화하거나 스캔하지 않았습니다)

톤을 보면 알 수 있었습니다.

내 프로젝트가 흑백이고, 삶 속 덧없는 것들을 주제로 한 이유입니다. 물론 그 길~었던 드레스는 9개월 간 머릿속에 머물러 나에게는 더 이상 덧없는 것이 아니지만요.

이처럼 나는 삶 속의 덧없는 것, 그리고 영원한 것의 경계를 다루게 되었습니다. 그리고 그 ‘붉은 드레스’는 우리 삶 안에서의 덧없는 것, 그리고 영원한 것의 상징물입니다.

당신을 위해 준비했습니다.

당신이 물고기의 기억력을 가졌든,

코끼리의 기억력을 가졌든!

About the Artist:  Agnieszka Gotowała

I was born in 1986 in Wroclaw in Poland. I’m multidisciplinary artist. I work
within the visual and performance arts. In my practice I focus on
the processes of the research, exploration and transformation in the fields
of states of human and nature, and the memory and identity they contain.
I’m graduate of Photography at University of Fine Art in Poznan in Poland
and Technical Physics at University of Technology in Wroclaw in Poland.
I graduated of Photography courses in Creative Arts Centre in Wroclaw
in Poland. I train my performative workshop mainly in Butoh direction.
I present my artworks in Poland and abroad. I took part in exhibitions
within the framework of i.a. Photo LA in Los Angeles, OFF Festival
in Bratislava, Copenhagen Photo Festival, Month of Photography in Los
Angeles, Poznan Gallery Weekend. My works received honorable
mention of International Photography Award and were nominated
to BLOOOM Award by WARSTEINER. They were published i.a. in such
magazines as Propeller, HANT, GUP, Der Greif, Prism, Witty Mag,
as well as at networks SCOPIO, MONO, Darwin Magazine.


2010-2013 University of Arts in Poznan, PL, Photography, BFA

2005-2010 University of Technology in Wroclaw, PL, Technical Physics, MSc Eng 


2016 The body as an instrument with Ben J. Riepe, Art Station Foundation, Poznan, PL

2015 Tuning Scores with Lisa Nelson and Scott Smith, Art Station Foundation, Poznan, PL

2014 Quiet House with Katarzyna Zejmo, Cinema Theater / Michalowice, MiserArt / Wroclaw, PL 

Solo exhibitions

2016 Things image, Entropia Gallery, Wroclaw, PL

Selected group exhibitions

2019 Weibsbilder, Fine Art Galerie, Traismauer, AT

2019 Photobook Storytelling, PAPERLUST Photobook Fest 2019, New Art Foundation ZNACZY SIE, Krakow / Poland

2017 Poród, Brzuch Centrum Trawienia Wizji, Wroclaw, PL

2016 Young Photographers 2016, Fine Art Galerie, Traismauer, AT

2016 A Process 2.0 / Der Greif / Krakow Photomonth Festival, Festival Center Tytonie, Krakow, PL

2016 Awakenings / Photo LA, Los Angeles, US

2015 Interpret art / OFF_Festival, Pisztory Palace, Bratislava, SK

2015 Young Art Show 8, House of Art, Piestany, SK

2015 WRO Résumé, WRO Art Center, Wroclaw, PL

2015 Das Blaue vom Himmel versprechen / Das Spreehöfe Project, Berlin, DE

2015 Censored Exhibition / Copenhagen Photo Festival, DK

2014 Obrazy które trwają w czasie, Kolektyw 1a, Poznan, PL

2014 One Shot: One World / Month of Photography, Los Angeles, US

2014 A Process / Der Greif, Neue Gallery, Ausburg, DE

2013 Diplomas UAP 2013, Poznan International Fair, Poznan, PL

2013 *brak części tekstu* / Poznan Gallery Weekend, Patrz! Gallery, Poznan, PL

2013 (Gra)witalny / Poznan Gallery Weekend, TŁO Gallery, Poznan, PL


2017 solo performance Biography / Butoh Festival Amsterdam, Teatro Munganga, Amsterdam, NL

2016 solo performance Biography, Šopa Gallery, Kosice, SK

2015 group performance Tuning Scores, CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, PL

2015 group performance Tuning Scores, Art Station Foundation, Poznan, PL

2014 solo performance Biography, Brzuch Centrum Trawienia Wizji, Wroclaw, PL


2019 Laureate, Photolab Batumi Photo Festival 2019

2017 Nominee, Photogrvphy Grant 2017 

2016 Shortlisted, BLOOOM Award by WARSTEINER 2016

2016 Shortlisted, LATENT 2016

2014 Honorable Mention IPA 2014, International Photography Awards 

2013 Honorable Mention IPA One Shot, International Photography Awards 


2018 Kunstnarhuset Messen, Ålvik, NO


About the Artist: Gela shekeladze

Date of Birth 30.11.1993 , Tbilisi, Georgia Education
2011-2015 Tbilisi State University, Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences, Math
2018 -2019 International Design School Medium Photography

2018 – “Remembering Past Live Now”, Moscow, Russia
2019 – “Transitional Narrative”, Tbilisi, Georgia
2019 – Analog Magazine, Swiss
2019 – Batumi Photo Days, Batumi, Georgia Works are kept Personal collections in Germany, Italy, Algeria, US, United Arab Emirates, France, Switzerland, UK.

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