12.4.17

UNIVERSITAS at Trii Art Hub (2017)









In the face of over 60 million people migrating today and given the current political situation in Europe with the rising of xenophobia and populist political movements, it becomes imperative to invent new means of bringing people together in a society, without however homogenising them or subjecting them to class hierarchies, social stereotypes and identity politics of all kind. In her essay "We Refugees," (1943) philosopher Hannah Arendt argues for the right of migrants to be politically active and to participate in social practices while acknowledging in them “the vanguard of their peoples.” When we see the migrant as “the political subject of the 21st century” we necessarily call into question established political principles while challenging notions such as global citizenship, democratic way of living and collective self-mastery. How are we all in Europe to learn and develop from this novel situation?
The exhibition is based on the belief that culture and education through shared knowledge are the best means to achieve this goal. With the present artistic research project, we want to create a practice- based model of a “community of teachers and learners" (universitas magistrorum et scolarium), to develop a new form of shared knowledge, which remembers its origin as a "community," the literal meaning of the word “Universitas". We want to set a new paradigm by developing a place of study and horizontal transmission of knowledge for the less privileged that demonstrates the cancellation of existing biopolitical exclusion of migrants. “Learning by doing" is what we aim for in the experiment, the means of which will be a collective writing of a history of the current situation.
The UNIVERSITAS exhibition follows a series of workshops offered by artists from Syrian, Greece and Germany in the Eleusis camp, the Skaramangas camp, the Chora community center in Exarxia and at the premises of Athens Biennale at Varvakeios and at Bageion. 

24.11.15

GOETHE's DREAM - ARTECITYA AGENCY (LAUNCH: 23.11.2015)


Goethe’s Dream is the first large-scale project by the ARTECITYA AGENCY. It includes three works – commissions to artists Giorgos Gyparakis, Alexandros Psychoulis and Theodoros Zafeiropoulos, who were invited to re-design the outdoors, public spaces of Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki’s building complex. The artists propose three contemporary artistic practices that, based on a critical appropriation of artistic traditions, establish models of reaction against the social stagnation of art. The three works –which, to a greater or lesser extent, reference the arcadian utopia, a popular theme in art since antiquity and a source of inspiration for literary, philosophical and artistic movements– do not only address the aesthetics of self-reflection, but also create ways of wide social interaction and practices of everyday human life.

21.5.15

BEAUTY IS THE METHOD Art Gallery of DEREE The American College of Greece (2015)










The exhibition showcases works, which appear to be poetic images of pure beauty, or conceptual-formal abstractions. Understanding a work of art as a beautiful, mathematical formalization (Badiou), or as an ‘affective hardware’ (Kittler), means to oppose art to the powerful industries of the Imaginary, making poiesis the proper ideological counterbalance to current aestheticized, relativist and historizing notion of culture. In this regard works of art offer subtle, rebellious and in the same time truthful dispositivs of art (formulae, metaphors, poetic imagery, figures of speech).
The heuristic devise of an exhibition, which tries to bring people together and inspire them to act, wants to set a mark towards this goal, while presenting works of art in an idiosyncratic way. It aims at making a step forward towards establishing a manifesto on dispositivs of truth in the art of today.

7.3.14

SELFCONSCIOUS Art Gallery of DEREE The American College of Greece (2014)










Advertising media, Broadcast media, Digital media, Electronic media, Hypermedia, Mass media, Multimedia, New media, Social media … the catalog is prolific. Divergent, but all have something in common: technological media are not tools as much as they are a significant part of our social and psychological lives, intervening not only in what we do but in how we think and feel. Computer, network and digitally generated “new” images, constitute not just another type of representing, but of perceiving. These images manufacture and articulate lived experience. In this respect, media participate actively in social processes creating a novel human condition. Affect and identity are constructed around vast digital archives that are able to impact how people think of themselves. Information technologies are becoming our second nature. This novel “genealogy of the sensible” requires one to rethink the actuality and historicity of human desire and aesthetics. Are there consequences for one’s psychic and collective individuation?
The exhibiton, SelfConscious, asked artists to re-think the notion of contemporary identity—both collective and singular—by expressing themselves using a variety of technological media. Questions for the viewer to entertain include:How does novel audio and/or visual technologies construct a culture or counter-culture of affect, emotion, memory, desire? Do the installations propose a reconceptualized society?

26.4.13

ENTER VIEWS ON CRISIS (2013)




Enter Views on Crisis is an on-going project with the overall objective of decoding, analyzing and mapping crisis, in order to understand it, suggest solutions and multiply questions, through critique, production of scientific and artistic knowledge and creativity.
The project functions as an open devise, comprising various types of interdependent and intertwining activities, such as academic workshops, interdisciplinary scientific research, public presentations, publications, artistic research and production.
The project focuses on the interview format, as art form, means of communication and  source of information. An archive of interviews will be created through the establishment of a network of creative partners throughout Europe.
The various project elements, such as the interviews archive and the process of their production, the art works - interpretations of the project findings and the outcomes of the research carried out, will be presented through a roadshow using various public presentation formats (mobile microarchitecture, traveling exhibition, video recording studio operating as a media sculpture, performances, documentary film and others) throughout Europe.

28.10.11

ROAMING IMAGES Routes - MMCA - Biennale 3 Thessaloniki (2011)







Roaming Images Routes at the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art in Thessaloniki is an exhibition (18/9/2011 - 8/1/2012) consisting of works of art that have been produced and/or exhibited in the frame of the Roaming Images project. This project has been organized during the Biennial year 2011 in various cities – stations of the Arabian peninsula including the broader area of the Middle East. In cities such as Muscat, Sharjah, Alexandria, Jaffa, Nicosia, Beirut and Damascus, appointed correspondent curators have been asked to select artists and scholars based in these cities and conceive and implement a project in collaboration with institutions of their region. The local projects, which have been specially developed for this purpose have been inspired by the theoretical framework of Roaming Images and they take various shapes and formats such as exhibitions, video programs, public lectures, roundtable discussions, workshops, filmic documentations. Roaming Images Routes at the MMCA integrates these works in a single presentation along with the documentation of the initial events in the various cities of origin.
The outcome of this endeavor is a kaleidoscopic view of contemporary art, a map of creativity along these geographic and cultural routes. The unique work-in-progress character of Roaming Images Routes is also reflected in the form of its presentation at the MMCA in Thessaloniki. It takes place in the form of continuously remodeled displays showing different works each time during the Biennial. Each setting creates different types of dialogues between works of art and a novel point of view on geographies and cultures.
In this regard, an important part of the project is to reflect also on the conditions of its own reception and dissemination. The project offers a double viewing, on one hand by the audience of the local event, and on the other by the audience of an international biennial. This raises the question on the ‘marginal’ visibility of art communities and cultural territories of the art system’s periphery. But it also puts the question about a notion of art production that is orchestrated in such a way so as to be seen by the ‘Other,’ providing thus a unique angle from which to approach the notion of globalization.
Roaming Images Routes raises questions of interpretation on ‘world pictures’ searching for and documenting the traces of various cultural genealogies and traditions through the eyes of contemporary artists who live and work at the Arabian peninsula and the broader area of the Middle East. How can we scrutinize issues of representation and orientalist stereotypes – meaning the Western view in regions of the Middle East but also received ideas and clichés of the Western world found in these societies? How can we scrutinize the Greek legacy of the image further elaborated in European Modernity and how this common cultural tradition has been dispersed in contemporary societies? What does it mean to reflect on the apparent ‘aniconic’ conventions of the Arab world and to negotiate such conventions with the means provided by contemporary art within its own traditions? What is the role of the powerful industries of the Imaginary (media of visuality and image-based tools of communication and spectacle) within any kind of universalist aspirations, which seem to rather assimilate than promote differences? How images can contribute today to an ideological and political understanding given the revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests recently experienced in the Arab world known as Arab Spring? How is the Western world affected by these changes?
All these questions are scrutinized in one way or the other through the insightful work of artists who live and work in places where such conflictual situations arise. These artists are the appropriate discussion partners on seminal issues about both what we see and how we see it, and in effect about political issues that influence us. Without wanting to offer final or binding conclusions Roaming Images Routes at the MMCA creates a map of trajectories within the global flow of visual culture offering to spectators a navigation system of competence within current condition of a uniforming hybridization that endlessly multiplies not only images but also ideas and ways of living. Roaming Images Routes is indeed a bridging event that links ideas, practices and testimonies and brings together people worldwide. Not to forget also the hundreds of art professionals, artists, curators, scholars in several countries who embraced such a vision and worked for its realization and to whom I express my profound appreciation.

24.6.11

MAPPING THE ART SCENE IN SHARJAH AND THE UAE - Roaming Images (2011)



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The exhibition of Roaming Images researches the various concepts of image along with the ideologies and geo-cultural climates that fostered them. The notion of image becomes therefore the universal vehicle that tells us the story of how we speak, how we think and even envision the future. This rubric moves us beyond the sterile adherence to the aesthetic creed of a homogenizing modernism and various postmodernisms often directed by archeological or ethnographic interests.
Main part of the exhibition, which will be presented at the MMCA during the 3rd Thessaloniki Biennial is a series of projects that take place in various cities - stations, along the route linking Muscat (Oman) to Thessaloniki (Greece). These projects are planned and implemented by appointed with the participation of local artists and scholars, in collaboration with local institutions (Local Partners). Mapping the art scene in Sharjah and the UAE was the participation of the United Arab Emirates to the Roaming Images project. UAE's contribution consists of a workshop with the title Images Make Sense (organized by Giuseppe Moscatello and Sotirios Bahtsetzis) and a concluding exhibition at the Maraya Art Centre in Sharjah curated by Sotirios Bahtsetzis. The exhibition presents works by Ahmed Al Hamdi, Ammar Mohammed Al Attar, Ebtisam Abdulaziz, George Katodrytis, Khalil Abdulwahid, Maisoon Al Saleh, Mark Pilkington, Noor Al Suwaidi, Paolomaria, Tarek Al Ghoussein, Tim Kennedy, Tini Meyer, Zlatan Filipovic.

16.8.10

KUNSTHALLE ATHENA - THE BAR (2010)

During the 2010 IKT Congress in Athens (13-16 May) the Kunsthalle Athena - The Bar, located on an empty building in Metaxourgio Keramikos, the gallery area of downtown Athens, has been operating 24 hours a day.
The Kunsthalle Athena - The Bar is concieved as a place that fosters unofficial meetings while promoting an alternative way to experience art. The project Kunsthalle Athena - The Bar was initiated out of the need to create an open space for creativity and dialogue between artists, curators, and other experts. It mediates between Athenian public and art practitioners and scholars from around the world. Curatorial activity in its initial understanding as study of the poetics and politics of display, becomes part of a living art event. Looking outside the “white box” the project functions as an alternative way to foster the often overlooked or naturalized task of curators as a creative-adaptive discipline. While being an offer for first-hand experience the project Kunsthalle Athena - The Bar brings artists who link their activities with Athens together with inspired cultural mediators, caregivers and facilitators. The project Kunsthalle Athena - The Bar hosts a variety of events related both to Athens and the emerging institution: Site-specific and new commissioned installations, public responsive performances, a media bar with books, magazines and blogs’s archive, screenings, dj-sets and musical performances come together with a DIY bar-restaurant within the specially designed interior of the venue and a taxi service! Current exhibition in the project Kunsthalle Athena - The Bar has been created as an offer of artists, in order to put ideas into orbit and get caught up in perpetual motion.
The exhibition Kunsthalle Athena – The Bar, has been co-curated with Marina Fokidis with the participation of the following artists: Aids-3D, Alexandros Georgiou, Alexandros Mistriotis, Amateur Boyz, Andreas Angelidakis, Angelo Plessas, Annika Larsson, Christina Dimitriadis, Dimitra Vamiali, Forte, Gert & Uwe Tobias, Helga Wretman, Heracles Renieris, Jenny Marketou, Joulia Strauss, Juliette Bonneviot, Kostas Tsioukas, Lydia Dambassina, Manolis Baboussis, Marc Bijl, Mathieu Laurette, Olaf Nicolai, Panos Koutras, Pantelis Pantelopoulos, Paul Zografakis, Penelope Georgiou, Heinrich Spaeth, Rafael Rozendaal, Robert Pettena, Socratis Socratous, Warren Neidich, Ylva Ogland, Yorgos Sapountzis, Yorgos Stamkopoulos

www.kunsthalleathena.org

8.6.09

PAINT-ID (2009)

The exhibition “Paint-id” is a presentation of young and emerging artists in Greece focusing on current trends in painting. It comments on recent international developments in both a curatorial and theoretical level concerning the 'return' of the painting medium. Posed from this specific point of view a parallel reading of contemporary art production in Greece is suggested within an international framework. Images which are produced today by means of the painting-medium constitute an individual, definitely non-hegemonic category, a 'sub-species' of image together with the technologically produced photographic, cinema, or digital image, the other very many 'spatial' images, such as those in installation art, in architecture, in the theatre, and dance, or the 'pictographic images' of a music score or a text of poetry. All these, including painting, continue to attempt to give a reply to the question of how meaning is produced through them, and what is the significance of the visual today. The question about painting today comes at a moment in history when traditional philosophical 'aporias' are no longer put forward only as linguistic problems and queries about theories of knowledge, but as visual enigmas (visual turn). Through this exhibition, the following questions are posed: how far is the contemporary work of painting a comment on the historically determined relation between the image and the society that produces it? And how far is the painted image a space for re-thinking of contemporary visual culture in general? Can painting still articulate conceptual thinking in connection with major anthropological constituents or even current political issues? In this way, the title 'Paint-id' should be read as a question about the tabula rasa of painting, both as 'identity' and as 'Id', as we call, by an idiosyncratic of terminology, the psychoanalytically defined, ontological unconscious infrastructure of what we call the 'image', that sui generis entity which moves in the conceptual complex between subjective and collective, between imaginary and reasoned reality.


7.11.08

CONCEPTUAL OBSESSION – OBSESSIVE CONCEPTUALISM (2008)

Is there, then, another way of thinking besides verbal constructs? What are the limits of the physical and intellectual in a concern with art? Why does the Greek word eikastikos - 'visual artist' - mean one who can shape matter and at the same time one who at the same time possesses the capability of drawing conclusions?
The works of the artists taking part in the 'Conceptual Obsession - Obsessive Conceptualism' deal with the ways in which manual involvement with some material by means of the use of some system of organisation of it is an extremely delicate semantic tool. Obviously, after the destructuring of the authority of art the concept of the artistic gesture can only exist as a cliché. Contemporary artists are constantly redefining their relation with the handwork texture of their work, seen through specific contexts of signification. Whether it is the case of a kind of destructuring of the medium of painting, or of the conversion of ornaments into semantically delimited depictions, or of a changing of design into an art object, artists construct and extend in this way the bounds of thought. Differing methods, such as mechanical repetition during the construction process, precision in the manner of execution, absolute emphasis on the visual nature of the result, serial reproduction, the highlighting of detail, standardisation - these constitute different versions of the elevation of a physical occupation into an intellectual act.
Seen from a romantic viewpoint, artists often seem like creative individuals who are governed by a vague insuperable predisposition or tendency, a constant urge to 'make' something, a kind of psychological dependence on a state of ceaseless creativity. Often this is expressed as a preoccupation, obsession, monomania - almost a kind of inner compulsion. But isn't this stance a kind of communication which attempts to be - and perhaps is - as absolute, specific, and unequivocal as language itself? These works - typical of contemporary trends in art - explore how there can be a way of thinking beyond verbal narration or the expressiveness of the work of the hands.