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WHEN COUNTER CULTURE MEETS SOCIETY

03.11.2015 - 23.01.2016

Bost, "The Approval", 1978-'80, ink on paper, 100 Χ 70 cm

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This exhibition continues the discussion that we wanted to start with the show “Art in the Time of Collapse” organized in 2010. We noted then that “despite the deep economic and social crisis, in contemporary Greek art, we do not come accross any phenomena of catalytic degradation and denial like those of the Dada period (1916-1925) which completely undermined all the artistic and social coventions. Nor is there anything analogous to the phenomena of ideological commitment that led the artists that followed the German “Neue Sachlichkeit” (1918-1930) to a cynical and un-ornamented depiction of society”. The result of the work’s meeting with society, which it addresses, proved to be almost harmless.
Three years ago, we organized with our friend Thanassis Moutsopoulos two shows at CAMP in Kotzia square: The Athens Underground and Counter Culture. It was a tentative investigation of the parallel universe of those Greek artists who, while well known to the Greek art scene, proved to be annoying enough to easily open the doors of the state museums and the big collections.
It seemed that if one seeks a political and thus provocative art in terms of the language and the themes used, he should look for it in the field of alternative culture. It is no coincidence that important works of the established and fully acclaimed artist Yannis Tsarouchis, such as those that put at the center of the painting lower-class and lumpen antiheroes, or those that push the iconoclasm of the artist to the point of including conspicuously naked young men with rich “attributes” in works on the themes of the “Baptism of Jesus” or the “Nativity Scene”, are considered “incidental” or curiosities. When Thanassis Moutsopoulos and Christopher Marinos wrote the book entitled Pop Queerness in 2003 they offered us two editions, one for the gallery and one for Steve Gianakos. Gianakos showed the book to Robert Rosenblum (1927-2006) who was especially interested in Bost’s work and asked to meet him. Of course Bost passed away in 1995, but, even today, his work is only read by very few within the framework of history of art. As a final example of this long lasting malaise we would refer to Steve Gianakos himself, for whom the Benaki Museum was discussing to organize a solo show, until the moment the people “responsible” for the project saw the works that the renowned artist intended to show.

Participating artists: Yannis Tsarouchis, Nikos Kessanlis, Bost, Yannis Gaitis, Steve Gianakos, Alexis Akrithakis, Apostolos Georgiou, Tasos Pavlopoulos, Nikos Tranos, Gigas, Steven C. Harvey, Evangelia Basdekis, Elias Kafouros.

Organized by AD Gallery and ART EXPERTISE
Curated by Pantelis Arapinis
A book has been released by IDIOMORPHi editions
 

Exhibition duration: November 3, 2015 – January 23, 2016
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