“I saw a vision in my sleep
So turbulent and full of dread,
That ill-forebodings fill my mind
And o’er my heart theor poison spread.”

These gloomy words, foreshadowing an impending disaster, taken from the poem Snake Eater by the Georgian author Vazha-Pshavela, clarify and highlight the semantic system of Raised in Dust (2021) video work by Andro Eradze. The artist, of Georgian origins too, adheres to the thought of Vazha-Pshavela and captures its more committed and activist aspect: they both share the need to recognize the problems of interaction that exist between the individual and society , between human being and nature. Their works become screams piercing the darkness of the present times in which we live, suggesting a possible way out, reachable only through a reunion with nature.

The vision in my sleep that animate Eradze’s imagination is taking the shape of long shots of a forest, dark but maternal, chosen as the protagonist setting of his video Raised in the Dust. The observer is deceived by animals that apparently seem to live in these places but which, upon careful examination, turn out to be part of a taxidermy collection. the viewer is overwhelmed by this succession of creatures who, with their death frozen in time, silently, out of desperation or anger, beg for help. And then the fireworks enter the scene, an emblem of the harmfulness and wickedness of the human being that invades and attacks the calm and balance of nature. The sequence of these images underline the difficulties that animate the dialogue between flora, fauna and human: a conflict that seems to live in constant opposition.

The fireworks are becoming more and more intrusive and disturbing, the idyllic peace that should distinguish the silent places of the nocturnal forests now seems lost. And o’er my heart theor poison spread, the artist transports us to this melancholy vision that animates his gaze. The intention, perhaps, is to move towards a more activist approach: starting from the magic of the forest, from listening to the occult language of animals to re-establish new values.


Andro Eradze
Raised in the dust, 2021
Video in 4K
Biennale College Arte, La Biennale di Venezia
59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, The Milk of Dreams
© Photo: Roberto Avezzù, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia