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How anthroposophy is like communism

18 November 2011

 If you've seen Ready for Love or Seven Fragments of Identity, Nadia Tzulukidze's performance, then you know. Antroposophy is just like communism, and Rudolf Steiner is just like Lenin.

The performance is based on autobiographical material from Nadia's real life: photographs, personal narratives, family videos. The artist's movements alternate from eurhythmy, a movement art originated by Steiner, to Samaia, a ritualistic Georgian folk dance, to reading text, presentation and re-enacting the translated subtitles of videos featuring her relatives. Placing all of these in the same performance reflects them as merely different types of culturally influenced body movements.

The artist is challenging the idea that her personal identity can and should be separated from her artistic identity. This is Nadia Tzulukidze performing Nadia Tzulukidze, because, in reality, you cannot simply place the two opposite each other, as you can a pair of pants and a cotton top. If immigration laws can prevent one from continuing their artistic work in a particular country, and marriage can enable one to stay and continue an artistic education in the West, why pretend the person and the artist are not in a continuous montagne rousse riding together, where both influence the following turns of the ride. Intimate relationships are subjected to the same relentless laws and rules: love and pity, marriage and separation are just different ups and downs of the same ride.

One identity fragment refers to the naiveté of childhood and juxtaposes it to simple truths from the Soviet past of Georgia. While Nadia the child - a Brejnev fan, thanks to the work of kindergarden supervisors and television - believed she was the future and hope of a great country, her grandfather was being taken to a police interrogation he had never returned from.

In the end it's worth mentioning the irony of the video featuring the closing of the 1980s Olympics, where tender teddy bear mascot Misha, as large as the Soviet Union itself, has to say good-bye to a tear-eyed audience and floats away carried by several balloons. Nadia's soap bubbles have long since popped, leaving way for real life to settle in, with its multiple facets.

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