South likes: This is Not My Beautiful House at Kunsthalle Athena, Athens

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Kostis Velonis, installation view, This is Not My Beautiful House, 2014, Kunsthalle Athena. Photo by Stathis Mamalakis

South likes: This is Not My Beautiful House at Kunsthalle Athena, Athens
This is Not My Beautiful House
Kunsthalle Athena, Athens, Greece
16 May – 11 September, 2014

Text by Jorgina Stamogianni

Walking around the debris of Anastasia Ax’s installation, which dialogues with Matthieu Laurette’s motto on the wall (“Opportunities, Let’s Make Lots of Money” 2005), I can do nothing else but contemplate and feel the perdition and abandonment to the bone. This is Not My Beautiful House is a strong exhibition of four contemporary young artists who comment on the current reality in the heart of the crisis. A city in transition, a life in transition. A place where nothing looks the same and nobody knows what is coming. The venue of Kunsthalle Athena itself, an old run-down neoclassical building, gives another meaning to the exhibition context providing the perfect setting, allowing you to loose yourself in its Daedalian architecture, wandering around numerous rooms with obvious signs of time, decay and neglect.
The participating artists, carefully selected and specifically political, highlight different aspects of the Greek reality through their work. Socratis Socratous uses found objects, tree branches, twigs and fruits from the National Garden of Athens. He treats them as national symbols and transforms them from ephemeral everyday bits and pieces into timeless objects thanks to the technique of bronze-casting. Destruction is a key force for Anastasia Ax’ work. Her installation, made out of plaster is a contemporary ruin, a work in transformation, a living landscape, constantly shifting forms and meanings. Kostis Velonis, with obvious reference to the everyday labour and rural life, alters the space through his dominating, voluminous sculptures. Velonis’ sculptures, most often made of wood, articulate narratives that link personal stories to the revisiting of historical events and material cultural facts, including the stage production of the avant-garde theatre and working class history. Finally, Apostolos Georgiou creates a scene of mystery and melancholy through his still frame, telling us a story that we are called to complete by ourselves. His work is about people, normal people, in normal spaces. Behind the pretext of abstraction and coloration, architecture and form, his work is about all of us, in our familiar and unfamiliar environments, stripped of our professional and social identities and achievements.

This is not my beautiful house, no doubt about it. Time to move on.

http://www.kunsthalleathena.org/index.php

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Kostis Velonis, installation view, This is Not My Beautiful House, 2014, Kunsthalle Athena. Photo by Stathis Mamalakis

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Socratis Socratous, installation view, This is Not My Beautiful House, 2014, Kunsthalle Athena. Photo by Stathis Mamalakis

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Socratis Socratous, installation view, This is Not My Beautiful House, 2014, Kunsthalle Athena. Photo by Stathis Mamalakis

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Socratis Socratous, installation view, This is Not My Beautiful House, 2014, Kunsthalle Athena. Photo by Stathis Mamalakis

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Socratis Socratous, installation view, This is Not My Beautiful House, 2014, Kunsthalle Athena. Photo by Stathis Mamalakis

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Apostolos Georgiou, installation view, This is Not My Beautiful House, 2014, Kunsthalle Athena. Photo by Stathis Mamalakis

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Anastasia Ax, installation view, This is Not My Beautiful House, 2014, Kunsthalle Athena. Photo by Stathis Mamalakis

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Anastasia Ax, installation view, This is Not My Beautiful House, 2014, Kunsthalle Athena. Photo by Stathis Mamalakis

 

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