Keti Chukhrov

Undead (2022)

In war zones and at sites of frozen conflicts, a gulf arises between those who leave for other places and those who stay behind. Keti Chukhrov’s poetic film revisits the breakaway republic of Abkhazia, established as a result of the Georgian-Abkhaz war of 1992–93, in which Russia supported the separatists. The unrecognized region’s independent status was later further entrenched by Russia’s blitzkrieg against Georgia in 2008.

The film’s protagonist is a young artist who left her hometown years ago as a refugee, and is now returning, commissioned by a Western institution to make a film on survival strategies. The town is devastated, and its inhabitants are destitute. What remains is an abundance of empty space and unoccupied time. Misunderstandings and inner conflicts arise between the perspective of the Western artist and that of those she left behind.

Keti Chukhrov (1970, Georgia) is an art theorist, philosopher, playwright, and poet. Her latest book Practicing the Good: Desire and Boredom in Soviet Socialism (2020) deals with the impact of socialist political economy on the epistemes of historical socialism. Chukhrov’s work as a playwright incorporates poetry, drama, performance, music, and video. Her films Love-machines (2013) and Communion (2016) made after her dramatic poems were featured at the Bergen Assembly (2013), Specters of Communism (James Gallery, New York, 2015), and the Ljubljana Triennial U3 (2016). Her play Global Congress of Post-Prostitution premiered at steirischer herbst ’19.

HD video, stereo sound, 35′

Russian with English subtitles

Director of photography: Alexei Shemiatovsky
Line producer: Mikhail Sedov
With Evgeny Kapustin, Keti Chukhrov, Yuri Vasiliev, Sergey Epishev, Laran, Olga Shirokostup, and Sirbey Sangulia

Commissioned and produced by steirischer herbst ’22