Kalliopi Lemos’s major solo exhibition ‘I AM I, BETWEEN WORLDS AND BETWEEN SHADOWS’, will open on 11th September In the Greek Girls School in Fener, founded in 1879 as Ioakimion School for Girls, and abandoned in 1988. The exhibition is curated by curator and critic Beral Madra, and constitutes a parallel exhibition on the occasion of the 13th İstanbul Biennale.
During the last decade, the work of the London based Greek multidisciplinary artist Kalliopi Lemos has exposed the wounding of human dignity. The majority of her recent international projects have addressed the hardships suffered by thousands of undocumented migrants in their efforts to find a place to live. With her upcoming exhibition in Istanbul, Lemos has turned her attention to the injustices suffered by women in contemporary society. Gross abuses of women and children have featured heavily in global news recently; from the continued rape and sexual violence against women in war zones, which was recently highlighted by the G8 countries’ decision to fund the battle against sexual violence in conflict situations around the world; to the recent escape of three women held prisoner for 10 years by a man living in a suburb of Ohio, USA; to the schoolgirl paedophile ring recently uncovered in Oxford, England; and the shooting by the Taliban of Pakistani schoolgirl blogger Malala Yousafzai (recently named by TIME Magazine as one of the most influential 100 people in the world), for simply defending her right to an education.
The artist has created seven evocative part-human, part-animal steel and resin sculptures, reminiscent of familiar mythological figures. Some on pedestals or crutches, and others hanging from the ceiling like a hunting trophy, and diverting our attention to our common primeval origins as well as the psychoanalytical perspective of mythology. These hybrid characters are imagined to be the natural copulation of human and animal bodies, heads and limbs; they are beings on a threshold, caught between two states or natures. The sculptures will stand alone like remote islands, a metaphor for the loneliness experienced after violation. A sound installation will also feature so as to evoke the atmosphere of the old school. Made of steel fillings, fiberglass and mild steel, the sculptures refer to brutal violations directly or indirectly experienced by women, for example the problem of women who are the victims of human trafficking. However, the story is also of the relatively mundane problems experienced by women in the Western world, such as the struggle to balance being a mother and having a career, or the effect the daily sacrifice of the feminine has on the psyche.
With this body of work Lemos aims to highlight such injustices, and make the viewer stop and think about the inequalities women still face in today’s society. As Lemos stated ‘I believe that human dignity is an inherent quality and an essential part of every human being that can never be separated from other characteristics of the person. Through time women have come to face and often accept behaviour of the social body that is insulting, wounding, suppressing and dominating and children have been exposed to a multitude of evil.’ This exhibition is an attempt to transcend the deadening global saturation of images, and demonstrate the lasting power of the imagination to create resonant, visceral images, that speak directly to the heart of the viewer, and aim to reach the core of social malaise. Lemos delves into a world of alchemy, mythology, dream and illusion to conjure up figures that force us to engage with and re-evaluate our understanding of the world, of how it is represented to us, and of women’s place within it.
PRIVATE VIEW: Wednesday 11th September, 2013, 17:00-20:00
RSVP: [email protected]
VENUE OPENING TIMES:
Lemos’s projects, since 2006 were intended to raise awareness on the ongoing illegal immigration from Turkey to Greece and to EU countries. In view of that, Lemos found in Istanbul a logical ground for her ongoing project. Lemos is currently exhibiting in the Byzantine & Christian Museum in Athens, while in 2012 she realized a solo exhibition at Antonopoulou gallery in Athens, and participated in the 3rd International Biennial of Canakkale, Turkey with her installation Pledges for a Safe Passage. Her exhibitions in 2011 included Navigating in the Dark, a three-part exhibition in Athens, Crete and London incorporating works made by Lemos over the past ten years. In 2011, Lemos also collaborated with acclaimed director Theodoros Terzopoulos, and participated in the group exhibition Polyglossia at the Onassis Cultural Centre Athens. Her works are on permanent display in public spaces in New York, Istanbul and Canakkale.
For more information, visit: www.kalliopilemos.com
IOAKIMION SCHOOL FOR GIRLS
tevkii Cafer Mektep Sok. No:16 Fener-Fatih