Berlin-based photographer George Nebieridze is known for his photographic documentation of contemporary youth and it's search for love, self-discovery and liberation. This September he returned, for first time in three years, to his native city of Tbilisi, in Georgia, to exhibit the early works he shot in his homeland before he moved to Berlin. The exhibition is something of a personal and creative milestone for an artist with a global mindset; but it also shows that in Georgia the new wave of youth culture is on the rise.
As the Georgia-born Demna Gvasalia has rapidly reached fashion superstardom, more and more young creatives in the country become visible on the international scene. With a new wave of fashion talents following in Demna's footsteps, and burgeoning techno scene, Tbilisi has a promising future ahead of it. But its creative flowering is at the same time rooted in the country's turbulent and traumatic 90s, when the pains of newly acquired independence from the USSR led to civil war. The way young people experience this historical transition has always been interesting for Nieberidze. "The title of my exhibition, The Fruit, came when I was contemplating those young faces on the photographs," he explains. "It's easy to feel their anxiety and suffering, derived from the Georgia's troubled 90s, yet they don't seem to show any signs of giving anything up and their optimism blossoms like trees in spring."
"The works in the show stretch from 2006 to 2013 and are shot mostly in Georgia. All together there's over 70 photographs," he adds. "At first, I wasn't too excited to show these photos. I had this feeling that they were sort of forgotten and I wasn't taking them seriously because I was so much younger when I shot them. But now I understand that I wouldn't have achieved the texture of my current work without going through these early stages. I still follow the same rules and have almost the same approach to shooting. Even more, I'm starting to rediscover my early work now and searching for new methods to display it in a different way."