This is Not My Beautiful House

This is Not My Beautiful House

KVNSTHALLE ΛTHENA  |  THE TRANSFORMATION OF ‘THE POLIS’



A flexible art centre dedicated to the visual culture of our time. Its major objective is to reintroduce contemporary art and its significance to a genuine public sphere, prioritizing the possibility of co-producing and thus extending culture.

At the present, KVNSTHALLE ΛTHENA resides temporarily in an old neoclassical and un-restored building that bears traces of urban life reaching back to almost one hundred years ago. During this seeding period, KVNSTHALLE ΛTHENA views its output as an open-ended process, where each project imbricates with the following, culminating into a horizontal and ever expanding body of work and critical stances. It is one experiment to see how ephemeral episodes can make one whole conceptual narrative of visual politics.

Question: what is the role of contemporary art in shaping a democratic public sphere? KVNSTHALLE ΛTHENA intends to answer this question collaboratively and by learning through the experiences and insights of others. Kunsthalle Athena also wishes to learn through mistakes – not least, eventually its own.

Curating is understood as a living relationship between art practice, experimentation and the transformative act of a socially engaged, non-didactic pedagogy. Provisional interpretation, open communication, but also contestation, inform the curatorial practice favored by KVNSTHALLE ΛTHENA.

‘We’ cannot wait for a better moment to present itself. This is the right moment for doing things differently, for seeing differently and for believing in making a difference.

KVNSTHALLE ΛTHENA aims to emphasize the constant transformation of ‘the polis’ (Athens) as a symbolic location for the production and dissemination of contemporary culture worldwide.

Follow the LINK to read more about KVNSTHALLE ΛTHENA.



THIS IS NOT MY BEAUTIFUL HOUSE
The everyday here in Greece seems like a leaky vessel. And while the water level is dropping, ideas on how to survive in the post-capitalism desert do not come easily. The scenario is pretty ruthless, yet life seems to go on, seeking its best outcome, under the warm sun.

As we are experiencing this period of change, where everything is in flux, the space loses its shape and transforms into nothingness. Athens reveals itself as a utopian place: a space for the impossible and for ‘everything that is possible’. Amidst all these we find ourselves in limbo. Unaccustomed to the speed of change as well as to the density of events that occur in multiple layers all at once we become alien to all our own given assumptions.

In terms of the best of the worse, the daily routine is not the daily routine we knew anymore; the city is not the city we knew anymore; the politics are not the politics we can recognize anymore; our belongings do not belong to us anymore; and the public space does not belong to us either, although private space is negotiable, if there still is one. We are an entity in transfer, a country on sale, in which nothing is familiar anymore. We are living through a rapture.

This is Not My Beautiful House as a title has no direct references to 80s pop music or New York culture. In the absence of any other significant manifestos, it serves as the perfect tag to describe a world that is unfolding between fears and desires stigmatized by the current economic and social moment. As a line from a pop song, this quote has surely been interpreted and felt in many different ways by many different people. In the case of this exhibition, it becomes a parable for the contemporary state of social and existential alienation. This is Not My Beautiful House refers here to contradictory notions and desires like going or staying, living or dying, trying or surrendering, hoping or giving up; a topography in which the only certainty is that things cannot go on anymore as they were.

Borrowing its title from the lyrics of the famous song by Talking Heads, the exhibition This is Not My Beautiful House will bring together four artists: Anastasia Ax, Apostolos Georgiou, Socratis Socratous and Kostis Velonis, who are engaged, directly or indirectly, with the present ‘Greek’ – not to say global – condition.

Curated by: KVNSTHALLE ΛTHENA team
Klea Charitou, Eleanna Papathanasiadi, Apostolos Vassilopoulos and Marina Fokidis
Assistant curator: Alfredo Pechuan
Sponsored by: iaspis and Swedish Institute at Athens

Duration: May 16-September 11, 2014 (closed in August)
Opening Hours: Wednesday-Thursday, 18:30-21:00, Saturday 12:00-15:00.



Follow the LINK to read more about KVNSTHALLE ΛTHENA CURRENT PROJECTS.


CREDITS
1. ANASTASIA AX. EXILE (Göteborg) Way out West, 2011.
Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Herman Hansson
2. APOSTOLOS GEORGIOU. Untitled, 2012 // acrylic on canvas, 220x280 cm.
Courtesy of the artist and Rodeo Gallery, Istanbul. Image by Boris Kirpotin
3. KOSTIS VELONIS. Tribune Leading to the Ramp and Ramp Leading to the Tribune, 2014 // wood, acrylic, poster, 207x58x53 cm.
Courtesy of the artist
4. SOCRATIS SOCRATOUS. Stolen Garden, 2014. Installation, cast bronze.
Courtesy of the artist.