Still Life… is still alive

In the context of the XV Biennale de la Méditerranée, the group exhibition “Still Life… Is Still Alive” steps forward to present a new relationship between man and his personal objects, developing at the same time a fertile dialogue with the art of the past. Starting out from the iconographic tradition of still life, eight contemporary Greek artists create narrative environments that combine the artistic work with the real object and invite the spectator to interact with an unfamiliar “Symbiosis”.

The iconographic subject of still life, a theme with rich artistic tradition and multiple interpretations and connotations for the effect of time and space on the symbiosis of man with material culture, constitutes the “focus” for the artists and the curators. Still life works, that traditionally related only to the art of painting, in the exhibition “Still Life… Is Still Alive” escape the restricted limits of the canvas and expand in space to create ephemeral situations that give room for new forms of relationships. This way, a different version of symbiosis is presented. 

The objects presented through these works lose their material substance and are turned into bearers of messages, they carry memories, they come alive. The exhibition does not work in a static way, but almost scenographically, it demands interaction with the spectator-visitor, providing the possibility for multiple readings, while at the same time the modes with which man coexists, converses with and is in symbiosis with others are revealed. This way, still life acquires a new “live” character and the works which comprise the exhibition reveal insights into their creators, and also take on symbolic dimensions for themselves, as much as for their potential users.

Extending the use and symbolism that the iconographic theme of still life previously embodied, we propose a communal symbiosis of varying persons and objects that form an interactive environment within the bounds of a house, a home, the Villa Kapandji (which houses the MIET venue). In every room of the Villa –a building with rich history– works of painting, sculpture, video art, kinetic art in the form of an installation, all coexist in space and narrate the different stories of people, starting from the basis of material objects.

The works themselves, through the intervention of the creators, produce relationships open to all kinds of reading and interpretation. The fact that we are dealing with works whose focal point is man himself creates an oxymoron between the illusory stillness of still life and the work in progress. Inverting the relationship between the object and the user, we turn our interest towards the variable meanings and connotations that this relationship can acquire for the artists themselves –tenants of the house– as much as for the spectators-visitors. The concept of symbiosis acquires a “living” character since in the same space people, objects, memories, visitors, symbolisms and interpretations all coexist. The game works on multiple levels and the goal is to creatively challenge limits, which are even set by the title of the exhibition: “Still Life… Is Still Alive”!

Stela Anastasaki, Iraklis Goudaras, Maro Psyrra

Exhibition details:

Duration: 1-30/10/2011 | Venue: National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation – Thessaloniki Centre (MIET)
Thessaloniki, Greece

Curators: Stela Anastasaki, Iraklis Goudaras, Maro Psyrra

Artists: Giorgos Chloros, Vasilis Hatzopoulos, Markos Karellas, Eliza Moschopoulou, Kostas Paschalidis, Emilia Serdaki, Giorgos Stefanou, Eva Theodoridou