Friday, 16 November 2012

Surprise IV


For the 4th consecutive year ArtAZ, in association with various Greek and International artists, is organizing its annual art event for the support of the homeless of Athens, which will be fulfilled through "Klimaka".

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Genitalia 2

Private view
Sunday 26 August 2012 6 – 9pm                                  
[Come and celebrate the August bank holiday]

Exhibition open
27 August – 9 September 12 – 6pm
VEGAS Gallery, 274 Poyser Street, E2 9RF

postcardwall is once again exhibiting its entire collection to date at VEGAS Galley, Bethnal Green. Offline & on the wall with a twist, this exhibition will also exhibit a selection of artists that inspired the wall, showing their new work alongside the remembered image.        

Exhibiting artists Katie Elder, David Anthony Hall, Heringa/Van Kalsbeek, Sorcha O’Brien, Ann Pitkin, Olympia Polymeni, Roy Wright & Gwen Yip.

postcardwall is a blog about art inspired by postcards. Begun in 2009 by Sophie Hill, there are now over 300 postcards ‘on the wall’ and all will be exhibited along with their ‘blurb’ in an exhibition that is just as much about words as it is about art.

Taken from contemporary exhibitions as well as historical collections, each postcard is written about to promote and remember both fleeting and permanent displays. With postcardwall’s aim of creating a platform for all kinds of art, postcards come from a range of exhibitions and galleries — from MA graduate shows to institutions such as the National Gallery – with their words amounting to over 70,000 of art history and contemporary criticism. Words are added not to judge, but to elaborate and provoke further interest and discovery.

Contact Sophie Hill on for more information.

Vegas Gallery

Chosen as This Month's Top 5 by Whitechapel Gallery First Thursdays

Friday, 20 July 2012

Wax Dolls

From the publication of the group show Concrete Mirrors in Crypt Gallery
15 August-22 August 2012, London


The sculptures here exhibited are the first of the Anorexeneia series, the new project of Olympia Polymeni.
Anorexia, whose Greek etymology means “without desire”, brings people to exercise control over their own body shape in the quest of an ideal beauty.
However, while this is meant by the person affected by the illness as a way to sculpt his/ her own body in a perfect shape, the results are emaciated and gaunt bodies unable to sustain themselves. This shift of perception is here re-proposed by the artist, as she uses her on-going interest on the female body and its depiction to move the artistic discourse toward the political situation of her own home country, Greece.
Through a sophisticate name game, not understandable by the non-natives, the waxes are linked  to the Elgin marbles, object of an international dispute between Greece and UK, and  in fact known by the Greek people as Elgineia ( “of Elgin”).

If seen as devoid of any human shape, the waxes recall the formal beauty of Hellenic classical sculptures, with clean lines and exquisite draperies.
On the opposite, the warmth and smoothness of the wax and its off whitish colours hint also to the frailty of bones that doesn’t receive enough food sustainment to be as hard and strong as they are supposed to.
 Preying its own flesh, in the research of its ancient beauty and strength, Greece suffers the outburst of a deadly sickness and needs stronger bones to get through this challenging period.

Text by SILVIA CASO, independent curator, London

The Crypt Gallery, St. Pancras Church
Installation view

Photographs by Antonella Ferrari 



Thursday, 5 July 2012

Ort Gallery Poster

Ort Gallery

Supporting emerging artists in Birmingham

Ort Gallery is a new gallery in Balsall Heath, an underprivileged neighbourhood in Birmingham. Ort Gallery’s aim is to showcase artwork from emerging artists, promote West-Midlands based artists and bring high quality art to the local area without the heavy price tag. Ort Gallery will sell cheap poster prints made exclusively for the gallery by the artists and allow the artists to earn an income and the buyers to invest in local talent. Furthermore the gallery will provide the local community with workshops and art related events. The entry to Ort Gallery will be free of charge and for workshops only a small fee will be charged. The workshops will allow for encounters between the local community and people attracted by the events.

This new project will bring quality art to a neighbourhood that is lacking cultural events that are questioning the local politics, the economic situation and the multiculturalism found in Birmingham. Josephine Reichert will run the gallery with the help of volunteer invigilators, made up partly of exhibiting artists.

Thursday, 24 May 2012


The Aristotelian peripatetic school linked the act of moving physically across a space with the development of a philosophical method.
Paying homage to her origins, Olympia Polymeni has actualized the concept, inviting the viewers to a walk into her artistic practice.

In the labyrinthine corridors of the “Old Print Works” building, location of the Ort CafĂ©, the visitor is immediately cast as the show's first actor, having to operate a decisive choice about movement and direction.

In the first room, red lines of color bleed through the whole length of the paper as open wounds.
The paintings were realized letting the acrylic running on a small tablet, in an apparently free process whose movement was however under the artist's control since the beginning. The rich, saturated color of the works offers a dramatic contrast with its clean lines, and hints to a royal welcoming attribute, idea that will be re-proposed in a corridor upstairs.

There, a sculpture, which was transported on the site in a small box - almost a funerary urn for fragments of imagination –, has been posed on the red pavement.
Stripped of its original hubris, this setting aims to overcome the explicit dichotomy between the red-carpet glamour and the mundane decadence of the box, and to inspire instead a breath of curiosity toward life’s possibilities.

The choice of Plasticine as the artwork’s material is not casual; Polymeni wanted to render the plasticity of classical sculptures and of anthropomorphic bones through a medium that was cheap and disposable, as human flesh seems to be considered in this contemporary society.
Plasticine was chosen also for being prone to endure, and show, the distress of travelling to Birmingham from London, where the artist’s studio is located.
Leaving a mark on the sculpture through movement was meant as a way to transform it from factual object to artwork, in the same way as in the peripatetic school thoughts were shaped into philosophy.

Walking through the building while looking for the artworks, the viewers become allies and conspirers to an almost voyeuristic act of discovery.
The flesh of these bones and blood are the viewers themselves, and pushing them out of a comfort zone, as in a transient memento mori, is a reminder that everything -art, people- has to die, but for now it is very much alive.

Curating and text by Silvia Caso 

10 white kilos, plasticine, 2012

Friday, 17 February 2012

F******* Puzzles

Feminism (“a bad word”) Puzzles is a project that follows how the idea and the depiction of the female body have been developed through time by artists or by feminist art in particular, and how the body is associated to politics.

The aim of the project is to revisit the work of key women artists juxtaposed to the work of more marginalised or even male approaches in order to challenge the perception of the viewer nowadays. Feminism Puzzles invite the viewer to find similarities or differences of meaning and visual codes between the two images.

F******* Puzzle 1

Photo 1: Vlassis Caniaris, Untitled, plaster and carnations, 1969
Photo 2: Hannah Wilke, Untitled, latex rubber, c. 1980

Break the silence: The exhibition of Vlassis Caniaris

The exhibition that signaled the exit from the artists' silence came in May of 1969 by Vlassis Caniaris (1928-2011). This historical and much - discussed exhibition took place in New Gallery, Athens and had an intense political and in a way activistic character, as it aimed not only to protest against the Regime but mainly to activate the Greek people. The works displayed included human members and objects in plaster, barbed wire, red carnations, all of them -especially plaster and carnations- with a deep symbolic meaning. The plaster, which morphologically belonged to Caniaris' work (he had already used plaster from 1963-64), was a direct reference to Papadopoulos' famous phrase "Greece is sick. We had put her in plaster. She shall remain in plaster until she recovers."
There was no exhibition catalogue as Caniaris himself had sensored the texts that were going to be published in order to avoid the exhibition from being "targeted" by the Junta. The artist says "My aim was to keep the exhibition from being targeted because then others would have lost their courage, those who were working in the context of the resistance". Instead of catalogue each visitor was offered a red carnation growing in a small plaster cube, also symbolic of the idea that the carnation is growing despite the plaster.
A few days before the exhibition Caniaris had sent abroad three packages containing the small plaster cubes with the carnation, photographs of the works and a biography so that they could be used in case of the exhibition being "targeted" by the dictatorship as he was afraid. The exhibition was a great success -Caniaris had to make another 1000 plaster cubes with carnations for the people visiting the exhibition during the 21 days that it lasted- fulfilling its aim. Even the international press published the story. After the exhibition the artist had to leave the country for Paris because he was in danger of being arrested by the Regime. Eleni Ganiti 
American Feminist Artist Hannah Wilke
Hannah Wilke (1940-1993), is considered the first feminist artist to use vaginal imagery in her work. In the early 1960's she first made her signature vaginal ceramic sculptures, and in the mid 1970's she began to experiment with latex, creating individual pieces and installations of multiple "blossoms". 
"I become my art, my art becomes me... My heart is hard to handle, my art is too. Feel the folds; one fold, two fold, expressive, precise gestural symbols... latex rubber, the loose arrangements of love vulnerably exposed..." (Excerpts of Hannah Wilke Letter in Art: A Woman's Sensibility, Feminist Art Program, California Institute of the Arts, 1975.)
Visual Prejudice has caused world wars, mutilation, hostility, and alienation generated by fear of "the other."... The pride, power, and pleasure of one's own sexual being threaten cultural achievement, unless it can be made into a commodity that has economic and social utility. ... To diffuse self-prejudice, women must take control of and have pride in the sensuality of their own bodies and create a sensuality in their own terms, without referring to the concepts degenerated by culture. ... to touch, to smile, to feel, to flirt, to state, to insist on the feelings of the flesh, its inspiration, its advice, its warning, its mystery, its necessity for the survival and regeneration of the universe. (Excerpts from complete text originally published in American Women Artists, exhibition catalogue, Museo d' Arte Contemporani, Sao Paulo, 1980. Published in Hannak Wilke: A Retrospective, University of Missouri Press, 1989.)