Dimitris Tsoublekas, Texas – The Problem With Our Current Situation, 2012, lambda print, 75x100 cm Courtesy the Artist and Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center With the support of Outset.Greece.
Alexandros Georgiou, Eros with new wings, 2014 Mixed media processed photograph variable dimensions Courtesy of the artist and Eleni Koroneou Gallery.
Dionisis Kavallieratos, "Noah's Ark", 2013, Pencil on paper, Unique, 100 x 130 cm, 125 x 55 x 5 cm (framed), Private collection, Photo by the artist.
Eirini Vourloumi, Ceremony Hall, The Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, 2013, archival inkjet print, 41x51 cm, Courtesy the Artist.
Kostas Tsolis, Heute Griecheland morgen..., 2013, emulsion paint on canvas, 200x238 cm Courtesy of THE APARTMENT, Athens.
Rue Ravenstein 23
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No Country for Young Men
Contemporary Greek Art in Time of Crisis
March 26-August 3, 2014
After Nautilus. Navigating Greece, Bozar presents No Country for Young Men. Contemporary Greek Art in Times of Crisis, an exhibition that brings together the works of 32 contemporary Greek artists and collectives whose work explores the impact the economic crisis has had on their country. A new look at what is going on in Greece today.
Within the context of Focus on Greece, a multidisciplinary programme devoted to Greece, the Centre for Fine Arts and the curator, Katerina Gregos, are pleased to present an exhibition, which probes the crisis in Greece through the new or recent work of a wide variety of contemporary artists.
The exhibition looks beyond the abstract nature of economic figures or statistics, and zooms in on the humanitarian and social dimension that the crisis has engendered. No Country for Young Men is the most significant exhibition of contemporary art for 10 years outside of Greece and the first of its kind on the crisis.
Katerina Gregos’ work as a curator has consistently focussed, over the years, on subjects such as democracy, politics, the economy and human rights. With No Country for Young Men, the curator aims to question the almost one-dimensional perception of the crisis in Greece created by the stereotypical representations conveyed by the media.
The exhibition No Country for Young Men explores the state of affairs in Greece today, complicating the question of the crisis and shedding light on how it has affected the Greek people, the social body, institutions, landscape and environment, as well as artistic production. The exhibition reflects the social and economic reality and pays special attention to the dramatic transformations that have occurred in light of the crisis.
The project also focuses on small initiatives and collectives that have sprung up as a reaction to the hardship, manifesting a kind of creative resistance, and testifying to the power of the artistic imagination. However, the critical nature of the Greek crisis is not something that concerns only the Greeks. It is symptomatic of a wider as well as European malaise, and can be considered a pars pro toto for the global picture (albeit in its most extreme form).
32 artists and collectives, from different generations, have been selected for the pertinence of their work in a historically and politically crucial moment for Greece and Europe as a whole. The work presented in the exhibition is either newly produced or recently made, reflecting the artists’ engagement with this precarious moment for the country. The exhibition is a lively, kaleidoscopic, sometimes explosive but also humorous or poetic visual patchwork that reflects Greece’s turbulent times and generates a sense of urgency, vitality, affectivity and emotive power. It is conceived of a visual essay; as one totality with an overarching theme but with different sub-texts and thematic strands pertaining to the effects but also causes of the crisis.
But No Country for Young Men also strikes a positive note. According to Katerina Gregos: “There is always hope. In spite of the gravity of the events, the present moment offers a very significant opportunity to address our flaws, to re-invent the country and to imagine things differently. In this respect, the Greek crisis should not be seen as a deadlock but as an opportunity to rethink the future of the country.”
The design The exhibition, designed by Danae Giamalaki, consists of architecture in the form of a labyrinth, which enables the visitor to move around a maze-like circuit with multiple choices. Inspired by the complexity of the Horta building, the distribution of the space leads the visitor down multiple routes. A journey between an imaginary start and finish sometimes leaves the viewers disoriented. Visitors walk between and along paths, some of which lead to dead ends, and navigate the sharp tunnel-like wedges dissecting the rooms. The spaces thus act as a spatial metaphor for the nature of the Greek crisis.
The artists This maze is home to the recent creations by 32 artists in diverse media. There are, on the one hand, artists who deal with social and political reality in a very direct way, through socially engaged practices of a documentary, activist, or confrontational nature. There are also artists who deal with the issue in much more indirect, allegorical, metaphorical or suggestive ways. Visually, the work on view ranges from the narrative and the figurative, to the more abstract and the conceptual.
Satellite exhibition Bozar and Atelier Bouwmeester also welcome a satellite project, an exhibition of the collective Depression Era. The Depression Era project is a collective of photographers, artists, researchers, writers, architects, journalists and curators formed in 2012, recording the Greek crisis through images and texts. It was originally inspired by the photographic program of the Farm Security Administration, which was designed to capture the impact of the Great Depression on the American people (1935–1944). The Depression Era project exhibition takes place at the Atelier Bouwmeester, just across the street from BOZAR at 54-59 Galerie Ravenstein, and will be the first international presentation of the collective outside Greece.
The Curator Katerina Gregos is a Greek-born curator and writer, based in Brussels since 2006. She has curated numerous large-scale projects in Belgium and abroad (Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain), including, more recently: Speech Matters for the Danish pavilion on the occasion of the 54th Venice Biennial (2011). Gregos also co-curated the 4thFotofestival in Germany (2011) and was a member of the curatorial team for Manifesta 9 and the European Biennial of Contemporary Art in Genk (2012). She was also curator of the major exhibition Newtopia: The State of Human Rights in Mechelen and Brussels (2012). As an independent curator, she curated Contour 2009 - the 4thBiennial of Moving Image (Mechelen) –the E V+ A Biennial, Limerick, Ireland (2006), and numerous other projects. In 2013, Katerina Gregos was also the curator of Politics of Play for the Göteborg International Biennial in Sweden and co-curator of Liquid Assets: In the Aftermath of the Transformation of Capital for the Steirischer Herbst Festival, Graz, Austria.
Gregos was a founding director and curator of the Deste Foundation Centre for Contemporary Art in Athens (1997-2002) and artistic director of Argos — Centre for Art & Media — in Brussels (2006-2008). She currently holds the position of artistic director of Art Brussels and is a visiting lecturer at the HISK- The Higher Institute of Arts (Ghent).