VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Gabiani, Irina

Irina Gabiani
Georgian videomaker


Interview: 10 Questions

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background.

I am originally from Georgia and my native town is Tbilisi. I studied there at the special School of Art and afterwards at the Academy of Arts of Tbilisi, then I moved to The Netherlands, where I studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. After that I came to Luxembourg, where I live and work from 1998. I work with different media: paintings, drawings, installations, sculpture and video art.

2. When, how and why did you start filming?

I have started filming in 2006, year when I made my first performance which I realized, staged and filmed in Tbilisi at the National Pantomime Theatre. In 2007 I made my second performance which was premiered at the Rustaveli National Theatre of Georgia. Since than I have worked very intensively with video realizing many video artworks.
I had always been fascinated by video art. During my life I had often visions of possible videos/films I could make, but it had remained at imagination level, until I began doing my first video really. I often see the world around me as a film and if I can I immediately seize this opportunity … that is why I often go around with my video-camera.

3. What kind of subjects have your films?

I often use reflections in my films. I am very fascinated by them.
They represent for me a way of seeing the reality from a different angle, a different perspective. I use the shadows as well in my video works, they offer me a possibility of showing the other and different part of the reality, that we very often do not mention, as many other things in life that we do not see, but they nevertheless exist beyond us.
The concept behind them is also important.

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?

I do not have a “particular style”. I just follow my own vision. I do what my imagination and vision tell me to do. It is very often something that probably I have seen in my life and then I come back to it and I film it, if possible.
Sometimes the idea is already in my head, I know exactly what I have to do and sometimes it is spontaneous, I suddenly have some flash and I try to film that and see what comes out from it.
I try not to do much editing on my videos. Very often they are how they are and I do not add anything to them during the assemblage. I like when they are just natural without many changes done on them.
I like them to be pure, almost without touch. The only technical mean I sometimes use is the “slow motion”, in order to give to them the consciousness of that particular moment.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.

Since two years I use the Canon eos 7D with two different Canon lenses: EFS 18-134mm and macro EF 100mm 1: 2.8 L IS USM.

6. What are the chances of new media for the genre film/video in general and you personally?

For sure the new media has changed and will change a lot in the future of video art. I hope in the future there will be even more surprising new technologies to use and as me, personally, I will be glad to use them and even participate with my ideas in this new era.
I find all these new possibilities that have came out lately very fascinating. I think it would be great if the boundaries between art, video art and science would come together.

7. How do you finance your films?

My films, in general, do not require much financing.

8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team? if you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?

I have worked as a video artist in a team and alone as well.
I worked with a team when I had to stage the performances at the National Pantomime Theatre and National Rustaveli Theater in Georgia. There I was working with a group of actors, aspect that I found very challenging. I love staging the performances. It is not an easy thing to do, but there is a big satisfaction in the end. I now film my videos my self, and the actors that I use in my videos are my family members or myself.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?

Of course there are a lot of artists that I admire! They have created their own unrepeatable art works, because they made the artworks that are not influenced by the other artists.
I always try to look within myself and at surrounding world to do my artworks. I think that there are already in our surrounding world so many things to be inspired with. It is just enough to look around with eyes wide open.

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?

I have a lot of new projects coming up. I have continuously new ideas coming in my mind and I will go on realizing them.
There is so much to do.