BESTIARY: ARTEFACTS, ALLEGORIES, REPRESENTATIONS
Bestiary: Artefacts, allegories, representations
Bestiaries were medieval encyclopaedias of mythical and real animals, containing illustrations, allegories and moral lessons. These manuscripts were enriched with a large number of imaginative entries whose images and symbolism have had a lasting influence on our collective imagination in relation to animals. Inspired by these bestiaries, the exhibition explores and brings together a series of contemporary artistic practices that refer to animals in terms of mythologies, histories and their relationship to humans, with the ultimate goal to record topical readings around their symbolic status in contemporary art.
Humans have never lived independently of animals, both at times when they feared them and today, where they tend to annihilate them. As a result, the animal themes in art remain inexhaustible. This intertwining of human and animal is fatal: very often the human condition can resemble an animal hybrid. There have always been times when we our hearts felt like lions’ hearts, our feet like goats’, and our teeth a little sharper. But who is the “beast” today in a nature relentlessly persecuted and menacingly shrinking because of human activity? What are the allegories and lessons we ought to identify in our cultural production that is taking place within an environmental collapse?
Works of the exhibition refer to languages, postures and imitations that refer to our connection to the animal world, to old and modern mythologies, psychoanalytic interpretations and symbolisms, to new animal hybrids of our contemporary world, waiting to be transcribed. The exhibition presents an anthology of approaches, a new classification that expands and activates our admiration for a mysterious and fascinating world, of which we are a part.
Maria Antelman, Calliope Bekou, Guy van Bossche, Katerina Christidi, Ιsabelle Cordemans, Bryony Dunne, Nicole Economides, Alexis Fidetzis, Thanos Foudas, Dimitris Fragakis, Vangelis Gokas, Renate Graf, Anestis Ioannou, Andreas Kalli, Kapurani Bros, Panagiotis Kefalas, Kosmas Kosmopoulos, Stephanie Lagarde, Varvara Liakounakou, Caroline May, O.lala, Stavros Papagiannis, Ilias Papailiakis, Fotini Poulia, Evi Roumani, Nina Saunders, Pieter van der Schaaf, George Stamatakis, Kostas Tsolis, Sarah Vanagt, Brian Whiteley, Katerina Zacharopoulou