PROPOS D'EUROPE 17
Exhibition from 15 October to 16 December 2018
Tuesday to Saturday: 2pm to 7pm
Public Opening on Monday 15 October 7pm to 9:30pm with curators, artists and scholars, as part of the FIAC VIP program
12, rue Mallet-Stevens
75016 Paris, France
With Ignasi Aballí, Kostas Bassanos, Alejandro Cesarco, Daniel Gustav Cramer, Théodora Domenech, Detanico/Lain, Haris Epaminonda, Paul Feigelfeld, iLiana Fokianaki, Dora García, Mario García Torres, Kostas Ioannidis, Lenio Kaklea, Margaret Kenna, Chrysanthi Koumianaki, Julien Nédélec, Emilie Notéris, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Nina Papaconstantinou, Jonas Staal, Wendy Tronrud.
Curated by Grégory Castéra, Iordanis Kerenidis and Piergiorgio Pepe
This exhibition questions how to construct a common imaginary beyond binary oppositions, through transposing the experience of twenty artists and scholars from the Greek island of Anafi during the Phenomenon biennale to a foundation in Paris, in the former workshop of a modernist architect. 2018 Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award.
For the 17th edition of Propos d’Europe, yearly contemporary art exhibition dedicated to cultural diversity in Europe, the Hippocrène Foundation invites Iordanis Kerenidis and Piergiorgio Pepe, collectors and founders of the Phenomenon association, to present an exhibition and a program.
The project brings together all participants from the project Phenomenon that takes place every two years on the remote Greek island of Anafi. Phenomenon includes performances, conferences, projections and an exhibition throughout Anafi and has been exploring since 2015 questions around (in)visibility in relation to language, light, history, and marginality. Phenomenon has recently been awarded the prestigious 2018 Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award for Greece.
Multitudinous Seas questions the conditions that may enable transposing a “peripheral” project like Phenomenon to the “centre” of Europe and the types of possible strategies that can destabilize binary constructs, like periphery and centre, North and South, citizens and refugees. One reason that such binary oppositions are perpetuated is that the corresponding words have been so strongly associated with each other and with their stereotypical properties – the civilized centre, the lazy South, the job-stealing refugees, the entitled citizens, etc. The project hopes to disentangle such categories from their normative associations and create differential and unstable connections, without denying the specificities, questions and needs of the places concerned. How else to talk, in a pro-European foundation situated in the workshop of a famous modernist architect located in the center of Europe, about Greece or the crisis, other than trying to undo stereotypes and propose new unions, new perspectives, and meanings for such specificities, questions and needs? This questioning was triggered by the only audio recording of Virginia Woolf, where she underlines that it is very difficult to use certain words because they have contracted so many associations in the past, so many “famous marriages”. She wonders, using Shakespeare’s Macbeth as an example, who can use the word "incarnadine" today without thinking of "multitudinous seas".
The exhibition will present artworks by artists Ignasi Aballí, Kostas Bassanos, Alejandro Cesarco, Daniel Gustav Cramer, Detanico/Lain, Haris Epaminonda, Dora García, Mario García Torres, Chrysanthi Koumianaki, Julien Nédélec, Christodoulos Panayiotou and Nina Papaconstantinou. Documents from the 1960s Anafi fieldwork of anthropologist Margaret Kenna will also be presented.
In November (date will be communicated later), the exhibition will host a performance by Dora García (with Geoffray Carey), a talk by iLiana Fokianaki and Jonas Staal, both addressing the rise of authoritarianism in Europe.
On December 16, most of the works will be uninstalled to host a dance performance by Lenio Kaklea, and a talk with the curators about the future program of Phenomenon 3 (July 2019).
The exhibition guide will include a newly commissioned text by Feminist SciFi writer Émilie Notéris.
Recordings by philosopher Théodora Domenech, media theorist Paul Feigelfeld, art historian Kostas Ioannidis, and writer Wendy Tronrud will be available online as part of the exhibition (link will be communicated later).
Situated in the former building of modernist architect Robert Mallet Stevens, the Hippocrène Foundation is a family-owned non-profit organisation that works to promote the construction of genuine European citizenship by young people building the future of Europe. The Foundation’s mission is to support concrete projects sponsored by or for young Europeans, in all areas (culture, education, social and humanitarian) that leave way for dialogue and sharing to build a sense of common European citizenship. Since 2006, the Foundation’s President, Alexis Merville, and its Vice-Presidents, Michèle Guyot-Roze and Nicole Merville, and the Director Dorothée Merville have carried on the mission of the Foundation and the philosophy of its founders.
IORDANIS KERENIDIS AND PIERGIORGIO PEPE
Through their collection and their projects, Iordanis Kerenidis (research director in quantum theory at the CNRS) and Piergiorgio Pepe (ethics advisor and lecturer at SciencesPo) support an art which is conceptual, rigorous in its form while political and intimate; an art that challenges normativity or binary oppositions, giving priority to marginal perspectives and fluid intersections.
In this context, they founded the association Phenomenon which organizes a biennial program of artists’ residency and exhibition on the island of Anafi, Greece, for which they have recently received the Montblanc Arts Patronage Award. They also host interdisciplinary events and have a publishing activity that includes artist books and catalogues.
Grégory Castéra is the founder and co-director of Council, a curatorial program and a fellowship driven by the belief in the transformative potential of arts and working towards extending their influence across domains. He served as co-director of Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers (2010–2012) and worked as educator of Bétonsalon (2006–2010). He was co-author at the Encyclopédie de la Parole, a collaborative inquiry into the formal properties of speech. (2007–2014). Since 2017, he has been collaborating with Iordanis Kerenidis and Piergiorgio Pepe on various projects.
Grégory Castéra: email@example.com
Piergiorgio Pepe: firstname.lastname@example.org
Images available on demand.
Image above: Multitudinous Seas (Typezonetype), Detanico/Lain, wall painting, 2018.