The systematic excavations implemented under the shadow of the ideas of neoclassicism and romanticism by the archaeological schools of the emerging European nation states, brought to light numerous, yet unseen, fragments of earlier cultures. The condition of the findings, despite the deterioration and the elliptical quality of the figures, was idealized and influenced the Western perceptibility. It configured, not only a visual model but also an ideological, ethical and aesthetical legacy. What until then had only been slightly discernible, was eventually embedded in the Western Canon of modernity: the aesthetics of the fragment, the poetics of elliptical narration, concealment, repulsion and hint; and in dialectical contradiction, the logic of the archive (as a substitution for the incoherently structured –early colonial– cabinet of curiosities), the need for recalling, narrating and putting in order an already existing material, the retrospective attribution of meaning.
Fever of the antique associates the poetics of fragmentation with the sense of detachment experienced by modern subjects; the dematerialisation of the present and the urge to constantly interpret the elusive past, constitute the subject of exploration by the artistic practices, which are woven together in the curatorial project. The exhibition, above all, seeks to remind the need for tracing the path towards the principle of reality and encourages an embedded perspective as a prop, which will provide the foundation for the lessening of the local identity’s precarious correlations. Finally, Fever of the antique addresses a positioning beyond antiquity’s continuous recurrence (i.e. out of the power of the precedent), testing the symmetries between the present and the past.
Curated by Evangelia Ledaki
Artists: Paki Vlassopoulou, Kostis Velonis, Efthimis Theou/Electra Angelopoulou/Anthi Efstratiadou, Lizi Kalliga, Alexandros Laios, Kostas Bassanos, Yiannis Papadopoulos, Nina Papaconstantinou, Dimitris Foutris, Kostas Christopoulos
FEVER OF THE ANTIQUE Association of Greek Archaeologists