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Kochakidze Oleg

Oleg Kochakidze, a Georgian theatre artist, architect, painter, and director, was born in Moscow, Russia. Later, he moved to Tbilisi and studied on the faculty of architecture at the Tbilisi Academy of Arts until 1959, where he met Alexander Slovensky and Yuri Chikvaidze, who would play a significant role in the development of his creative career.

In 1957, O. Kochakidze, A. Slovinsky, and I. Kochvaidze founded the creative group Sameuli, which was responsible for creating stage decorations for performances. Over three decades, the group played a significant role in Georgia’s artistic life and the growth of various branches of fine arts.

From 1976, O. Kochakidze, along with other members of the Sameuli group, held the position of the main artist at the Kote Marjanishvili State Academic Drama Theatre. They maintained this position for 20 years until 1996 and staged plays such as John Fletcher’s The Tamer Tamed (1972), Mikheil Javakhishvili’s Kvachi Kvachantiradze (1974), and Oedipus the King by Sophocles. (1978).

Before being appointed as the main artists at the Marjanishvili Theatre, the group members had worked on performances at the Rustaveli Theatre, including George Nakhutsrishvili’s Chinchraka (The Wren) (1963), Arthur Miller’s The Crucible (1965), and Merab Eliozishvili’s Beberi Mezurneebi (Old Zurna Artists) (1966). They also contributed to the performance A Soldier is a Soldier (1965) at the Lenkom theatre named after Lenin’s Komsomol (the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League).

The decorations created by the group were tailored to each performance’s specific requirements and were known for their relevance to contemporary scenography. Their work in the theatre coincided with the search for a new style in theatre art, and as representatives of the new wave of artists, they pioneered innovative approaches to stage design.

The Sameuli’s costumes always demonstrated the relations between a character and discourse in a clear, open, uncanny manner; they never augured the falsification of human social relations. It did not lack extravagance either, but as long as the costume was semantically “recognisable,” perceivable, and accessible,. The Sameuli manoeuvred between iconic and descriptive costumes, according to the needs.” David Andriadze.

The Sameuli group members also worked as architects and were involved in projects such as the car motel Ushba (Dighomi, 1962), a tourist hotel (Bakuriani, 1974), and others. They were responsible for decorating the Bichvinta Naval Station (1968) and the Tbilisi Chess and Alpine Club, among other projects.

Kochakidze also worked with Sameuli group members on the animated films Competition (1970), Magic Egg (1974), Where are you, my Savannah? (1975), Gold (1966), Dream (1986), the documentary film Immortal Soul (1987), and others.

In 1989, O. Kochakidze was awarded the title of People’s Artist of Georgia. His works are preserved at the Museum of Theatre, Music, Cinema, and Choreography of Georgia in Tbilisi, the Bakhrushin Museum in Moscow, and the Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, USA. His works are also held in private collections in Georgia, France, Italy, Russia, and the USA.

Oleg Kochakidze
Date of Birth1935Date of Death2017Share