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DESTE Foundation Announces Upcoming Exhibitions

The National Herald

Kaari Upson, False Foot (Dakis left Donkey right), 2021. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

ATHENS – The DESTE Foundation announced its two upcoming exhibitions, Anti-Structure, running June 2-October 27, and The Greek Gift, running June 22–October 31. In accordance with the public health and safety guidelines, there will be no opening events for either exhibition.

Anti-Structure, on view at the DESTE Foundation in Athens, 11 Filellinon and Em. Pappa Street in Nea Ionia, is curated by Andreas Melas. The exhibition takes as its starting point an immersive installation with works by Urs Fischer and places it in dialogue with the work of 21 Greek and Cypriot artists of various generations and modalities. Anti-Structure explores the far-fetched realm of fine lines between order and chaos, stasis and flux, structure and fragility.

According to the DESTE Foundation's news release: “Coined in 1969 by cultural anthropologist Victor Turner (1920–1983), `anti-structure' is a study of the state of mental and spiritual limbo that is characteristic of the second stage— the liminal stage— of any rite of passage, when the novitiate is neither here nor there but, betwixt and between, remains enveloped in abiding upheaval and disarray and a preternatural void. `Anti-structure' thus describes a stage of perpetual transformation characterized by moments of dissolution where `structural hierarchies are flattened or inverted.' Whereas the dominant ideology du jour was that any such breakdown would result in anomie and angst, Turner recognized that in times of great happenstance, culture in fact reboots itself and new symbols, models, and paradigms arise.”

“It is not unusual to find such pockets of clandestine novelty simmering deep in the underground, the pregnant margins of normative order,” the statement continues. “It is in these lands of strangers and exiles, that one finds fertile ground for radical thought and very strange ideas. It is these ideas cultivated in the fringes of institutionalized etiquette that bring forth novel ways of dress, posture, and expression, attitudes that when fully formed feed back into the system to either break or make the mainstream.”

The National Herald

Giorgos Tourkovasilis, Lambros (R. R. Hearse) with his friend Nancy, 1984 (detail). Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Anti-Structure features artworks by: Yannoulis Chalepas, Diohandi, Dora Economou, Andreas Embirikos, Urs Fischer, Sotirios Kotoulas, George Lappas, Tony Moussoulides, Aliki Panagiotopoulou, Rallou Panagiotou, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Nausika Pastra, Georgia Sagri, Lucas Samaras, Christiana Soulou, Takis, Thanassis Totsikas, Iris Touliatou, Giorgos Tourkovasilis, Pantelis Xagoraris, Marina Xenofontos, and Takis Zenetos

Hours: Wednesday and Thursday 12-8 PM.

The Greek Gift at the DESTE Foundation Project Space, Slaughterhouse, Hydra, is coordinated by Massimiliano Gioni.

Following the postponement of a special project by Jeff Koons commissioned for the DESTE Foundation's Project Space at the old Slaughterhouse in Hydra, Greece, due to COVID-19, a group of artists and friends of Dakis Joannou and the Foundation have come together to swiftly organize a small group show. This presentation doubles as a portrait of the collector and serves as a miniature survey of his collection.

Coordinated by Massimiliano Gioni, The Greek Gift brings together a series of new and existing works, alongside found objects and impromptu responses from a variety of artists who have maintained decades-long relationships with Dakis Joannou and the DESTE Foundation.

As noted in the Foundation's news release: “Part-divertissement and part-collaborative project, this small exhibition borrows its title from a chess tactic—the `Greek gift sacrifice.' This move, for which a player sacrifices a bishop in order to checkmate, in turn is believed to have been named after the mythical gift of the Trojan Horse from the Achaeans to the city of Troy. As any gift, it is a complex tangle of generosity and self-interest.

“As in a chess game, several artists have been invited to `make a move' by selecting artworks and objects from the collection; in response, Joannou and Gioni countered by choosing other pieces,” the statement continues. “Functioning much like a surrealist `exquisite corpse,' the exhibition sets in motion a series of chain reactions between artworks —a domino effect of intense proximities. Installed in the small, cavernous spaces of Hydra's Slaughterhouse, the works sit side by side, like toys in a doll house. On its door is inscribed Marcel Duchamp's maxim: `A Guest + A Host = A Ghost.'”

The Greek Gift features artworks and objects made by, selected from, or belonging to:

Anonymous, Pawel Althamer, Matthew Barney & Elizabeth Peyton, Ashley Bickerton, Kerstin Brätsch, Louise Bourgeois, Maurizio Cattelan, George Condo, William Copley, Roberto Cuoghi, Nathalie Djurberg, Marcel Duchamp, Urs Fischer, Robert Gober, Jenny Holzer, Dakis Joannou, Jeff Koons, Paul McCarthy & Mike Kelley, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Chris Ofili, Seth Price, Charles Ray, David Shrigley, Josh Smith, Kiki Smith, Christiana Soulou, Kaari Upson, Andra Ursuta, Meyer Vaisman, Nari Ward, Christopher Wool, Chen Zhen, Jakub Julian Ziolkowski, and others who will be announced soon.

The exhibition is open daily, 11 AM-1 PM and 7-10 PM, closed on Tuesdays.

More information is available online: https://deste.gr/.