ATHENS – International curator Sozita Gudouna, inspirer of the "Artport" program of the Municipal Theater of Piraeus, brings to Athens for the first time a solo exhibition of the great provocateur artist Andres Serrano, as well as the video installation of the great artist and cinematographer John Akomfrah created at the abandoned Hellinikon airport. The revocation of the exhibition "Torture" and the installation "The Airport" is a production of the cultural organization Out of the box intermedia and the international platform Greece in USA. The exhibitions are presented in collaboration with the Municipal Theater of Piraeus.
In the context of the Greece in USA platform for the promotion of contemporary Greek culture in America, which presented in 2021 the work of 150 Greek artists, Dr. Sozita Goudouna curates and organizes in collaboration with the administration of the Municipal Theater of Piraeus the new cultural platform of the Theater that focuses on collaborations and cultural connections between America and Greece (USA in Greece) promoting artistic experimentation, visual arts, and its extensions for the wider contemporary cultural production in the new space of the Municipal Theater of Piraeus in the PPA Warehouses in the Port of Piraeus and in the main building of the Municipal Theater.
The art program composes a dialogue between two distinct artists that are seemingly quite different but that are in fact "so far but so close." Seventy-year-old American Andres Serrano, originally from Honduras and Cuba, who has expressed a desire to photograph the homeless in Greece, and 64-year-old Briton John Akomfrah, originally from Ghana, founder of the 1982 Black Audio Film Collective (BAFC) – one of the few international artists who managed to capture in such a poetic way the Greek crisis – are the exponents of this dialogue.
Andres Serrano reveals an often embarrassing reality through his camera. Religion, death, sex and violence permeate the work of the American artist. Since the 1980s, Serrano's work has sparked heated debate, raising questions worldwide about censorship, taste, public decency, and accepted forms of expression. Serrano's name, along with Robert Mappletorpe, was at the crossroads of the 1989 Cultural Wars in New York when his photograph Immersion (Piss Christ) (1987) became the subject of a national debate on artistic freedom, expression and public funding of controversial art. But Serrano, with the poetry of his work, goes beyond the public debate on the censorship of the work of art as expressed in his historical works, while John Akomfrah focused on the recent economic crisis in Greece and the abandoned Hellinikon airport to capture Greek History through an elastic sense and approach of historical time.
Torture by Andres Serrano
September 9-October 3
The solo exhibition "Torture" by Andres Serrano of the a / political organization https://a-political.org (Galerie Nathalie Obadia Paris / Brussels) discusses the history of torture. The act of inflicting intense physical or psychological pain from one person to another is as old as the history of the world itself. While torture was outlawed by the Geneva Convention in 1949 and subsequently banned by the United Nations Convention against Torture, the fact remains that at least 81 world governments currently practice secret and illegal, but sometimes overt, torture. With this work, Andres Serrano depicts the whole spectrum of torture that is embedded in our society: torture as a recreational and tourist attraction, torture in terms of concentration camps and interrogations, torture as a death sentence, and the history of modern-day torture. In doing so, Serrano states that “he took on the roles of both artist and torturer. As an artist, he shows the public what he sees. As a torturer, he must think like a torturer and take control. It's easy to torture people when you have power over them.”
The Airport, Spaceman in Landscape, by John Akomfrah. Photo: John Akomfrah
Daily 12-7 PM
Stone Warehouse PPA – Gate E2
Daily 12-7 PM
Opening event: Friday, September 17, 7 PM
"The Airport" by John Akomfrah
This is a video installation of three films that has been conceived as a meditation on the history of Greece and its recent financial crisis. The project focuses on the landscape of Southern Greece and the abandoned former Hellinikon airport that is being transformed. The film is inspired by the work of two films by Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) and Theodoros Angelopoulos (1935–2012). The resilient sense of time of the film refers to 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), while the technique of continuous movement between the camera, the characters and the locations of Angelopoulos is also used in a poetic result.
Greece in USA Founder and Curator, Dr. Sozita Goudouna. Photo: Courtesy of Greece in USA
Municipal Theater of Piraeus Main Stage
Screening hours: 12 noon, 5 PM and 7 PM
Screening time: 50 minutes
Number of spectators: 15 people per screening
Opening: Thursday, September 16, 7 PM
Production of Exhibitions: http://www.outoftheboxintermedia.org and https://greeceinusa.com.