Nikos Alexiou - Yiorgos Gyparakis - Pavlos Fysakis - Yiorgos Koumentakis
The Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete and Αpollonia – European Art Exchanges, in the context of their collaboration for the exchange of artists from the younger generation, which started in 1998, presented three visual artists from Rethymnon and one composer in the exhibition “Cosmographies”, which opened its gates on October 22, 2012 at the Latterie in Strasbourg.
The work of these international artists from Rethymnon stand out for the interaction of the materials and its weighty intellectual quality.
These are the visual artists Nikos Alexiou, Giorgos Gyparakis and Pavlos Fyssakis, whose solo exhibitions were previously hosted at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete, and composer Giorgos Koumentakis, whose musical performance of the opening night remained in electronic form in the exhibition area as part of the show.
The curators of the exhibition were Maria Marangou, Art Critic and Art Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete, and Dimitris Konstantinidis, Director of Apollonia.
Specifically, the events in Strasbourg included:
The exhibition “Gate Α” of Nikos Alexiou, whose title came from the fact that Rethymnon was the first gate/passage into life and art for this highly important artist who worked either with primary materials like reed and paper or on the computer with the same sensibility.
The main body of the show is the artist"s “Study” for the flagged pavement at Iviron Monastery and the map of the same monastery. Monumental in both volume and content, this project began in 2003 and culminated at the Greek Pavilion of the Venice Biennale in 2007.
The exhibition included also traces of the past with the “Solar House”, a work in the permanent collection of CCA Crete (from the 1990s series), and traces of the future with the “Arrow” (from the 2008 series).
The show was realised with permission and support by the non-profit company "The Great Garden; Nikos Alexiou Archives".
The exhibition “Non Profit Line” of Giorgos Gyparakis presented a fictional island on which visitors are forced to discipline their body to the absence of physical activity or constant social wandering.
His sculptures emerge in the space as rock seats, as body receptacles for meditation, as implements for concentration, as mechanisms for spiritual workout which act upon the human body by exercising it and toning up its spirit.
The exhibitions of Nikos Alexiou and Giorgos Gyparakis were organised and presented in Rethymnon from May till September 2012.
Strasbourg hosted also the exhibition “Land Ends” of Pavlos Fyssakis, which was presented in the CCA of Crete in 2011.
This was a tour around the four extremities ofEurope. In the South the island of Gavdos and its craggy terrain, in the North Nordkapp and the white silence of the tundra, in the West the touristy Sintra and the glamour of its old summer palace, and in the East the Ural Mountains and the heavy legacy of gulags, nuclear stations and the most heavily radiation-polluted part of the world.
The common denominator is people—the most crucial factor, but also the least predictable. Be they Greeks, Norwegians, Portuguese or Russians, these people ‘of the extremes’ seem to live deep within themselves. They are sentinels ofEurope’s end, which may in fact be the beginning...
The work “Mediterranean Desert” by Giorgos Koumentakis consisted of 24 pieces whose content draws inspiration from the Mediterranean fauna and flora. As the composer notes:
“… We have all felt the power of the Mediterranean landscape to some extent; a landscape which is distorted day by day through the thoughtless treatment by its inhabitants.
The contemporary man"s relationship with the natural landscape—at times charged, imbalanced or nonexistent—was the starting point for this composition.
Music heeds no tourist guides. It becomes itself the medium for the reveries of the soul. It reconstructs the memories of summer and turns into a comforting guide for winter. Every time we open our window, the Mediterranean seais always there.
Each of the 24 pieces starts off as musical commentary on the particular physical traits of fish, birds, animals, insects and plants. The grouper, the rainbow wrasse, the cormorant, the black vulture, the dragonfly, the moth, the spearmint and the sage gradually begin to reveal the traits of their soul. In the agile movements of the garfish I tried to musically chart its psychological peculiarities.
"Mediterranean Desert" was commissioned by the "Michael Marks Charitable Trust".
Piano: Alexandra Papastefanou, Lorenta Ramos, Giorgos Konstantinou
Video installation & performance: Petros Touloudis
Soundscapes: Tim Ward
The two institutions, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Αpollonia, had already collaborated in the following projects:
1998: “Intimacies” as part of the 2nd Centres Des Marges meeting, ASFA Art Station, Rethymnon;
1999: “Nature in ten Chapters", Czech Artists, EOMMEH Building, Rethymnon;
2000: “On the other side of History”, CCA of Crete, Rethymnon;
2004: “Labyrinth”, / ASFA Art Station, Rethymnon;
2005: “Interaction”, Strasbourg;
2010: Raymond Emile Waydelich / Artillery Building, Rethymnon.
The exhibition run through November 11, 2012.
Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete
K.E.DI.R. /Enterprise of Rethymnon
Mesologhiou 32, 74 131 Rethymnon
Τ: +30 28310 52530, F: +30 28310 52689
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Apollonia – European Art Exchanges
12 Rue Du Faubourg de Pierre,F-67000Strasbourg
Τ: +33 (0) 9 53 40 37 34,
• http\\:www apollonia-art-exchanges.com