Tuesday 1 April 2014

In my country - Stergios Stamos

In My Country, by Stergios Stamos, at Medusa Gallery, Xenokratous 7, Athens.
A highly political subject to this exhibition, ranging from immigration to the Memoranda which are being imposed on Greece. A mixture of conceptual art, expressionism, tinged with influences from the Arte Provera movement. The use of language and text, an integral part of the content and message.

Immigrations (aluminium and text)
Three plaques on the floor, lit with blue light, inscribed with the names of thousands of people who have risked their lives to come to the West in search of a better life.
The first few lines of the narrative on the large plaque which is against the wall:
'I left Afghanistan because of the war. I travelled to Iran and then to Turkey. It was winter and it was bitterly cold. I had to climb over a snow-covered mountain where I came across a body. I am not sure if it was the body of an Afgan, Iranian, Pakistani or a Bangladeshi. During my journey the people I came across were not on their own - those seeking refuge in another country tend to travel in groups for safety. After 25 days we reached the sea, eight of us in one small boat.....

looking closer


and closer
Inspired by Miki Theodorakis' political speech in 2010 (aluminium, lead)


My Country (aluminium, iron, lead, serum, tubes, text: Memorandum 2)

A cold, clinical installation, a sick country being 'healed' by the various Memoranda.

The text of the 2nd Memorandum inscribed on the serum bottles


A partial view of the main installation space

looking closer

Untitled (aluminium, lead, text)
The text is from Plato's Republic, the passage where he urges politicians to become philosophers.


a different view

Untitled, (acrylic on canvas)

Untitled, (acrylic on canvas)

Untitled (acrylic on canvas)

The paintings below are small in size,  a continuation on the same theme:





  1. I find it interesting that the work is so divided into the controlled, almost cold specifically political pieces, and the visceral expressionist paintings which are untitled. It is as if the artist controls his anger to make his clear political point understood, while his overwhelming anger is expressed in the bursts of outrage. Fascinating. This looks a most potent example of political art. And I think that the title is just so full of meanings too. Thank you for showing us this.

    1. Thank you for your comment Olga. I am always so interested in reading your reactions to my posts. It was a fascinating exhibition and the two different aspects of the work, as you described, really interesting. I have not come across his work before but I am certainly interested. Two or three years ago he had an exhibition on different religions, Islam and Christianity being the two he mainly focused on, and I would have liked to have seen that too. The problem is that there is very little you can find on the internet about Greek art, and being spoiled from the UK and international art, I find this very difficult. We went to an exhibition on Tsarouchis the other day, but there is absolutely nothing I can find even on someone as well-known as him, let alone up-coming artists. It's a real shame.

  2. Yes, I agree it can be incredibly frustrating to find next to nothing about an artist who is not from the UK or the USA, when there is so much on superficial folks from those countries!