Tuesday, 22 September 2020

The politics of art at EMST




The Politics of Art at EMST.

The second floor of the museum is dedicated to political art. We took the internal stairs from the third floor that lead down to the second, and from the top of the stairs, we could see




Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2004 (iron, coal, wooden boards, tripods and burlap sacks)

Untitled, 2004, is a monumental installation of iron girders, cross-shaped and at an angle to the floor. The table alludes to a sacrificial altar, and the overall space turns into an experimental, austere setting.

Associated with the Arte Povera movement in the 1960s, Kounellis created sculptures and installations out of everyday materials that trigger the memory and the feeling of history. Human alienation in contemporary society is the main theme of his work. He often juxtaposes materials of the mass urban and industrial civilisation with symbols and values of the pre-industrial world.





















Dimitris Alithinos, A Happening, 1973, (plaster, wood, tape recorder, lamp)




Dimosthenis Kokkinidis, from the series ... And Regarding the Remembrance of Evils... 1967-1997 
(acrylic on conservation cardboard stuck on sea-water resistant plywood)

An artist with a powerful social and political discourse, Kokkinidis started this series as soon as the military dictatorship was imposed in 1967. Starting from the photos of uniformed officers that filled the contemporary Press, he records the dramatic events of the time on some packaging cardboard he found in a corner of his studio. Most of the series had been completed by December 1967, but the works remained hidden in the studio; some of them were first shown to the public 30 years later, in 1997, at the Astra Gallery.































Emily Jacir, Memorial to 418 Palestinian Villages which were Destroyed, Depopulated and Occupied by Israel in 1948, 2001 (refugee tent, embroidery thread, record book)

Artist and activist Emily Jacir investigates unknown historical narratives and their role in shaping collective memory. For this work Jacir invited to her studio volunteers from different countries, including Palestinians and Israelis, in order to embroider on an UNRWA refugee tent the names of the Palestinian villages that were destroyed by Israeli expansionism. The creative procedure (sewing with a black thread collectively by a group of people) is a reference to the collective trauma, and the tent itself becomes something more than an art project; it becomes a site of inclusion and participation.














George Lappas, Mappemonde, 1987, (metal, fluorescent bulbs, plexiglas)




Hogen Ergun, The Flat (Bayraki), 2006 (two-channel synchronised video projection, colour with sound)

A lot of video work in this exhibition, but I am not fond of the medium in art, so avoided most of them. This one however, was a delight. This 12-year old, spoke  with such passion...





Through this narrow entrance to a small room beyond, with more installations




Kendell Geers, Akropolis Redux (The Director's Cut), 2004 (security fencing, steel shelves)

South African artist Kendell Geers has used dangerous materials to make a latter-day Parthenon with allusions to apartheid and all kinds of division.










Francis Alys, Camgun #84, 2008 (wood, metal, plastic, film reel, oil and pencil on transparent paper)

The Camguns series consists of drawings and replicas of machine guns made of wood and metal, with film reels in place of ammunition belts. The inspiration for these 'gun cameras' came from the makeshift weapons used by the Zapatistas in Mexico. When an act of violence is recorded by the lens, it acquires a different gravity, as it can be screened and become historical testimony.




Aspa Stassinopoulou, Untitled, 1980 (wood, metal, photographic emulsion)







Andrea Bowers, No Olvidado (Not Forgotten), 2010, (graphite on paper)






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