Through the fog: Descripting the present, curated by Nick Aikens, February 5 - April 2 2016

3

Didem Pekün, Of Dice and Men, 2011 – ongoing, 2 Channel Video Installation in an architectural environment.

HD Format Duration: 43 min. Courtesy of the artist.

  

State of Concept is happy to present the group exhibition Through the Fog: Descripting the Present curated by Nick Aikens. The exhibition includes works by six artists spanning video, photography and installation, many of them produced specifically for the exhibition or shown in Athens for the first time.

 

Across different countries and contexts an opaque, uncertain fog hangs over us. The effect of a foreboding mix of crisis and transition, this fog is increasingly hard to navigate, punctured as it is by various forms of state, economic and political violence. Within this haze, how can we visualize and articulate our own subject positions, modes of being and political agency in the world? What might it induce to describe and re-scribe the present? And what can artistic thinking; its processes and aesthetic strategies bring to this field of inquiry? ‘Through the fog: Descripting the present’ is an exhibition in essayistic form. A dialogue across contexts, temporalities and methodologies, it attempts to reflect on how we understand, speak to and move through an unfolding present.

 

'Descripting' is a term used by one of the artists in the exhibition, Christian Nyampeta, whose large hanging textile works – what he describes as envelopes –conceptually and physically navigate visitors though the exhibition. Inside these textiles his research into the concept and practice of idiorhythmy is presented via texts, graphics, recordings and the artist’s own writings. Drawing on the writings of Roland Barthes, 'descripting' speaks to a form of personal awareness. Rather than draw on more outspoken forms of political resistance, Barthes was interested in recognising how a deeper knowledge of ones own subjective impulses and everyday actions might foster agency. Within the context of the exhibition ‘descripting’ is understood as both a means to describe and take apart, offering the opportunity to re-think our own position afresh. Such an approach is evoked in Vangelis Vlahos’ eight metre work the ‘Foreign archaeologists form standing to bending position’ (2012), which shows a series of photographs of archaeologists ordered according to their body position rather than through historical or geographical categorization. Or Eftihis Patsourakis’ new works ‘Horizons’ (2016) that punctuate the exhibition and combine found photographs from Athens flea markets that puzzled together form imagined, shared horizons.  

 

Within the exhibition specific social and political contexts are zoomed in on or alluded to, such as Athens, Istanbul or London. Yet they are mediated through different subjectivities and processes of articulation, by re-purposing images and language, or in the form of diaries or interviews. Visitors will be met by a new site-sepcific installation covering the glass front of the gallery by Chrysanthi Koumianaki that rework slogans found on the streets of Athens through calligraphic signs that derive from designs for an ideal city conceived in Renaissance Italy. Elsewhere, as part of his ongoing project ‘How We Behave’, Grant Watson presents three new films comprised of interviews with Athens based writers, artists and activists that start from Michael Foucault’s assertion that ‘biographies could be the basis for a work of art.’  In a newly extended version of Didem Pekün’s two screen video ‘Of Dice and Men’ (2011 - ongoing), we are presented with a series of video diaries from 2011-14 that convey the artist trying to process unraveling political events including the Occupy Protests, Gezi Park and recent elections, interlaced within a web of tangential reflections. In these three works, as in the exhibition as a whole, a complex relationship emerges between protagonists and their context, forms of subjectivity and modes of address.

 

‘Through the Fog’ is framed by and inevitably responds to a sense of  crisis and political malaise. The positions presented seem to suggest, however, that to emerge from this ‘fog’ political subjectivity must be understood as emergent, in flux and critically self-aware. As such the exhibition aims to draw attention to the fluid, porous relationship between processes of subjectivization and political agency.

 

Artists: Chrysanthi Koumianaki, Christian Nyampeta, Eftihis Patsourakis, Didem Pekün, Vangelis Vlahos, Grant Watson.

 

Public Programme at Green Park:

On Saturday 7th of February from 7pm the curator and a number of artists involved in the exhibition will discuss their work and the conceptual framework of Through the Fog. More info on Green Park Facebook page.

 

 

Nick Aikens is a curator at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven. Current projects at Van Abbe include the exhibition 'The 1980s. Today's Beginnings?', opening in April and the publication 'What's the Use? Constellations of Art, History and Knowledge' (Valiz), of which he is a co-editor and contributor. He is part of the editorial board of internationaleonline.org and teaches at the Dutch Art Institute, Arnhem and the Design Academy, Eindhoven. 

 

Read more about the exhibition here.

 

With the support of OUTSET Contemporary Art Fund (Greece) and OUTSET Contemporary Art Fund (UK)

outset logo

 

 

Christian Nyampeta’s work is made possible with financial support from the Mondriaan Fund 

Logo downloads EN web blauw

SAHA Association provided production support for the artist Didem Pekün

saha logo

 

 

 

State of Concept and Didem Pekün would like to especially thank SALT Beyoğlu

salt-beyoglu-logo

 

 

 

Grant Watson’s work is produced by If I Cant Dance and The Showroom and is supported by the Arts Council of England 

arts council logo

 

 

Hospitality sponsor

NEW Memeber DH

 

Media Sponsors

MAD TV BLACK OUT

logo CULTURENOWGR           1908308 10152034356261607 705448523220773508 n           IMG 2546          

logoWhiteOnBlackRoundedgr

 

 


Installation images

 

soc16highIMG 8491

 Through the fog: Descripting the present, installation view © State of Concept, 2016.

 

soc16highIMG 8426

 Through the fog: Descripting the present, installation view © State of Concept, 2016.

 

sof16highIMG 7003

From left to right:

Christian Nyampeta, Envelopes (2015), Sequentia (2015) & Hosting Structures (2015), 

installation view © State of Concept, 2016.

 

soc16highIMG 8414

Christian Nyampeta, Hosting Structures, 2015, detail, installation view © State of Concept, 2016.

 

soc16highIMG 8417

From top to bottom:

Christian Nyampeta, Dossier (2011 - ongoing) & Hosting Structures (2015), installation view © State of Concept, 2016.

 

soc16highIMG 8395

Grant Watson, Kiriakos Spirou and Michelle Dizon, 2014-15, excerpt from “How We Behave” (2012-ongoing),

installation view © State of Concept, 2016.

 

soc16highIMG 8451 

soc16highIMG 8520

Didem Pekün, Of Dice and Men, 2011 – ongoing, installation view © State of Concept, 2016.

 

soc16highIMG 8500

 Through the fog: Descripting the present, installation view © State of Concept, 2016.

 

soc16highIMG 8486

Eftihis Patsourakis, Horizons 09, 2014, installation view © State of Concept, 2016.

 

soc16highIMG 8430

sof16highIMG 7079

Vangelis Vlahos, Foreign archaeologists from standing to bending position, 2012, 

installation view © State of Concept, 2016.

 

sof16highIMG 7101

Eftihis Patsourakis, Horizons 03, 2014, installation view © State of Concept, 2016.

 

sof16highIMG 6967

Chrysanthi Koumianaki, Down with the abstract. Long live the ephemeral!, 2016, detail,

installation view © State of Concept, 2016.

 

sof16highIMG 6951

Chrysanthi Koumianaki, Down with the abstract. Long live the ephemeral!, 2016, © State of Concept, 2016.

 

Photo credit: Constantinos Caravatellis.