Art confronting Covid-19

MOMus, still socially active and in the present condition, recommended selected works from its collections and its exhibitions in its online program "MOMus Resilience Project". Willing to be closer to the people who work, create, express themselves through their homes, MOMus began recommending aspects of "home", that is home life, as artists have perceived it to be in tempore non suspect (#MOMus Domus).

Today MOMus is expanding its resilience and calls you to share with us an image created by you that has artistic qualities, in response to the conditions of confinement that we experience. Give your own tone and let's make the digital album of these days all together (#SoFarSoClose).

[MOMus intends to use for its actions (which might include exhibitions, research, the purchase of works of art) certain works that will be posted on the platform and in which can be found trends that are in line with the institutions' artistic interests in terms of aesthetics, techniques, and content. In this case, the respective creators will be contacted.]

Χρύσα Νικολέρη, UL (Urban Landscape), 2000, φωτογραφία επικολλημένη σε αλουμίνιο, 89x119 εκ.

Climate crisis

Climate crisis

Land and water. A Greek phrase that since antiquity symbolizes the complete submission of one’s most valuable belongings to the conqueror. By whom has humanity been conquered and where has it been driven? What kind of reality, which causes and what phenomena "define" the complete submission of “land and water” today? How has humanity conquered earth, how has it exploited and spent its gifts?

The climate crisis is now being felt globally, and that was expected.

Earth’s memory and its traumas were made by nobody else but us, who today live in the era of the so-called "Anthropocene", experiencing humanity’s interventions and observing the irreversible consequences of our own choices.

In this chapter, each project/element is also a ghost: it is the fire that burns cities and forests, it is agriculture - the most ancient and revolutionary technology - and its natural and social dimensions, it is the remnants of our work on earth, our every passage, literally or metaphorically above the land of our existence.


Giorgos Gyparakis

Giorgos Gyparakis (1962)

Untitled, 1994

Copper

35x64x49 cm

MOMus Collections - Museum of Contemporary Art

Τhe cycle of life and nature, myth, and imaginary stories, feed the Yiparakis’s personal code of communication, which is complex in construction and concept. Combining post-industrial materials (such as construction wire, iron, rubber, boilers, fiberglass) with elements from nature (such as water, soil, fire, essential oils, sound), he creates installations and constructions which stimulate most of the visitor’s senses (vision, touch, hearing, smell). The installations, constructed in proportion to the surrounding space, hover between the real and the unreal, triggering associations of images from the individual and collective unconscious. The artist converts organic forms into sculptural pieces and, conversely, gives to recognisable objects of everyday use sculptural attributes from the natural world-for instance, a wire dress transforms itself into a tree.

Chryssa Nikoleri

Chryssa Nikoleri (1964-2017)

UL (Urban Landscape), 2000

Photograph mounted on aluminum

89x119 cm

MOMus Collections - Museum of Contemporary Art

Chryssa Nikoleri's photographic work carries a special artistic weight, consisting of documentations, portraits and historical moments, both local and at the same time cosmopolitan, which she loved so much. 
Nicoleri's work, in its entire range, is characterized by exactly this cosmopolitan character, with her restless gaze and abstract photographic style, plenty of special and sometimes eerie colors, keeping dominant the dynamic of light in her compositions. 
A.L.

Tassos Christakis

Tassos Christakis (1947)

Untitled, No I, 1990

Burnt wood

120x66x5 cm

Collections of National Gallery - Alexandros Soutsos Museum

"I want to reveal with the poorest means, to reveal with nothing", wrote the painter Tassos Christakis, who in 1990 will deal with the design transformation of the white of his paper into a light that shines dazzlingly, emerging through a charcoal-made dark environment. At the same time, he undertakes the sculptural rendering of the same idea, in a series of wall wood-plates with burnt surfaces, where the realistic presence of the blackened wood is transformed thanks to a technical processing through which emerges the conceptual dimension of the work.

Here the charcoal, from a design means is transformed into a textured material on which the light creates a multiplicity of reflections. This grated charcoal, an element of ultimate incineration, is used to frame and highlight a fire that continues to burn inside. Austerity of the means of expression and laconic formulation from which a semantic ambiguity arises, as the flame that burns the deepest layers of the wood can be seen as an element of destruction of the life-giving nature, but also as a symbol of life still within earth in a state of potentiality, capable of regenerating an entire burned forest. It is life that sustains form, and this power of rebirth represents the bright hope for a world which today is threatened by ecological - and not only - catastrophe.

K.T.

 

Rena Papaspyrou

Rena Papaspyrou (1938)

Fires in the city. Image through matter, 1988-1990

Strappo, cloth, color, electric light

MOMus Collections - Museum of Contemporary Art

Alexandros Psychoulis

Alexandros Psychoulis (1966)

R.P.2, 2001

Print on canvas

125x250 cm

MOMus Collections - Museum of Contemporary Art

Solomon Nikritin

 Solomon Nikritin (1898-1965)

Man and cloud, late 20s

Oil on cardboard, glued to canvas

142,3x142,3 cm

MOMus Collections - Museum of Modern Art

Omed Salehi

Omed Salehi

Cane land, 2003 Photograph

20x40 cm

MOMus Collections - Museum of Contemporary Art

M.T.

The photographer traveled to southern Iran in areas where there are large plantations of sugar canes and recorded the process of the hard manual labor of the workers who collect the canes. The earthy color palette, the strength and fatigue of the male bodies and the fast movement of sharp scythes create images of a strange dance performance that is revealed to us through the discreet intervention of the photographer, who realizes what a fine thing it is and how profoundly humanist in spirit to record a tough and dangerous routine which no one had ever thought to observe.

Omed Salehi

Omed Salehi

Cane land, 2003 Photograph

20x40 cm

MOMus Collections - Museum of Contemporary Art

Achilleas Apergis

Achilleas Apergis (1909-1986)

Untitled, 1961-62

Bronze

178x81x35 cm

MOMus Collections - Museum of Contemporary Art

Aperghis’ oeuvre remains one of the most poetic forms of abstract art in the field of postwar Greek sculpture. In 1958, he started to use metal rods, which he welded together, a technique that enabled him to “draw” on his material with the flame, creating compositions that transmuted the sculptural mass into a free-standing vocabulary.

Freya Najade

Freya Najade (1977)

Tomatoes I (Strawberries in winter), 2012

MOMus Collections - Museum of Photography

In order to have total control over the nutrients and the irrigation, tomatoes are planted in sterile material such as rock wool and not in soil. By doing so the tomatoes are according to the growers less likely infected by diseases, a smaller amount of pesticides is needed and the yield can be increased.

H.P.

Freya Najade

Freya Najade (1977)

Strawberries in Winter: Strawberries, 2012

MOMus Collections - Museum of Photography

Strawberry crops are grown on table top raised beds. The table top system ma.kes it easier to pick the fruits and eases the weed and pest control. A leaf and sap analysis determines the nutrient’s compound, which is fed with the irrigation water. To accelerate the growth of the plants, growers above add CO2 from a close by Shell refinery.

H.P.

Freya Najade

Freya Najade (1977)

Strawberries in Winter: Cress, 2011

MOMus Collection - Museum of Photography

Cress, tomatoes, cucumbers, or lettuce are grown in closed systems just with LED lights. There is no sunlight and no direct exchange of air with the outside. Day and night, summer and winter stop existing. Humans are able to determine the shape, taste and colour of plants and fruits. They can be grown anywhere from the desert to inside of restaurants and supermarkets.

H.P.

Sotiris Sorongas

Sotiris Sorongas (1936)

Stone, before 1977

Powdered pigment and acrylic medium on canvas

200x180 cm

Collections of National Gallery - Alexandros Soutsos Museum

The large-scale work entitled The stone, one of Sotiris Soronga's favorite subjects, is at the same time an impressive instilling of some of the basic qualities of his art: design skillfulness, ascetic austerity in the use of his painting tools and focus on the depiction of light, those are the means by which the artist is masterfully molding every small piece of the mineral world. Sensitive to all the spirituality that the duality between decay and incorruption can hide, the artist is actually dealing with a deeper ontological relationship, that of the essential being of things with the ephemeral nature of becoming. And the simple rendering of the volume-shape ends up to an intense contemplation, a suggestive reference to basic existential problems that plague modern man.

Like this hovering stone, a lunar landscape without a trace of life, in limbo on an undefined white background, in a disturbing silence that sounds like a looming threat of an impending doom or a harbinger of universal desolation if man continues to disrespect and recklessly pollute his mother earth.

 K.T.

Artemis Skeva

Artemis Skeva

Conservation, 2016 (photograph from the series)

MOMus Collections - Museum of Photography

In her series Conservation (2016) Artemis Skeva brings up in an imaginative as well as eloquent way the threat lurking over the planet’s flora and fauna. Trapped within square pieces of ice, her samples seem to conserve temporarily only their image, as the planet’s ice reserves are under strong pressure, due to the rise of the average temperature. For many of these species eventually what will survive is just images like these or some kind of an effigy.

 H.P.

Artemis Skeva

Artemis Skeva

Conservation, 2016 (photograph from the series)

MOMus Collections - Museum of Photography

Artemis Skeva

Artemis Skeva

Conservation, 2016 (photograph from the series)

MOMus Collections - Museum of Photography

Yiannis Pantelidis

Yiannis Pantelidis

Nothing personal: Evosmos, Thessaloniki, 2015

MOMus Collections - Museum of Photography

In his series Nothing Personal (2015), Yiannis Pantelidis explores the perimeter of the city of Thessaloniki, the invisible zone in which the city gradually penetrates into nature. The strong effect of the urban phenomenon, which extends and forces its various aspects on the natural environment, as well as the uneven relationship of the countryside with the metropolitan center are investigated here through images that reveal unseen landscapes in the city’s fringes.

H.P.

Yiannis Pantelidis

Yiannis Pantelidis

Nothing personal: Gallikos river, 2015

MOMus Collections - Museum of Photography

 

Allan Sekula

Allan Sekula (1951-2013)

Middle Passage, Chapter 3 from Fish Story [(1990-1993)], 1993

19 colored photographs and 4 panels with texts

Edition 2/5 and 1 AP (Artist's proof)

Purchase in 2002

ΕΜSΤ Collection

Allan Sekula expanded the artistic use of photography, combining practices drawn from conceptual art with those of documentary photography, in photographic installations which bring together photographic prints, slide projections, recorded conversations, written testimonies and other text. Through the political approach in practice, he explores the ways in which the capitalist economy, the industry, and the shipping business impact on the lives of ordinary people, workers, and communities. Middle Passage is the third out of a total of nine chapters of the larger photographic work Fish Story. The work has a dual form: on the one hand, it can be seen as nine-fold photographic installation consisting of photographic prints, slide projections, and text; on the other hand, it can be read as a seven-chapter book demonstrating the exact same structure with the addition of a supplementary essay, written by the artist himself. This essay discusses the subject of the installation, namely the role of ports and the shipping business in capital accumulation and the exploitation of seamen and dock workers. Middle Passage stands as an autonomous work within Fish Story, for which Allan Sekula watches and records the everyday life of seamen working on board a cargo ship carrying containers across the Atlantic Ocean. Through his photographic lens, he uses the opportunity to underscore the material, labor and environmental implications hidden beneath what in contemporary global economy is perceived as a vague flow of capital.

S.S.

Allan Sekula

Allan Sekula (1951-2013)

Middle Passage, Chapter 3 from Fish Story [(1990-1993)], 1993

19 colored photographs and 4 panels with texts

Edition 2/5 and 1 AP (Artist's proof)

Purchase in 2002

ΕΜSΤ Collection

Allan Sekula

Allan Sekula (1951-2013)

Middle Passage, Chapter 3 from Fish Story [(1990-1993)], 1993

19 colored photographs and 4 panels with texts

Edition 2/5 and 1 AP (Artist's proof)

Purchase in 2002

ΕΜSΤ Collection

Nikos Tranos

Nikos Tranos (1957)
A Glacier at our table, 2013
Glazed clay, wooden house table
230 x 180 x 100 cm
Donated by the artist, 2017]

ΕΜSΤ Collection

Tranos’ sculptural installation interrogates the concept of a nuclear winter, that is, the climatic conditions expected to prevail on the planet in the event of widespread nuclear war. The bright pink mutant forms, made of different types of clay, fired and glazed at 1,050° C, allude to the colour of the hospital ward where victims of radiation poisoning were treated after the nuclear disaster at the Daiichi power plant in Fukushima. Despite the fairytale image it presents at first glance, the work comments on our complacency at a time when the climatic change that will result from the use of nuclear materials is more a clear and present danger than a means of intimidation.

T.P.

George Osodi

George Osodi
Oil Rich Niger Delta, 2003 – 2007
Photographic installation
Projection of 120 digital photographs
Duration: 10΄, on loop

EMST Collection

 

Costas Tsoklis

Costas Tsoklis (1930)

The angels of the future, 2001
Installation
Video projection in colour with sound on a wall 500 x 375 cm, soil and litter
Dimensions variable
Donated by the artist, 2002

EMST Collection

 

Giorgos Gerontides

Giorgos Gerontides (1987)

A piece of land, 2013

Three channel video

MOMus Collections - Museum of Contemporary Art

The video installation A Piece of Land by Giorgos Gerontides is moving inside the realm of Land Art, Performance art and Video art. In the three videos the artist takes over the role of the farmer and “plows” a piece of land in a field inside the ex-military camp of Kodra, using a dustbin, then waters it and after a few days he “makes” (or offers us) a strip of green land in autumn. The general intervention of people upon nature and earth, the artistic gesture and the concept of luck all intertwine in this work with the purpose of connecting art with labor work, but at the same time the artist presents himself ironically with the cloak, as a kind of superhero.

A.L.

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