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WOODEN GARDEN

Curated by : Galini Lazani

GalleryK (Tokyo)

Wooden Garden

As George Stamatakis suggests, every little thing that surrounds us tells a story. It is then up to the artist to choose which story to tell and the way in which he can best narrate it to us. As in any of Stamatakis’ shows, the Wooden Garden installation is part of a greater story; a story both personal and collective at the same time. The project Into the school garden illustrated the history of an abandoned school in the provincial district of Guana in Japan, as it was shaped by the artist and the narration of Yutaka Watanabe san, the benefactor of the school building.

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In his current exhibition, the artist focuses even closer, literally and metaphorically, and chooses to show a part of that project, an installation which he describes as a sculpture forest and which acts as a frame for his paintings. The wooden beams and the warm yellow flashlight, with which the viewer is driven to discover Stamatakis’ work, form the necessary scenery in order to create a sense of wandering in the forest, along with the excitement of revealing its individual elements. A fundamental trait in the artist’s work is the surfacing of an experience’s memory and the emotion it triggers for us. And since this is a universal reaction, the artist chooses to render the landscapes he presents in a way that combines locations, materials and techniques of various traditions and cultures.

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The image of a mountain, which Stamatakis chose as the main theme of his installation, may spring from his most private memories, but at the same time it serves as a symbol of wider concepts such as beauty, stability -or in other words security-, immobility in the sense of a barrier, maybe even eternity. His color palette, painting techniques and gestures are inspired by the classic landscape paintings of the great European painters, but, by including in his installation paper, wood and ink he refers to the prominent Japanese artistic tradition. As a consequence, painting from memory and with extended brush strokes of glazes, in a kind of a romantic way of depicting the landscapes, is combined with the clarity and rigor of Japanese materials.

Stamatakis states that the means of artistic expression also define to an extent the creativity and expression of the artist. Therefore, blending the artistic means also contributes to the desired production of meaning and appeal of emotion. A prominent feature of George Stamatakis’ work is the combination of the skillful use of materials with a distinct personal idiom, the narrative of a story and the emotional engagement of the viewer to his work, which is exquisitely accomplished in the Wooden Garden exhibition as well.

Galini Lazani

Museologist, Curator

Athens, December 2018

INTO THE SCHOOL GARDEN

INTO THE SCHOOL GARDEN


17/12/2018

Very happy to present this work and share my unique experience in a solo show at Tokyo University of the Arts
#gallery Sculpture department

 

 

cof

Shopping point – Daily Lazy project (Gallery)

Curated by:  Kostis Velonis
Assistant Curator:  FaidraVasileiadou

Antoine Tudal, Paris enl’an2000

In erotic literature, we often find descriptions of the impasse of a relationship based on sexual difference. The exhibition takes as its point of departure a poem by Antoine Tudal, Paris enl’an2000, which describes the difficulty of love through the acoustic and verbal similarity of “love” (l’amour) and “wall” (le mur) in French.

However, Jacques Lacan’s reference to the poem as a semiology of difference and similarity provides a basis in order to justify the relationship through the two lovers’ blunders and fumbles, their vain and unfulfilled reveries, even through excruciating pain (la douleurexquise) that turns into tragicomedy when there is no mutual response.

The exhibition reveals what pushes away instead of uniting, what stands as an obstacle and makes relationships incompatible uniting instead of pushes away. Archaic and biblical references about the eternal battle of sexes, as well as the rhetoric of contemporary psychology on “complementary” relationship, become the ingredients of an indirect acceptance of the separation caused by biological difference.

The emergence of divergence between desire and the obstacle that annuls it conveys the comical or melancholic outcome of an event that echoes not just the division of the relationship, but also the conflict, the struggle and the effort surrounding it. Here, there may be winners and losers, but in reality both sides annihilate each other, since idealizations and erotic frenzies are altered and extinguished in the corrosive flow of time.

In perceiving the wordplay of l’a-muras an insurmountable “love-wall”, or even as a temporarily surmountable obstacle, the exhibition aims at parodying discontinuity in this libidinal architecture of delimitation and cut.

THE TROJANS – Benaki Museum – support of EMST & NEON

🔴 THE TROJANS | ANIMA CAPTUS Benaki Museum | Pireos 138

 

Long Durational Performance inside an installation (96 hours)
Rafika Chawishe- Mihalis Argyrou
George Stamatakis- peripheral visual space curating.
With the support of NEON.
& EMST.

Forty naked human bodies packed in a sterilized space resembling a crematorium, a morgue, a place for storing meat∙ bodies exposed to risk. A room full of mouths reproducing excerpts from political speeches and prophecies confirmed or disproved by History. Ten performers –souls trapped in an arid place, using every means possible, even silence, to bring forth wounds acquired from their personal or ancestral involuntary translocations, discussing the concepts of citizenship, nationality and “belonging”.

It is a fleeing picture of the universe of a multidimensional performance/ installation, conceived by actress and director Rafika Sauis and creative artist Michalis Argyros, titled “Anima Captus-Trojan women”. The 96-hour performance is taking place inside a labyrinthine structure people can visit in the New Benaki Museum, where it will be housed.

Reference to Euripides’ drama “Trojan Women” is inevitable, since the unsurpassed work of ancient Greek Literature is about war and persecuted people.

In a lengthy performance focused on the notion of the” geographic scar”, the artists use their bodies to participate in a stasimon of “Trojan women”.

In this work the spectator is following a four day-long interactive route. The ten main performers, originating from Greece, Afganistan, Syria and Iran will be living inside the museum, in total silence, for four days. However, people can visit the installation only during the museum’s opening hours.

 

Integral II – Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center

Curated by: Ileana Tounta, Galini Lazani,DimitriosAntonitsis

Integral II is the second part of the exhibition presented at the Ileana TountaContemporary Art Center in April 2017. Both shows refer to the current socio-political reality, not only in our country but also in the whole world, through the presentation of artworks by Greek artists of an earlier generation, in dialogue with the work of younger artists.

The internationally acclaimed artists JannisKounellis, George Lappasand Lucas Samaras always created works that derived from personal and political turmoil. The curators of the exhibition chose the most discerning of them to comment on the present dark atmosphere, result of the social and political situation.

JannisKounellis’ imposing metallic installation with burlap sacks full of charcoal is a classic example of how he perceived art, as a means of social, political and humanitarian commentary. George Lappas, with his “headless / dislocated” traveler, and Lucas Samaras with Reconstructions – works which bring to mind traditional burial customs – accomplish the same commentary. However, Lappasdraws his inspiration from his experiences as a perpetual refugee and Samaras from his deep mourning for a family member.

Accordingly, the works of the young artists of the exhibition express with sharpness and clarity insightful ideas, despite the harsh conditions in which they were created. By selecting these specific works, the curators of the exhibition attempt to emphasize that contemporary artistic expression does not suffer, but that, on the contrary, in times of crisis art is called upon to adopt a wider look and to constantly invent new ways and new sources of creation.

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Dimitris Andreadis, with his painting installations, depicts the light that can originate from the void, while, with similar sensitivity, George Stamatakis and Katerina Kotsalarefer to a blending and alternation of places and landscapes. The description in Kotsala’swork is developed by thematic deductions in which cold color pallets are leading, while in Stamatakis’ canvases we encounter dreary, yet hopeful narratives.

Dimitris Foutrisexpresses the same hopeful ideas in a more conceptual way: the indisputable continuity of things and the belief that nothing ever dies out completely, without leaving traces. Kostas Bassanosalso presents an oxymoron, in the form of confusion and optimism at the same time, which arises from conditions of trapping, but also from a possibility of expanding / collapsing the limits caused by the sense of imperfection.

Andreas Lolisoverwhelms us with marble sculptural hallucinations, where everyday compositions put together by low value objects acquire a monumental nature. In the same way, Socrates Fatourosuses multiple layers of building materials of the modern city (bitumen sheets, polyurethane) as remnants and reminders of our initial experience in it. Katerina Komianou, as a post-romantic urban explorer, a modern flanneuse, proposes a night scenery with prominent public space statues and dried palm trees – remnants of decorating the recent Olympic grandeur.

Dimitris Baboulis, while maintaining a shady content, works with clear-cut lines and shapes that refer to geometric and scientific practices, without unnecessary elements, expressing a purely personal consciousness level.

It is a distinctive feature of the new generation of Greek artists to dare and constantly battle with originality. They use in their art the repository of the modern civilization of our country and attempt to reconstruct it, in order to comment on today’s everyday life.

As Oscar Wilde quoted, we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars…

Participating artists:

Dimitris Andreadis, Dimitris Baboulis, Kostas Bassanos, Socrates Fatouros, Dimitris Foutris, Katerina Komianou, Katerina Kotsala,JannisKounellis, George Lappas, Andreas Lolis, Lucas Samaras, George Stamatakis