NEW YORK – “Together they come,” an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Eirini Linardaki, opened on May 25 at the Consulate General of Greece in New York. Inspired by the painting “The Wreck of Hope” by Kaspar David Friedrich which portrays the shipwreck of the vessel Hope in the Arctic Sea but was painted in the confines of his studio, Linardaki’s dynamic series of paintings and drawings tackles real life, historical, and political events. Linardaki, in this series of watercolors and drawings, identifies herself with this studious practice of archival research in the military and historic fields, but paints using a traditionally naturalist technique to accentuate the detail, texture, and composition of these memorable images.
Linardaki told TNH, she is interested in that moment when a human-caused or natural catastrophe induces a dazzling, tragic, and captivating sight, reminding us of the allegory of the cave by Plato. Her artwork serves as a representation of the suddenness of these tragedies.
The title of the exhibition is inspired by a quote from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, “Some of you say, ‘Joy is greater than sorrow,’ and others say, ‘Nay, sorrow is the greater.’ But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.”
When asked about the works on display, Linardaki told TNH about the theme of the series, noting the image of the boy playing with an iPad and how the other images of war and catastrophes are connected through this idea of grown up “boys” continuing to play not only video games, but war games on a much larger scale, with helicopters and human lives as their playthings. She also told TNH about the video installation which replaces the Consulate’s typical tourist video with artists talking about where to find the best pizza in New York and showing how moustokouloura are made, adding another level of interest to this thought-provoking exhibition.
The works on display draw the viewer in with some scenes so familiar and yet completely transformed through the artist’s skill, they require a second and third look to truly appreciate the connections to the theme and the realization that these often beautiful images are the result of tragedy. It reminds us of the line from W.B. Yeats’ Easter, 1916, “All changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born.”
Especially for the opening of the exhibition, Shani Ha presented a new Embody performance in collaboration with Caroline Dartey. Embody plays with abstraction and metamorphosis to incarnate complex shifting identities, representations, and interactions. The soft transformative sculptures blur the boundaries between sculptures, body, and performance. Embody sculptures are constantly morphing and adapting to the contexts and silhouettes to produce successive ephemeral sculptural forms. Dartey’s performance activated, appropriated, shaped, and explored the physicality of the metamorphosing sculptures to echo the way we already inhabit our own body. Moving through the gallery space, Dartey created a dynamic counterpoint to the works on display.
Eirini Linardaki was born in Athens and studied art in France. She has worked and exhibited in several countries, including the Boijmans Museum, Rotterdam; Onassis Cultural Center, Athens; Salon de Montrouge, Paris; Fri-Art Kunsthalle, Fribourg; Natural History Museum, Geneva; Macedonian Contemporary Art Museum; Hamburg Kunsthaus, The Knockdown Center, NY, and the Bronx Art Center, NY. Linardaki partnered with Rutgers University for a public art project highlighting Branch Brook Park in Newark, NJ. She is collaborating with the City of New York (Department of Transportation, NYC Mayor’s Office- Climate Policy and Programs, and Parks Department) in several public art projects that are visible throughout the city of New York. This year, Linardaki is a resident artist in Institut Francais d’Athènes, Greece, creating in situ installations and murals.
Linardaki’s exhibition “Together they come” is on view May 25 – August 31, Monday–Friday: 9 AM-2:30 PM.
Among those present at the event were Consul General of Greece in New York Konstantinos Koutras, Consul of Greece Lana Zochiou, Dr. Marinos Petratos, Olga Alexakos, Aristides Logothetis, Artemis Kohas, Nektarios Antoniou, members of the community and the press.
More information is available online at: http://linardakiparisot.wix.
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