On Thursday, 28th September 2017, Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center presents the exhibition of Maria Tzanakou and Valia Papastamou.
The show will run until 04th November 2017.
On the two-person show of Maria Tzanakou and Valia Papastamou presented on the first floor of the gallery, the two artists create on an equal artistic basis a dialogue on the various mechanisms of language. With different mediums, but with the same delicate handling of their materials, they attempt to develop a personal form of speech, in which the meaning often remains stranded in silence. In Tzanakou’s case, this communication comes through the written speech which transforms into an artwork, whilst, in contrast, in Papastamou’s body of work, it articulates through the sculptures she creates.
As the artist Irini Bachlitzanaki points out, in writing about Maria Tzanakou’s installation 33 is my favourite word, the artist presents a series of works that deal with the passage of time, the meaning of return, but also the constant effort of creating and constituting personal speech.
Through personal references, which purposefully remain vague and unattached, and through an obvious economy of visual mediums, Tzanakou presents a series of works-traces. Drawings, sculptures, oil on canvas and unedited videos are all equal in value snapshots, which, when placed in the exhibition space, compose a fragmentary narration.
In the core of Tzanakou’s work reside the words that consist for many years the means and subject of her research, a research which remains in progress. The words and phrases themselves become the ground of negotiation: through odd play on words, playful mutations, surrealist loans, but also the position they occupy in the physical space, the works tiptoe constantly between the obvious and the latent meaning, literalism and metaphor. The immediacy, spontaneity and feeling of intimacy that regulate the spoken language are combined in the overall body of the works, which are presented with severity, a feeling of permanence, and the gravity of the written language.
Valia Papastamou perceives Phonological minerals as sculptures of a possible speech. They emerge as acts of a sculpture of speech which escape the limits of the oral cavity, attempting to reach the Other. This effort articulates the language-as-object through the reformulation of different versions of an oral address. The versions of the phonological mining consist of formations of a verbal world which surfaces in order to reside while language is already the residence of being. They are formulated as sculptural possibilities of the very effort of hauling the voice, through a double movement of appropriation and alienation of its unfolding. Phonological minerals appear as snapshots of speech acts that have been reduced to a subtle silence, a breach on the speech continuum, which leads the speech dynamic to its material limits. The action of formulating those phonological minerals develops as a procedure in which happens that-which-is-not-language. A procedure of openness, during which the mouth is never a mouth of sealed silence.
Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center
28.09.2017 – 04.11.2017
Visiting hours: Tue – Fri: 15:00 – 20:00, Saturday: 12:00 – 16:00
28.09.2017 – 04.11.2017
OnThursday, 28th September 2017, Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center presents the solo show of Michalis Zacharias entitled Mostly Harmless*.
The show will run until 4th November 2017.
“The impulse of modernity, we are told on the other hand, is exhausted; anyone who considers himself avant-garde can read his own death warrant. Although the avant-garde is still considered to be expanding, it is supposedly no longer creative. Modernism is dominant but dead.”
Modernity-An Incomplete Project, Jürgen Habermas
Although modernism as an impact dominates western culture and most of its characteristics can be traced as echoes everywhere, it appears that these echoes are filtered and reflected in a way that the Utopian impulse -to use Fredric Jameson’s description of the modernist vision- seems nowadays to be expressed in a neutralized way, unarmed and stripped of its radicality.
We have witnessed an avant-garde nostalgia in recent years, a more direct revision of modernism, aesthetically closer to its origins, and all the above observations seem more legitimate than ever. Michalis Zacharias’ Mostly Harmless is a body of work that deals with this subject, comments on the historical value of modernism and especially on how we perceive it and redefine it.
The exhibition consists of six “notes”, which vary from printed pages to large scale prints and installations, where a system of beliefs based on modernist visions as doctrine is recognized, along with the awareness of the post-modern identity that defines contemporary culture. As contradictory as possible, in a dipole explained simply as modernism versus reality, a juxtaposition is created, which sets the aesthetics of modernism in a specific context, where the vision behind the aesthetics dissolves in a mixture that produces irony. Forming always a pair of data, an iconic image or notion of the avant-garde and a surrounding context that tends to absorb the image’s radicality, the works generate an annotation on how contemporary culture integrates modernism.
*Mostly Harmless is the description of planet Earth in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the electronic space-travel guide in the series of books The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
Visiting hours: Tue – Fri: 15:00 – 20:00, Saturday: 12:00 – 16:00
Thomas Hutton, Clementine Keith-Roach and Christopher Page
Nitra gallery in Athens is pleased to present the exhibition Mourning Play presenting British artists Thomas Hutton, Clementine Keith-Roach and Christopher Page in Greece.
“Allegories are, in the realm of thoughts, what ruins are in the realm of things.”
In The Origin of German Tragic Drama (1924-25), Walter Benjamin develops his nuanced conception of allegory through the Baroque German ‘Mourning Plays’. Allegory for Benjamin is not like the symbol or like language, it does not deliver meaning in a flash of understanding. Allegory is more a relic or hieroglyph, a fragment of the past that haunts the present. “[In] allegory the observer is confronted with the facies hippocratica [deathly face] of history as a petrified primordial landscape.”
The work of the three British artists, Thomas Hutton, Clementine Keith-Roach and Christopher Page has something of this deathly face. The ancient history of form haunts their work, just as it haunts the present: in its contemporary collapse, its flattening, its arbitrariness. In Thomas Hutton’s workspace, often in architectural form, reappears as a frozen image, the hardness of stone becomes polymer skein, habitat collapses into theatre. Clementine Keith-Roach exhumes typologies of art long abandoned, here taking the Victorian mantel-sculpture and filling the place of its features (feet, pedestal and figure) with casts of contemporary plastic ephemera. These parts cohere into something like reliquaries. Christopher Page’s paintings withdraw into themselves – they are paintings of paintings, or frames at least, in which classical and modernist forms can be glimpsed as if from a distance.
The perpetual neoclassicisms of Western history are at times mournful and others melancholic. Freud’s essay “Mourning and Melancholia” (1917) describes mourning as the painful, though ultimately healthy, coming to terms with loss, while melancholia is a pathological state in which the lost object is internalized and punished for its abandonment. The three artists in this exhibition are all English and live and work in Athens, but are not neoclassicists. Their work does not privilege the ancient over the modern or contemporary – rather they amplify these superimpositions and contort the dialectics that inhere in visuality. Their mourning is playful.
Nitra Gallery Athens
Exhibition opening: Thursday, 28th September 2017, 20.00
Duration: 28th September – 28th October 2017
Nitra Athens is open:
Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday-Friday 12.00- 20.00
& by appointment
Slavs and Tatars
Kalfayan Galleries are pleased to present in the Athens gallery the first solo exhibition in Greece of the art collective Slavs and Tatars. Titled “E-Z Chasm”, the show opens on Thursday, 28th of September 2017, 20.00 – 22.00.
For Slavs and Tatars’ first show at Kalfayan Galleries, the artists explore the intellect of the heart and that of the breath that makes up hesychasm, a controversial Orthodox prayer practice. Often considered to be a syncretic ritual with influences of Buddhist mantras or Sufi dhikr, hesychasm allows the artists to excavate the hidden corners of ideologies, the edges of empires that make up their rich practice. At the center of the exhibit is a new work, ‘RiverBed’, a vernacular seating structure found across Central Asia, Iran and the Caucasus. As opposed to a chair, where individual space is delineated, RiverBed redeems the notion of collective seating and the fluidity of activity that accompanies these structures. While reading is at the heart of the artists’ practice, notions of hospitality also allow for reclining, sipping tea or the like. Their new ‘Kitab Kebabs’ series highlights the non-rational, non-cerebral approach to knowledge: via the unlikely skewering of books.
The instrumentalization of faith, be it Christian, Jewish, or Muslim, has a long and checkered story, one that continues to impact our world today. For the Reverse Dschihad series, a body of works first exhibited for the artists’ nomination to the prestigious Preis der Nationalgalerie at Hamburger Bahnhof, the artists explore one such episode via the particular story of German orientalism and philology.
On the 8th of November 1898, Kaiser Wilhelm II raised a toast to the Ottoman Sultan during a visit to Damascus and pledged the friendship of Germany to 300 million Muslims. This was the opening salvo to a multi-pronged strategy to “set the East aflame,” in the years preceding the first World War. When Sultan Mehmed Reshad V declared jihad on 11 November 1914, it was entirely partial: against enemy infidels (France, England, Russia) but on the side of other infidels (Germany, Austro-Hungarian Empire). The publication of a propaganda newspaper called El Dschihad in Urdu, Russian, Arabic, Tatar, and Georgian was perhaps the most curious piece of this puzzle. Born of Germany’s late arrival to colonialism, El Dschihad intended to stoke anti-imperial sentiment in territories belonging to the Entente Powers. The paper was aimed at Muslim POWs held at a camp in Wünsdorf, outside Berlin, called Half-Crescent (Halbmondlager) who would, ostensibly, return to the front on the side of the Central Powers or to their homelands in an effort to spread their new liberationist message. At the show camp, prisoners were treated with particular luxuries–including recreational games, halal meat, and a custom-built mosque, the first of its kind on German land.
Opening: Thursday, 28 September 2017, 20.00 – 22.00
Duration: 28 September – 27 October 2017
Opening Hours: Monday, 11.00-15.00 |Tuesday – Friday 11.00 – 19.00| Saturday 11.00 – 15.00
SALTY STORIES // COSTAS LAKIS
Ιn his 15th solo exhibition Coctas Lakis presents the artwork series “Salty Stories” from 29th September till 22nd October 2017 in Pirée.
“Salty Stories” are filled with sea, tears, sweat and they are full of life.
“Salty Stories” talk about people who sinked deep in memory, in dreams, in hope, in love, who travelled through emotions and threw away their fears.
“Salty Stories” are full of colors, flavors and desires, feelings and dreams.
Costas Lakis is a professional painter, illustrator and graphic arts expert. In addition, he has participated in a number of plays as an actor, a set-costumes designer and a story writer.He has participated in 14 individual and 6 group exhibitions.
Opening: Friday 29th September at 20:30
Duration: 29/9/17 – 22/10/17
Tuesday – Friday 17:00 – 02:00,
Saturday – Sunday 11:00 – 02:00
“Welcome to wee”
On Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 20:00 AD Gallery opens the new solo show of Steve Gianakos entitled “Welcome to wee”.
Steve Gianakos entered the stage of American art almost ten years after the first appearance of Pop Art. He began to exhibit his early work when Pop Art was at its peak, when its stars were shining on the scene, while, at the same time, Minimal Art appeared with remarkable strength. The artist is particularly attracted by the ideas of Minimalism, especially by its shift with respect to the objects and materials used in the composition of the artwork, and the “absence” of the artist from the final work, in the sense of the absence of his recognizable “manual” skills.
The second pole of attraction for Gianakos is the strong image, which arrives at the limits of provocation. His work is nourished by popular culture, by the eroticism and the violence of comic books, by the pretentious innocence of children’s books of the 50s. Gianakos is part of a group of American artists that constituted an opposing force to the sensationalism and commercialism of the mainstream Pop Art of the 60’s… and presented themselves as artists’ artists rather than mediagenic darlings of the market and the art trade.
He takes aim at the politically correct values of puritan America—those of the puritan West—and finds great pleasure in watching them explode in our faces. But the absence of the artist from the final work is what places the provocation in the sphere of the social. Gianakos does not create provocative, sexist and violent images, but “assigns” this role to the peculiar way in which society functions. This is why, in the end, his work is more Punk than Pop.
“The Image is the Product!”
The central issue in this series of works is for the image itself to constitute the final product. In this sense, the spectator shouldn’t “look” beyond it, shouldn’t search the method of construction, the skill of the artist or the texture. This is reminiscent of the effort of minimalist art to produce works that are self-contained. Gianakos takes up the challenge to do so through the strength of the image. He doesn’t bypass the difficulties of figurative composition by simply giving it up. He also wants to revert the characteristic process of Pop Art, which upgrades common images from comics and pop heroes to the “noble” material of the canvas. Here painting loses its halo and acquires the form of a commonplace object, it transforms into a “poster”. Steve Gianakos chooses to make his final product look like a “poster”, a perfect industrially produced product. So, here the visitor of the exhibition will have to get over his uneasiness to decide to what extent what he sees is just a poster or not. If, in the end, the strength of the image makes the object-product a work of art.
The works in the exhibition are unique pieces. The artist does not follow the pathways of mec-art of the 60s, where the painter composed the form that, supposedly, would be produced massively by a machine. He chooses to create unique works, which could lead him to different versions of the image. His approach is closer to the approach of Picabia and the different versions of his own painting that the latter made. Versions for which Picabia was at first criticized, and later praised as the ancestor of contemporary painting.
The 1st flour of the gallery presents a selection of printed canvases, either as pre-thoughts or after-thoughts in the process of making the black-and-white works of the 2nd floor. The research that led him to the “pure image-product”, to his “posters”, has in a way infiltrated the canvas. By breaking the traditional rules and using some of the codes and methods that were used, during the previous century, to declare the “end of art”, Gianakos seeks, on the contrary, to push art a step further.
The position The Image is the Product wasn’t however always as strong. During previous historical periods, the image was only the pretext. The important thing was what was happening in “the inner space” of the work, and what was important was set by the particular means by which the artist composed the image. This position is here canceled. There is nothing happening inside the image we see. However, Gianakos’ position isn’t an analogous to the philosophical debate on the “end of art” or the “end of ideology”. The artist wants to expose the myths that accompany the work of art as much as the role of the artist in society. Myths that supported the dominating social beliefs concerning the relation among opposite sexes, sexuality, family or the role of the child. Gianakos wishes to subtract the “traditional” values of art, to destroy it’s “aura”, to be finally able to touch it’s essence.
Compared to the more appealing canvases, the posters are more unappetizing in many ways – in terms of the picture, in terms of the violence of the subject matter, in terms of the paper. You have to be a slightly “vulgar” person to consider it art… “But the message has to be strong enough to make the picture appealing” says Gianakos. “Think for a moment, who makes posters? Political parties, for instance, make posters. Their purpose is to produce something direct and strong, which does not need any explanation, where the meaning is the image, where the image, and therefore the meaning, is the product. That’s the goal – to make nothing … it’s close to nothing, but it is something. It is really not easy, but it’s interesting to figure out how to make the ugliest thing in the world into a beautiful thing to look at”.
Exhibition duration: October 4 – December 2, 2017
Visiting hours: Tuesday-Friday 12:00-21:00 and Saturday 12:00-16:00
exhibition by Teodosio at the OCSC
Geometric and mechanical hearts – sculptures and mixed media artwork by Teodosio Sectio Aurea will be displayed at the Atrium of the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center from Wednesday, October 4, 2017 till Friday, November 3, 2017. The exhibition titled “He[art] touch” is organized as part of the celebratory events for World Heart Day.
With the human heart as his main theme, Teodosio transfers us to his own universe, where he breathes new life and gives a beating “heart” to disused items, such as electrodes, sheet metal, ball bearings, spare car parts and electrical equipment. He uses mostly metal since he considers it to be indestructible.
The artist’s 24 creations will take us on a journey to his unique and magical world, where imagination and reality blend together, thus resulting in Teodosio’s special harmonious work.
This is the third solo exhibition of this innovative artist, who never ceases to amaze us.
“He[art] touch” exhibition information:
Duration: October 4, 2017 – November 3, 2017, (Monday – Sunday, 09:00-21:00)
Opening Ceremony: Wednesday, 4 October, 2017 at 20:00-22:00
Where: Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center, 356 Sigrou Avenue, Kallithea
Contact details: 210 94 93 188, email@example.com
From the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center
Media Sponsor: KROMA
Art Zone 42 gallery hosts Maria Spyraki’s first individual exhibition under the general title Riot Territories curated by art theorist Domna Hanoumidou from October 5th until October 27th 2017.
The exhibition curator underlines the following regarding Maria Spyraki’s work: “Abundant in symbols and geometric motifs, Maria Spyraki’s universe incessantly unfolds and retracts right in front of the visitor’s eyes much like a field of endless internal conflicts would. The artist masterfully converts her canvas into a graffiti theatre of confrontational mechanisms and stereotypes. By selecting as points of reference repetitive symbols that bear a harsh and often aggressive nuance, and by incorporating at the same time pop culture and street art elements, she delimits a framework of an artistic expression with intense emotional and psychological background, while registering at the same time a trenchant sociological concern.
To be more specific, in the artist’s painting environment timeless symbols, such as the thunder, the star, or the skull, along with other contemporary symbols, such as the robot or a nail, keep popping out – in an unruly and aggressive manner – through an austere architecturally constructed background that sometimes alludes to a modern urban landscape and other times to a verdant natural environment, so as to state the inner confrontational concerns in a riveting and mordant manner. These ostensibly conventional visual interventions on the canvas build a “wall” of protest, and become the points of revolt against a style that is “male” in name only. This is so because they reverse in an unexpected way all the premises of the so-called “female” visual art style. By thus abolishing conventions and norms, the artist proceeds to a bombardment of figurative elements of an archetypically phallic symbolism, without however losing the female aspect in her works, mainly through the lurking sensuality that resides in the selection of her themes and the alternating colors of the background.
The “battlefields” the Maria Spyraki visually maps depict, if nothing else, the contemporary woman’s anguish to justly respond to her multiple roles, to the point that she is often forced to function mechanically (woman-robot); to dare bring her male aspect to the limelight or even go as far as to impose it when necessary (woman-sharp metal); to tame the musts and the external conventions, to expostulate and strongly put forward her own wants (woman-thunder), without however disavowing her female nature (woman-star), exactly as dictated by the futility of the current superficial life style (woman-skull). It is essentially a clear sociological and cultural comment through an inner narration, which ultimately leads to a de profundis confession.
Armed with her personal semantic system and using her own visual art jargon as her weapon of choice, Maria Spyraki resists, clashes, intervenes, mourns, confesses, demands, and is relieved, ultimately converting her personal register from a battlefield into a field of glory.”
Maria Spyraki was born in Athens on November 1977. She graduated from the Oxford Brookes University School of Architecture and the Greenwich University of London. She has an architectural office, and painting is her main form of expression. She has participated in select group exhibitions, whereas the exhibition under the title Riot Territories hosted at the Art Zone 42 gallery is her first personal exhibition.
The exhibition opening: Thursday, October 5th at 8 p.m.
Exhibition Duration: October 5th until October 27th, 2017
Black & White
Photographers from around the world will be hosted at Blank Wall Gallery exhibiting black and white photos from October 6th.
Blank Wall Gallery’s friends will have the opportunity to see over 90 photos on various topics. Landscapes, portraits and scenes of everyday life have been depicted in black and white. Viewers will have the ability to see behind and beyond the picture and link the image they see with their own soul. Excluding color saturation, black and white photos speak in a meaningful way without unnecessary ornaments. They manage to get rid of anything they do not need and get to the core of things, presenting each time a result that surprises, enchants and moves.
«Black & White» exhibition will be hosted at Blank Wall Gallery until Thursday, October 19th, and all lovers of black and white photography are welcome.
Blank Wall Gallery
Opening: Friday 6 October, 21:00
Curator: Markos Dolopikos
Exhibition Duration: From 6 October until 19 October 2017
Thursday- Friday: 16:30- 21:30
Saturday: 11:30- 14:00
Currents and Currencies
Stefania Strouza’s first solo exhibition in Greece opens on Wednesday, 11 October 2017 at a.antonopoulou.art.
In her new solo exhibition, sculptor Stefania Strouza uncovers the analogies between currents and currencies, focusing on the connections that both establish between territories, populations, discourses, and economies.
From the first aquatic flow of the mythical river Potamos up to contemporary information circuits, currents act as mediators for the appearance of a series of topological formations. In parallel, the earliest currency is embodied in the form of seashells used in maritime trade. The artist explores these historical and metaphorical ties between flows and currencies, thus blurring the boundaries between nature, culture, and economy.
The exhibition transforms these ideas into a series of sculptural works that oscillate between connectivity and disjuncture, liquidity and “petrification”. Three materials—marble, aluminium and silicon—refer to the different flows of matter within historical time, from the slow-moving currents of the ancient world, to the faster-paced industrial epoch and finally to the accelerated era of the post-industrial. Finally, the motif of accumulation of flows, objects and concepts takes the form of a large-scale textile, a fluid diagram in dialogue with the hybrid objects of the installation.
Stefania Strouza has recently returned to Athens, Greece. She is a graduate of Architecture from the National Technical University of Athens and has completed two postgraduate programs, the first at the Institute “Art, Space and Nature” of Edinburgh College of Art (2010) and the second at the department of Textual Sculpture in the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (2015). Her practice examines the relationship between cultural history and fictive events and their manifestation in contemporary aesthetic discourses.
She has presented her work in several institutions in Greece and abroad: Bauhaus Foundation Dessau, Germany; Wiener Art Foundation, Austria (solo); Neue Galerie, Innsbruck, Austria (solo); Athens & Epidaurus Festival, Athens, Greece (solo); BOZAR Brussels, Belgium; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece; Kunsthalle Athena, Athens, Greece. Strouza is among the recipients of the 2017 Award of the National Bank of Greece for Emerging Artists, the 2015 Diploma Award of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, the 2014 Caritas Hotel Design Award and the 2012 BAT (British American Tobacco) Art Award.
In 2016, she was an artist-in-residence at the Bauhaus Foundation Dessau (DE) and at the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies in Princeton University (US). In autumn 2017 her work will be presented in the Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art and in 2018 she will be an artist-in-residence in Mexico City with the support of the Austrian Ministry of Culture.
Opening: Wednesday, 11 October 2017, 7 – 10 p.m.
Exhibition duration: October 12 – November 25, 2017
Visiting Hours: Wed – Fri 2 – 8 p.m. and Saturday 12 – 4 p.m.