Sunday, May 9, 2010

Loneliness on Common Ground

Yang Fudong
Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest and Other Stories
Duration: 11 May -5 September 2010
Curated by: Anna Kafetsi

The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, organizes the first major exhibition in Greece of the internationally acclaimed Chinese artist Yang Fudong titled “Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest and Other Stories”. The exhibition, which will be inaugurated on May 11th and last until September 5th, will include the complete five-part epic cinematic cycle “Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest” (2003-2007), the recent 6 channel video installation “East of Que Village” (2007), the monumental ten-channel video installation “Close to the Sea” (2004), as well as the earlier film “Liu Lan” (2003).

Yang Fudong was born in Beijing in 1971 and after studying painting at the Academy of Arts in Hangzhou (1991-1995), moved to Shanghai. He is considered as one of the most important Chinese artists with participations in some of the most prominent international exhibitions like Documenta 11 in Kassel and the first Guangzhou Triennial in 2002, the 50th and 52nd Venice Biennale in 2003 and 2007, the Taipei Biennale in 2004. He has also exhibited in major institutions such as Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, the Stedelijk museum in Amsterdam, the Parasol Unit in London, MuHKA in Antwerp, Zengdai museum in Shanghai, Asia Society in New York and Hara museum of Contemporary art in Tokyo. He is represented by Galerie Marian Goodman Paris/ New York and Shanghart Gallery, Shanghai.

Yang Fudong creates films, videos and photographs full of psychological tension and melancholy that touch upon subjects related to the rapid transformation of Chinese society in the recent years through stories of love and individual struggle.

Kostis Velonis
Loneliness on Common Ground: How Can Society Do What Each Person Dreams
Duration: 11 May - 5 September 2010
Curated by: Daphne Vitali

The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST) is organizing the first museum solo exhibition of the artist Kostis Velonis. His sculptural work often refers to historical events and art-historical movements and the focus is on political utopias and the failure of ideology. For the majority of his work, Velonis often uses found materials and his artistic practise is characterized by the combination of personal narratives with a re-examination of historical data.

Kostis Velonis was born in 1968 in Athens where he lives and works. He studied Cultural Studies at the London Consortium (Birkbeck College, ICA, AA, Tate Gallery) in 2000 and Visual Arts at the Paris VIII University, (Maitrise, D.E.A). In 2009 he received his Doctorate in architecture from the N.T.U.A University of Athens. He has participated in numerous exhibitions in Greece and abroad. His recent solo shows include: How one can think freely in the shadow of a temple, Kunstverein Hamburg, 2009; Craft Boy, Monitor Gallery, Rome, 2008; ...was einmal über heute gesagt werden wird: Köln Show2, BQ Gallery, European Kunsthalle, Cologne, 2007. Recent group exhibitions include: 2nd Athens Biennial, 2009; Brussels Biennial 1 for Contemporary Art, 2008; 9e Biennale de Lyon, Villeurbanne, 2007; In Present Tense. Young Greek Artists, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, 2007; The Grand Promenade, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, 2006. He is represented by Monitor gallery, Rome and Galerie Dana Charkasi, Vienna.

For his exhibition at EMST, entitled “Loneliness on Common Ground: How Can Society Do What Each Person Dreams”, Velonis will be presenting a number of large-scale sculptural works as well as some smaller sculptures that the artist created in 2009 and 2010. This exhibition will reassess the nature of Velonis’ oeuvre, focusing on some recent political works. The sculptures on view take Russian avant-garde, ancient Greek democracy and the working class consciousness as their subject matter, examining how these concepts and visions can be seen today. Through architectural constructions of Russian constructivist artists such as Liubov Popova and Gustav Klutsis, the artist refers to the contradictions that accompany the aims of the Russian avant-garde and the communist politics. His sculptures seek to unfold and question the ideologies behind political structures and to reflect upon ideas such as the utopian ideal, democracy and revolution. The exhibition will also present some works that bring out the artist’s interest for craft making and working class orientation. The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue (Greek and English), which features texts by Miltos Frangopoulos, Chus Martinez, Daphne Vitali and Florian Waldvogel.

A Clean Slate
xurban_collective Project, 2010
Curated by Daphne Vitali

The National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) organizes an exhibition of a new work of the international art collective xurban, from May 11 to June 20, 2010.
The xurban_collective was founded in 2000 and their members work in different cities like Istanbul, Smyrna and New York. They have presented their work in very important museums and exhibitions internationally, like the Venice Bienalle (2001), the Istanbul Bienalle (2003) and the Museum Of Modern Art (MoMA) of New York (2005).
In the EMST exhibition, the artists will present a new audiovisual installation that they created especially for the city of Athens.

“This work, created in 2010 by xurban_collective, constitutes an ongoing research about seas as defined by various manifestations of the global trade and economy, and by the flow of bodies as a possibility for retributive justice. We believe that any statements made within the new global order should adequately represent the “negligibly small” actors in the creation of wealth, including the earth, the sea and all living things.
In A Clean Slate, we regard the sea as the transmitter of a history (i.e. Mediterranean) and of wealth and culture as well as the source of biological richness. It is also the bearer of scourge, of oil spills and chemicals and of invading jellyfish and the disappearing reef. On it, the oil tankers and container ships sail to the effect of millions of tons, accumulating and transferring immense wealth at all costs. Refugee boats also sail across sometimes to catastrophic ends either while at sea or at their destination. On all the charted and monitored waters of the world, these boats are the most invisible. The sea’s horizon metaphorically represents freedom, hope, and a decent life.”