Author: Iakovos

HOTEL SPLENDID – YIANNIS THEODOROPOULOS RETROSPECTIVE EXHIBITION AT THE MUNICIPAL GALLERY OF ATHENS

Hotel Splendid

Exhibition dates: May 12th – June 26th

The retrospective exhibition Hotel Splendid brings together 40 photographs by Yiannis Theodoropoulos, dating from 2002 to the present. Similarly to his book Topheth (2018), Hotel Splendid is about loss and absence, and recounts an arduous search for a coherent subjectivity. Theodoropoulos’ lens is magical: It transforms everyday objects that often go unnoticed, producing images of ‘experiential sculpture.’
Hotel Splendid provides a glimpse into the inner world of a photographer who could be a sculptor and would rather be a comedian. In Theodoropoulos’ photographs, the metaphysical rubs shoulders with the comic, weight with weightlessness, poetry with self-sarcasm. This explosive proximity under the influence of Saturn, the planet of sorrow, has many surprises in store – and not always pleasant ones.
Theodoropoulos’ house in Magoufana – today better known as Pefki – is a museum of personal memories and shattered collective dreams. This house, where most of his photos were taken, is a crypt, a hideout, a laboratory of uncomfortable emotions. The metascapes emerging from evocations of objects and spaces in this house celebrate the mournful charm of bedding and drapery folds, the sculptural qualities of chandeliers.
For Theodoropoulos, Hotel Splendid is a descent into his psyche. ‘It’s been my home for the last 20 years,’ the artist says, clarifying: ‘I was a guest in this house to a very old age, until I was 43. Not that I ever left; it’s just that the others died. I was a guest in a “hotel” that provided me with sleep, food, laundry, care. At the same time, however, splendid is tinged with irony: One pays a dear price for enjoying all these comforts. Hotel Splendid represents the comforts I enjoyed in this house, but also what this house took away from me. While generously providing everything you need, doesn’t this “hotel” take away a part of your freedom, your will?’
Obviously, there is something dark about Hotel Splendid. It may not be as scary as the haunted hotel in Kubrick’s The Shining; yet Hotel Splendid reflects a serious pathology involving the functioning of the family in Greece and other southern European countries. In this respect, every Greek house is also a Hotel Splendid. ‘It is a Western hotel, with all that this implies,’ the artist explains. ‘In other words, there is a political element in choosing this title for the exhibition. It ranges from specific to universal – my home, my homeland, the world. It’s rich in symbolism.’
From the year 2000 on, Theodoropoulos’ house gradually turned into a kind of construction site. ‘I use all these objects inside this “construction site” to produce my photos. There is an element of neglect, of disarray. There’s everything everywhere in my house. And I like to see things; if something is out of sight in a cupboard, I feel like it didn’t exist. I have gone through extreme psychological situations in this house. Walking around in there, I sometimes feel like a flaneur – a flâneur in my own home. And these objects, the house itself, often seem unfamiliar to this flâneur. They are most familiar and unfamiliar at the same time, as in fact this is not my own house – I came into it; I did not buy it.’
Theodoropoulos discovers landscapes of the outside world inside his home. Many of his photographs of the last two years involve a white table. ‘This reflects a shift in my work, similar to the snow project. Because I am now leaving behind the objects of the “construction site,” which are everywhere, or the interiors of clothes where I actually seek a hiding place, or the greenhouses, which are wombs, protective domes – symbolic and literal – evoking a sanctuary, church and temple. The greenhouses herald a personal psychological state conveyed through the interiors of clothes.’
The snow photographs succeed Divine Wind (from the Japanese kamikaze), which is the title given by the artist to his solo show at Elika art gallery. ‘The function of both – snow and divine wind – is to cover. The divine wind blew, and the Chinese fleet was destroyed. The divine wind protects objects; yet in protecting them, it delivers them to oblivion. It’s no coincidence that, when we plan to leave home for a while, we often cover objects and furniture. Personally, that makes me think of death – Lazarus or a wrapped body. And so we come back to Hotel Splendid, to family and protection. Snow, to me, means transformation. I consider the transformation of the landscape as an important part of my work and in art: How to transform the cliché, how to see reality through fresh eyes. This is often the purpose of a spiritual quest, that is, to see the world anew. Snow transforms and covers: Once again there is oblivion – transformation and oblivion. Snow also signifies transience. The snowed traffic police helmet reflects my ambivalent relationship with authority and the father. It is not an object of experiential sculpture, because it came from the outside. It’s not a lived object that I brought to the “construction site” to set up and photograph. On the other hand, psychologically and politically, this helmet does in fact represent lived experience: It represents childhood and the 1960s.’
Well-versed in psychology, psychoanalysis, mysticism, religion and philosophy, Theodoropoulos always takes seriously the role of the unconscious, which for him is closely linked to art. He seems to be well aware of the fact that objects are often more enigmatic than stories. Consequently, he can show us fear in a handful of dust, to cite the famous line from T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. Similarly, in a photograph of a slice of feta cheese, he conveys the transcendental serenity of a still life and the enigmatic silence of objects; elsewhere, he introduces his faithful ‘companions’ – an array of medicines, both homeopathic and conventional.
Yiannis Theodoropoulos’ work encapsulates Hölderlin’s verse from his poem ‘Patmos’ (‘Where there is danger, The rescue grows as well’) and Kafka’s reply, in a manner of speaking, in his Blue Octavo Notebooks (‘There are countless hiding-places, but only one salvation; but then again, there are as many paths to salvation as there are hiding places’). The photos featured in Hotel Splendid are hiding places for both the artist and viewers who are receptive to the peculiarity of these images.
‘Photography, Theodoropoulos concludes, is a reflection of the real, a passing glance at a unique moment of light never to be repeated. It is more akin to poetry, where, through brief, fleeting fragments we can look back upon the world again and read it from the beginning – and that is a kind of inner purification that enables us to go on living. Like a breath drawn after long apnoea; like a snow-capped Mount Parnassus.’

Christoforos Marinos
Art historian
OPANDA curator of exhibitions and events

 

Visiting hours: Tuesday-Friday 11:00 – 19:00, Saturday-Sunday 10:00 – 15:00, Monday closed.

Municipal Gallery of Athens: Leonidou & Millerou, Avdi Square

CRUX GALERIE ARTISTS PARTICIPATING AT REBETIKO EXHIBITION CURATED BY CHRISTOFOROS MARINOS

Rebetiko by Christoforos Marinos

‘In order to get access to the past,
one first has to deal with the present,
to make his way through the present and what is at stake in it’
Hubert Damisch
Rebetiko is arguably a thing of the past – but if so, then why revisit it?
Georges Didi-Huberman offers a succinct answer in ‘Coming Out of Time,’ an essay in the form of a letter addressed to Maria Kourkouta, director of the film Return to Aiolou Street (2013): ‘To be able to get out of past times, though, we must know how to return – at any time – to the immanence of their work, their returns, revivals. Hymn is not dead. It may survive where we least expect it – in a rebetiko folk poem, or an experimental short film.’
Indeed, hymn is not dead. And rebetiko itself lives on, disproving Dionysis Savvopoulos’s well-known lyrics from his album To Perivoli tou Trelou (1969): Σα ρεμπέτικο παλιό σβήνει η φωνή μου και σκορπάει [My voice fades and scatters like an old rebetiko].
It’s true, hymn survives in rebetiko music, especially of the pre-WW2 period. Listening to Smyrneiko Minore (1919), a gripping performance by Marika Papaghika, we imagine a time ‘released’, we are transported out of time. In this sorrowful, slow-burning love song in the amane style, Papaghika takes as long as three and a half minutes to convey her heartache – in a few short words:
Αχ, αν μ’ αγαπά κι είν’ όνειρο ποτέ ας μη ξυπνήσω. Ποτέ ας μη ξυπνήσω / με τη γλυκιά σου χαραυγή, Θεέ μου, ας ξεψυχήσω.
[If it’s a dream, that I am loved, may I never wake / May I never wake / When your sweet dawn comes, my Lord / Let me fade away]
These dense, poetic lyrics, encapsulating so many powerful concepts and images, are a characteristic example of the emotional power of rebetiko.
According to Yorgos Tzirtzilakis, in his essay Sub-modernity and the Labor of Joy-Making Mourning, words typically used to translate Homeric πένθος – mourning, grief, heartbreak, sorrow – are characteristic of rebetiko songs. Even though ‘rebetika defy translation,’ as Jacques Lacarrière aptly observes in his Dictionnaire amoureux de la Grèce [Dictionary of the Lover of Greece], ‘when they speak to prison, love, loneliness, exile, jealousy, betrayal, migration, they become universal.

 

Anestis Ioannou, Ιn Your Shoes, On Rooted Seeds,2021, acrylics, textile and collage on bleached denim,150×200 cm

 

 

Giorgos Kontis, Rebetiko, 2021, installation, mixed media, 215x220x160 cm

 

 

Nikos Papadopoulos, Votanikos’ Bloke, 2021, metal threads on black aluminum sheet, 33,1×60 cm

The thematic exhibition Rebetiko is all about love, escape, ‘joyful mourning,’ and all the thoughts, memories, and symbols associated with this ‘major occurrence in modern Greek culture,’ as the composer Nikos Mamangakis has fittingly described it. Rebetiko is a contemporary art exhibition of universal appeal, to the extent that the subject it surveys appeals both to Greeks and lovers of traditional music around the world. The exhibition and accompanying publication aim to represent rebetiko and its mythology through a contemporary visual outlook. How can a contemporary visual artist engage emotionally with and translate into image rebetiko music – ‘the songs of the wounded, the simple, pure, sensitive souls of Greece,’ according to Elias Petropoulos?
The exhibition features work by 50 artists, mostly contemporary ones. Marquee names, such as Tsarouchis, Tassos, Fassianos, who are admittedly to be expected in an exhibition of this kind, are of course represented. Yet foremost in our minds was to examine how contemporary art converses with rebetiko – how contemporary Greek artists approach and interpret it. For this reason, most works on view were specially commissioned for this exhibition. Looking at them, one can identify affinities, similarities, even leitmotifs, such as a chair (toppled, broken, transformed) – a recurring theme in many works. Although the artworks on view showcase a wide range of mediums, including photography, engraving, video, sound installation, performance, and artists’ books, pride of place is – justifiably – given to painting.
Rebetiko can be viewed through a contemporary art lens, in the same way that the British do it for their own musical heritage – rock and punk music. Notably, many international museums and art venues – from MCA Chicago, MACBA, and Kunsthalle Wien to the Barbican and ICA in London – have staged exhibitions exploring the relationship between rock music and the visual arts. Greek curators must approach the cultural heritage of their country with confidence. And rebetiko, case in point, is an important resource of the Greek cultural heritage. Considering that ‘Athens underground’ and ‘counterculture’ in Greece after 1980 have already been explored in art exhibitions, it’s time we looked at rebetiko, too, in the context of contemporary art.

 

Ilias Papailiakis, Tsitsani’s Prison, 2017-2018, oil on canvas, 25×35,5 cm

 

 

Yiannis Theodoropoulos, Αkamantos 28, Pikinos’ beer, 2021, inkjet print mounted on aluminum, 130×98 cm

 

Katerina Zacharopoulou, Rosa’s credenza, 2021 installation, video, objects and engraving, 210×120 cm ­

 

The impact of rebetiko seems to be particularly strong on younger generations. During the two lockdowns, numerous people – including many young persons – posted videos of rebetiko music on social media. In a difficult period, such as the one we have all been enduring for the last two years, these songs have served as a source of support. But it is in musical artists who are either also visual artists, such as The Callas, or flirt with the visual arts that this influence seems most apparent. Cases in point include Konstantinos Beta, Lena Kitsopoulou, Angelos Krallis (CHICKN), Negros tou Moria, Tasos Stamou. The appeal of rebetiko extends beyond the Greek borders. In his recent album Songs of Disenchantment – Music from the Greek Underground (2020), Brendan Perry, of Dead Can Dance fame, pays homage to rebetiko, showing how much this genre of music resonates with the artist. All these artists perceive rebetiko as rich, living heritage, as a vehicle they can use to create something new. Like the meme goes: REBETES NOT DEAD!

For many of the participating artists, this exhibition was an opportunity to explore their roots. For instance, the artwork by Yiannis Theodoropoulos is about Pikinos, a relative of the artist, who was stabbed to death in 1931 on Akamantos Street in Thiseio. Maria Tsagkari, on the other hand, researched the story of her great-grandfather, the acclaimed violinist Nikos Syrigos, better known as ‘Santorinios’. In her engraving, Rosa’s Credenza, Katerina Zacharopoulou trains her lens on Rosa Eskenazi, filtered through personal family stories and memories. This intimate relationship of artists with rebetiko is highlighted in the brief statement which each participating artist was invited to write for the bilingual exhibition catalogue. Similarly, visitors to the exhibition may find images and sounds that resonate with them for the same reasons – narratives related to their past, or present.
In addition to the art itself, there are two other notable aspects of this exhibition: Firstly, it features the enigmatic rebetiko artist Kostas Bezos (1905–1943), who signed his compositions as A. Kostis and was, in addition to music composer, a cartoonist. Excitingly, Bezos is featured in this exhibition with a series of cartoons from the Municipal Art Gallery collection. And secondly, in a seemingly simple yet highly symbolic curatorial gesture, a display showcases album covers and personal items belonging to Sotiria Bellou, shown side by side with photographs and personal items belonging to Maria Callas, which have been on view in the Olympia Theatre Foyer in recent years. These objects in the OPANDA collection can normally be viewed in the Melina Mercouri Cultural Centre’s permanent display. It’s a simple gesture, merely moving a vitrine from one location to another. But it brings together two towering figures of twentieth century music. Placing Bellou and Callas side by side illustrates a well-known statement by Yannis Tsarouchis: ‘I love Callas and Sotiria Bellou. And I don’t feel conflicted. Let those who are scandalised figure out why.’
To this day, when the words rebetiko and visual arts are mentioned in the same breath, the first things that come to mind may be Alekos Fassianos’s illustrations for books by Elias Petropoulos, Tassos’s engravings for Bellou’s album covers, or the zeibekiko dancers that were such a frequently represented subject in Tsarouchis’s paintings. Rebetiko intends to expand the visual representation of the world of rebetiko, fundamentally changing the way it is perceived in the visual arts. This exhibition is testament to the fact that rebetiko is not only of contemporary interest but also contemporary in form.

 

ANESTIS IOANNOU, KONSTANTINOS PALAIOLOGOS (AKA ATH1281) & DIMITRIS RENTOUMIS PARTICIPATE IN EIDYLLIA ODOS EXHIBITION

Eidyllia Οdos
18.01 – 6.03.2022
Concept / Curation: Maria Marangou
33 participating artists

From January 18 to March 6, 2022, Technopolis City of Athens presents the contemporary art exhibition “Eidyllia Odos”, with works by 33 artists from Greece and abroad, based on an idea conceived and curated by Maria Marangou.

At “Eidyllia odos”, artists and works can speak about the present of our past, without nostalgia, by manipulating the things they use as raw material. Things that have always existed and can be used in other ways for different needs. Earth/soil, wool, thatch, fabrics, marble, straw, threads and needles, looms.
In the gloom of the pandemic, global lockdowns and the looming threat of death, we choose escapism by sinking in thoughts and dreams. Favourite walks, the beauty of the Lycabettus paths, the Roman Agora, Anafiotika neighbourhood, leisurely enjoyed without passers-by. Athens without its hustle and bustle. The different sense of time, the thread of history and the cracks, social, economic, ideological, the manipulations of art in the global market condition, and us, in the first decades of the 21st century, following the ancient paths, listening to the whispers of the past.

Modern streets with names dating back to antiquity, leading to the same destination as 25 centuries ago. Panathenaion Street, Tripodon Street, Leokoriou Street, Dipylou Street, Eidyllia Street. A passage to Piraeus, Elefsina, to the city’s outskirts, through the Hiera Pyle (Sacred Gate) or the Hierá Hodós (Sacred Way). Here, citizens and slaves carrying things walk and talk, mingling with animals and carts loaded with foods and clothing, trading goods stored in the ports waiting to be shipped.

A moment in time that creates the need to re-approach collective memory, the myth of origin transferred through genealogies. Art always joins, and sometimes dares amid this conflictual atmosphere, seeking to pave new ways for itself and society.
The 33 artists invited use many different media, defending the basic idea that the artist reflects his/her personal view of the environment in which he/she lives. The diversity of the media used by each of them demonstrates the techniques and details that constitute common ground. The city of Athens as a landmark and its long history are linked to a plethora of applied raw materials. Inductively, they may include: Soil transformed into clay / Hard marble / Threads and Weavings / Materials of the earth and nature / Embroidery / Paper / Artefacts

Eidyllia Odos touches upon or at least wishes to touch upon a piece of history, people, and the past through time, irreplaceable material of history and memory.

Participating artists:
Nikos Alexiou / Dimitrios Antonitsis / Evgenia Apostolou / Adonis Volanakis / Lynda Benglis / Zoi Gaitanidou / Voula Gounela / Marianna Ignataki / Anestis Ioannou / Ilias Koen / Thanos Kyriakides [Blind Adam] / Kalliopi Lemos / Vasiliki Lefkaditi / Eleni Lyra / Despina Meimaroglou / Michalis Michaelidis / Efsevia Michailidou / Konstantinos Palaiologos / Malvina Panagiotidi / Angelos Papadimitriou / Raymondos / Dimitris Rentoumis / Adrián Villar Rojas / Efi Spyrou / Danae Stratou / Magda Tammam / Nakis Tastsioglou / Nobuko Tsuchiya / Panos Famelis / Maro Fasouli / Sokratis Fatouros / Despina Flessa / Pantelis Chandris

Exhibition curator:
Maria Marangou, art critic / artistic director of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete

LEONARDO PUCCI’S SECOND SOLO EXHIBITION TITLED FLOWERS – OPENING ON NOVEMBER 25TH

Crux Galerie is delighted to present Leonardo Pucci’s second solo exhibition, titled Flowers.

Opening on Thursday, November 25th from 18:00 till 22:00.

Behind the simplicity of the title is an invitation from the artist to reflect on the relationship between beauty and control, between the incarceration of aesthetic ideal and the liberating power of bodily impulse.
Approaching cut flowers with the Japanese art of Shibari and capturing the result in highly sensual photographic images, Leonardo Pucci highlights how the obligation of beauty is a cultural construction designed to seize control and power over the body.
As the artist explains: “Much has been written about flowers and their symbolic value in the history of civilisation but ultimately, in every mythological or cosmogonic tale, the flower is the archetype of itself. The archetype of a life that keeps on living, a perpetual cycle of renewal and rebirth.
The flower is a symbol of human existence and, in its cyclical self-affirmation, it implicitly exalts us and the perpetuation of our desires, of our passions, of our need to project ourselves into the future as well as the entropic torment of our bodies and their creative force.
This intrinsic complexity and this dual generative power are constantly censored through violent cultural objectification: if the symbol of the flower is so often reduced to mere fleeting and ephemeral beauty, so the body is forced to extol a normative aesthetic ideal that feeds on narcissism, performativity, solipsism and egocentrism.
And this glorifying of beauty at all costs not only dictates a certain appearance but certain actions, certain behavior, that is, cultural constructions whose ultimate aim is to control the body. Because the body is an instrument of power, it is the political place par excellence, where interests, conflicts and prohibitions come together.”

The catalyst for this project was a Hojō Jutsu manual that the artist found among his books during the lockdown over these past two years of the pandemic

GROUP EXHIBITION
A POEM FOR YOU
GOT EXTENDED TILL OCTOBER 30TH

The group exhibition A POEM FOR YOU, in which the curator Katerina Nikou invites international artists, theorists and curators to respond to the poem written by the artist, Together We Root As A Family, got extended till Saturday, October 30th.

Adam Szymczyk, curator at large at Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, Holland) & former artistic director documenta 14 (Athens, Greece, Kassel, Germany), (Zurich, Switzerland), Alexis Fidetzis, artist (Athens, Greece), Andreas Mallouris, artist, (Nicosia, Cyprus), Angelo Plessa, artist, documenta 14 (Athens, Greece), Daniel Knorr, artist, documenta 14 (Berlin, Germany), Danny Hiele, cinematographer, director of photography (Los Angeles, USA), Daphne Vitali, curator, National Museum of Contemporary Art Museum (Athens, Greece), Dimitris Rentoumis, artist (Athens, Greece), Eleni Christodoulou, artist (Athens, Greece), Eleni Glinou, artist (Athens, Greece), Fotini Gouseti, artist (Athens, Greece), Giorgos Yotsas, artist (Athens, Greece) Isabelle Cordemans, artist (Antwerp, Belgium), Leonardo Pucci, photographer, (Paris, France), Lilou Vidal, independent curator, writer, author, founder of the non-profit organization Bureau des Réalités (Brussels, Belgium), (Torino, Italy), María Magdalena Campos-Pons, artist, documenta 14 (Nashville, Tennessee, USA), Marijke de Roover, artist (Brussels, Belgium), Meriton Maloku, artist (lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium), Nathan Pohio, artist documenta 14 (New Zealand), Paul B. Preciado, writer, philosopher, curator (former curator of the Public Programs, documenta 14 (Athens/Gr, Kassel, Germany), (Paris, France), Phaedon Giallis, artist, (Athens, Greece), Protocinema, (Kathryn Hamilton/Deniz Tortum, Zeynep Kayan, Jorge González, Mari Spirito), (Istanbul, Turkey), Roman Hiele, music composer (Antwerp, Belgium), Sarah Vanagt, film artist (Brussels, Belgium), Saurabh Narang, artist (New Delhi, India), Simone Keller / Philip Bartels, documenta 14, (ox&öl Produktionen, Zurich, Switzerland), Theo Prodromidis, artist (Athens, Greece), Theophilos Tramboulis, curator, writer, author (Athens, Greece), Vassilis Noulas & Kostas Tzimoulis (VASKOS), (Athens, Greece)

 

Open every:
Friday 17:00-21:00
Saturday 13:00-17:00

A POEM FOR YOU, A PARALLEL GROUP SHOW ON THE OCCASION OF ANESTIS IOANNOU POEM TOGETHER WE ROOT AS A FAMILY

In the framework of the solo show of Anestis Ioannou, After Sunset, curator Katerina Nikou, invites international cultural practitioners, to respond to the poem written by the artist, Together We Root As A Family.

Opening: September 16th from 18:00 till 22:00. It will run till October 30th.

This project is parallel to the exhibition. The participants comment on the notions which Anestis Ioannou mentions in his poem: the relationship with our ancestors, our roots, time and what we consider today a family.

Adam Szymczyk, curator at large at Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, Holland) & former artistic director documenta 14 (Athens, Greece, Kassel, Germany), (Zurich, Switzerland), Alexis Fidetzis, artist (Athens, Greece), Andreas Mallouris, artist, (Nicosia, Cyprus), Angelo Plessas, artist, documenta 14 (Athens, Greece), Daniel Knorr, artist, documenta 14 (Berlin, Germany), Danny Hiele, cinematographer, director of photography (Los Angeles, USA), Daphne Vitali, curator, National Museum of Contemporary Art Museum (Athens, Greece), Dimitris Rentoumis, artist (Athens, Greece), Eleni Christodoulou, artist (Athens, Greece), Eleni Glinou, artist (Athens, Greece), Fotini Gouseti, artist (Athens, Greece), Giorgos Giotsas, artist (Athens, Greece), Isabelle Cordemans, artist (Antwerp, Belgium), Leonardo Pucci, photographer, (Paris, France), Lilou Vidal, independent curator, writer, author, founder of the non-profit organization Bureau des Réalités (Brussels, Belgium), (Torino, Italy), María Magdalena Campos-Pons, artist, documenta 14 (Nashville, Tennessee, USA), Marijke de Roover, artist (Brussels, Belgium), Meriton Maloku, artist (lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium), Nathan Pohio, artist documenta 14 (New Zealand), Paul B. Preciado, writer, philosopher, curator (former curator of the Public Programs, documenta 14 (Athens/Gr, Kassel, Germany), (Paris, France), Phaedon Gialis, artist, (Athens, Greece), Protocinema, (Kathryn Hamilton/Deniz Tortum, Zeynep Kayan, Jorge González, Mari Spirito), (Istanbul, Turkey), Roman Hiele, music composer (Antwerp, Belgium), Sarah Vanagt, film artist (Brussels, Belgium), Saurabh Narang, artist (New Delhi, India), Simone Keller/Philip Bartels, documenta 14, (ox&öl Produktionen, Zurich, Switzerland), Theo Prodromidis, artist (Athens, Greece), Theophilos Tramboulis, curator, writer, author (Athens, Greece), Vassilis Noulas & Kostas Tzimoulis (VASKOS), (Athens, Greece)

 

KATERINA ZACHAROPOULOU PARTICIPATES IN THE GROUP EXHIBITION THE RIGHT TO BREATH? CURATED BY SOZITA GOUDOUNA, FOUNDER OF THE NEW YORK CITY BASED ORGANIZATION, GREECE IN USA

GREECE IN USA is a New York City-based organization that promotes Greek culture in the U.S. Founded by Dr. Sozita Goudouna, one of America’s acclaimed Greek curators and adjunct professor at City University of New York (CUNY), GREECE IN USA makes an impressive launch amid the pandemic, under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Culture, with the group exhibition The Right to Silence? on the reform of criminal justice.

The first iteration is presented at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY) until October 8th, 2021, with the participation of 43 Greek and Cypriot artists, while the second parallel program “The Right to Breathe” will be launched May 14, 2021, at Seneca Village in Central Park and at UNDERCURRENT.NYC with the participation of 100 Greek artists. The exhibition venue was selected owing to its focus on U.S. and EU partnerships such as EUNIC and UN/MUTE.

«The Nightingale of the Emperor of China» and The Right to Breath Painting and video with sound.

This video work is inspired by the famous fairy tale of Hans Christian Andersen. The Nightingale tells the story of the Emperor of China who heard a nightingale sing, saying it was the most beautiful sound he ever heard. The Emperor of China has an invaluable treasure in his palace: A nightingale singing beautifully. His melodic voice touches the heart of the toughest man. But the emperor doesn’t know that nightingales don’t live in prison… The nightingale agreed to attend the emperor’s court and sing, eventually staying – that is, until a bejeweled mechanical gold bird was given to the emperor who then banished the nightingale. The mechanical version breaks down, and the emperor becomes sick – so sick that he is dying. Forgiving the emperor for choosing the mechanical version, the nightingale returns to sing, healing the emperor. The Nightingale of the Emperor” praises the value of simplicity, freedom, love and offering to our fellow human beings.
My work combines the stillness of the emperor – who is the Qianlong Emperor (1711-1799), the fifth Emperor of the Qing dynasty – and the engineer-painted nightingale in opposition to the vitality of the true, free-singing, giving life to the imprisoned heroes who remain silent in the face of the power of truth and love. It is a metaphor of silence that becomes prison and of the voice-soul that becomes freedom by giving healing and forgiveness. Emperors and humble citizens are not exempt from this rule.
Katerina Zacharopoulou.

NIKOS PAPADOPOULOS’ INSTALLATION “ZEN GARDEN” TRAVELS TO HAINAN, CHINA

Nikos Papadopoulos participates in the international art exhibition titled “The tides of the century”, which is scheduled to take place this year during February 8 – December 8 in the Hainan province of China.
Nikos Papadopoulos will present his installation “Zen Garden”.
The international art exhibition will showcase over 140 works by more than 80 artists from 23 countries around the world. Its opening will coincide with the inauguration of Hainan’s Ocean Flower, a man-made island created with the aim to become an international tourism destination.
Greece will participate with its own exhibition titled, “Thesis, antithesis, synthesis: in the belt of change”, which will take place under the auspices of the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO).

ILIAS PAPAILIAKIS’ SOLO EXHIBITION
THEORETICAL OBJECTS: WORKS 2017-2020 AT THE ATHENS MUNICIPAL GALLERY

One of the most active and acclaimed Greek artists, Ilias Papailiakis, is engaged in an ongoing conversation with the history of Greek art. His exhibition Theoretical Objects: Works 2017–2020 comprises paintings, drawings, and sculptures produced in the last three years. In Papailiakis’ work, the ‘theoretical object’ is the object of study and research: It is the human body, violence and history, art and archaeology, landscape and nature, the genealogy of desire, the history of civilisation, the cultural traces of the past. His exhibition at the Athens Municipal Gallery features works from various periods of his career, as well as six new works. The exhibition is presented by the City of Athens Cultural, Sports & Youth Organisation (OPANDA) and is curated by Christoforos Marinos, art historian and OPANDA curator.

ANESTIS IOANNOU WAS AWARDED THE ARTWORKS FELLOWSHIP (2020-2021)
BY STAVROS NIARCHOS FOUNDATION

Anestis Ioannou was awarded the ARTWORKS fellowship (2020-2021) by SNF (Stavros Niarchos Foundation). The SNF Artist Fellowship Program has been awarding monetary prizes to individual artists in recognition of their artistic skills and qualifications.