Efi Spyrou, "Swings" Photography by Rene Habermacher
"...An object identified in the collective conscience with the memories of childhood stars in Swings (2010-2011). Four swings, each made of a different material (wax, marble, silicon, plexiglass), hang immobilized on the wall, unable to hover; the various materials correspond to the successive stages of the human life circle while the swings’ “impediment” is related to man’s incapacity to escape the “all-taming time”. The photographs of the installation depict the artist engaging in a tormenting and pointless performance-game with the dismantled marble swing, the esthetics and execution of which are reminiscent of Pina Bausch’s performance in Café Müller (1978). The search for her child-self by Spyrou’s persona proves to be futile; what was once an amusing pastime has now turned into a burden, and the irreversibility of time and of the degeneration process is definitively sealed..."
Andrea Konstantinou, Art Historian
Pop Nouveau Opening on Friday 30 September 2011 at 20:30
Until 20 October 2011
Isnotgallery presents the group exhibition titled Pop Nouveau showcasing works by ten young Cypriot and Greek artists. The selection was made by Christos Michaelides, who is also one of the participating artists, and who curates the show. Participating artists: Kyriaki Goni, Antonis Kapnisis, Kyriakos Kousoulides, Eva Marathaki, Christos Michaelides, Paola Palavidi & Ioannis Koliopoulos, Alexandros Pissourios, Efi Spyrou and Leontios Toumpouris.
Ioannis Koliopoulos/ Ioanna Palavidi
The exhibition showcases works of art that make use of a wide variety of contemporary mediums – from painting and conceptual sculpture, to collage and video. The themes tackled in most of the works, place them well within the realm of popular culture -they are of a youthful disposition, of contemporary concerns and of a style that appeals to a youthful mass. However, they go beyond the purely pop and superficial narratives, analysing the subject matter more profoundly.
The participating artists belong to a new pop genre, refuting the (old) rules, definitions and classifications of the Western Pop Art of the ’50s-’70s. They make use of the pop style as a vehicle past the once superficial narratives. While Richard Hamilton had defined Pop Art as "popular, transient, expendable, low-cost, mass-produced, young, witty, sexy, gimmicky, glamorous and Big Business" (in a letter to the architects Alison and Peter Smithsons, dated January 16, 1957), only some of these labels are identified in the synthesis of the Pop Nouveau exhibition. The core values of the ’50s-’70s Pop Art were sex, automobile and food. The works which are presented in the exhibition at isnotgallery have nothing to do with the abovementioned superficial values.
A characteristic feature of Pop Nouveau’s artists, is the fact that they are not afraid to trod back -and embrace- the craftsmanship, the handmade, and more intimate techniques.
Unlike the observation of John Wilmerding (American Art, 1976) who wrote that (American) society had begun to “celebrate exhibitionism, self-promotion, and instant success”, the art of many contemporary artists frantically searches for an identity, for a feeling of belonging and a definition of the self.
In the works of the ten artists participating in the exhibition Pop Nouveau, the constant search for an identity (an image of the self), is obvious. Something which is, however, common between the ’50s-’70s Pop Art and the exhibition Pop Nouveau, is the popularity of the artistic genre used, as Mario Anayia had described it when he wrote that pop artists “eliminated the boundaries between high and low culture, creating an art with genuine popular appeal" (Art Today, Stavros Tsikgoglou, 2010).
And even though Pop Art had presented itself as a consequence of post-war austerity (Oxford Dictionary of Art), in today’s Pop Nouveau, as we’ve dared to name it, we see that the artists and their derivative works are either “given birth” into, or merely -and oddly enough- continue to produce and be produced in an infertile era – an era that has, nonetheless, stimuli, even while providing no motives.
The exhibition will be inaugurated by Mr. Constantinos Yiorkatzis. For more information: Andros Efstathiou (99569498) Opening times: Monday – Friday: 10:00-13:00 and16:00-20:00 Saturday: 10:00-13:00
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