Aristotelous Project

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Aristotelous Project
Vassiliki Tzanakou/Βασιλική Τζανάκου

17 September–4 October 2013
Opening: 17 September, 6–9pm
Kalfayan Galleries
26 Aristotelous Street
546 23 Thessaloniki, Greece
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 6–9pm;
Saturday noon–3pm
In a show that coincides with the opening of the 4th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, Arsen and Roupen Kalfayan have invited Jean Bernier and Marina Eliades, Sadie Coles, Peter Kilchmann, Gregor Podnar and Esther Schipper to join them in transforming six rooms in an office building that overlooks Aristotelous Square in Thessaloniki into a laboratory for examining contemporary trends in art.
Bernier/Eliades Gallery shows Lionel Estève, whose works can be defined as spatial drawings. Both non-formal and fragile, they are extremely powerful and stimulate perception of an infinite reality by unveiling an almost tangible space.  A post-pop mix of mythology, history, politics and religion that addresses fundamental issues of life through a surreal and ironic point of view characterizes the work of Dionisis Kavallieratos. The recent drawings of Christiana Soulou present characters from Jean Cocteau’s novel Les Enfants Terribles with her characteristic meticulous devotion to detail, which results in ethereal figures of great plasticity.
Sadie Coles HQ presents David Korty’s paintings that involve a fluid and rhythmic interplay of line, shape and colour that distances us dramatically from their photographic source images. His compositions are at once sizeable in scale and coolly understated in palette. Employing collage, ink and pencil, they simultaneously echo the angular configurations of origami, the simplified linearity of architectural plans, and the encoded appearance of ranked symbols or hieroglyphs. Depth is an uncertain quantity: buildings or a skyline are conveyed in the flattened form of a cross-section plan. Elsewhere, Korty’s intricate grids of boxes and glyphs strike a more ambiguous note, verging on the abstract.
Kalfayan Galleries features Dimitris Tataris’s solo show In God We Trust, which consists of drawings of portraits of major political figures who are each given an attribute of one of the seven deadly sins. They are installed in such a way as to “create” a courtroom with a drawing titled Nemesis in the center “acting” as the presiding judge. Tataris’s works exhibit a refined precision and consist of complex mosaics of images inspired by sources such as Renaissance and Baroque iconography, pop culture, mass media, archival material and literary sources.

Galerie Peter Kilchmann presents Jorge Macchi’s Souvenir (Zurich), which consists of 16 yellow cardboard boxes that create an imaginary play of sunlight falling through a non-existing window into the exhibition space. The ephemeral sunlight becomes a fixed object: single boxes that are not rectangular, although the sides are parallel and the angles are askew. Also on view is Teresa Margolles’s 51 cuerpos (51 Bodies) made of remnants of threads left from postmortem body stitching of nameless corpses. The work’s formalist-minimalist structure makes for the illusive presence of the dead that allows for the introduction of death into everyday reality.

Galerija Gregor Podnar features works of Tobias Putrih from The Macula, which are objects that result from a building that proceeds not so much by visual planning but rather through imperfect execution and a series of accumulated mistakes. It consists of stacks of cardboard cut from patterns created as people try to draw a perfect shape and then gradually amplify their own deviations. The final forms of these objects are, therefore, unpredictable. In Latin, macula means spot. It is also the term for the central area of the retina that mediates clear, detailed vision. The word also shares a root with “maquette”—a small, preliminary model.
Esther Schipper presents Christoph Keller’s video Verbal / Nonverbal, which shows a number of test subjects seated on office chairs, breathing deeply, concentrating and appearing somewhat nervous. Each blows into a colorful balloon, which expands and contracts with each inhalation and exhalation. Unable to remain serious, the participants burst into spontaneous and contagious laughter. For a moment all the lightness of the world seems no further away than a balloon—and yet it remains nonetheless evanescent. The video alludes to the construction and deconstruction of the self. It features a collective auto-experiment which involves overcoming isolated, preconditioned self-constructions of the world.