Within this newest body of works, Meskhi aims to capture the idealised moment of human gesture and sublime beauty. Religious ecstasy, homoerotic connotations and the gender fluidity of the male body in its transformative years brings us to a combination of heavenly and earthly states of being. The bodies, not yet ingrained with social definitions of gender, fall into a more natural setting of finer tones of masculine and feminine energies. Universal bodies who in turn reach out to the cosmos to assert their presence. The subject matter becomes the most important - not narrowly gender related, but rather humanistic as the work delivers a strong juxtaposition of defiance verses compliance. The bodies are cropped off at different angels flying free or kneeling in conformity to the confines of society – be it religious, political or social. As Meskhi captures the young athletes in training, the viewer witnesses the instant between leaping and falling – a brief moment of weightlessness when the body reaches the highest point – pausing momentarily before gravity pulls them back down to earth.
The vine-leaves blurred before the moon further bring us back to actuality, where the sport gyms exist and the chapel service is waiting – never allowing us to escape fully to the ephemeral space of the cosmos. The moon acts as an important reference point to reality, at once distancing the self and at the same time bringing the self into a relative perspective. Gym matts stand in the place of the lunar escape as gym windows and parallel bars resemble crosses. As we see elements of Georgia's deep-rooted socialist-influenced culture meeting the traditions of Orthodox Christianity. However, within the works of Meskhi, his ethereal figures exist in a space beyond normal restrictions of time, open instead, to mystical interpretations and states of mind and body which embraces the wonder of existence. Colour and perspective distortions further add to the disruption in classifying the temporality of the photography and reading of their historic placement. Lending the works a mystical and intangible quality.
David Meskhi (1979, Tbilisi) completed his photography degree at Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film University in Tbilisi in 2005. Early in his career he worked as a photographer for the main Georgian cultural magazines and his artworks were presented in the collection of the Georgian House of photography. After his first Solo show he co-directed an award winning documentary - ”When the Earth Seems to be Light”, which is based on his photographs. His works have been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including a solo presentation in Paris Photo in 2019, the Museum of Applied Arts in Frankfurt, the Braunsfelder Family Collection in Cologne, the Calvert 22 Foundation in London, the Georgian National Museum in Tbilisi, and the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center in Budapest, Kunstverein Freiburg and the Biennale de la Photographie de Mulhouse. David Meskhi lives and works between Tbilisi and Berlin.