Narcissus Now Festival: Reimagining the Myth through Artists’ Eyes
- New Commissions by Andreas Angelidakis, Angelo Plessas, and Konstantin Kakanias.
- US Premieres by Blind Adam, Georgia Kotretsos and Eriphyli Veneri
- Works on Loan by Lynda Benglis and Jenny Holzer
New York, NY (September 25, 2015): The Narcissus Now Festival, a multidisciplinary weekend of arts and ideas expressed through art, music, film, choreography, literature and fashion, presents new, emerging and renowned artists, both Greek and American, as they respond to, interpret and celebrate the central Festival theme – Narcissus. Newly commissioned works by Andreas Angelidakis, Angelo Plessas, and Konstantin Kakanias will share the spotlight with works by artists working from Greece and in the USA at the Onassis Cultural Center NY. Online audiences can view the digital version of The Art Wall installation by Plessas and the Konstantin Kakanias illustrations commissioned for the Festival.
Presented free of charge during the Festival and extended for the Columbus Day holiday through Monday, October 12, the artists and works on view include:
Newly Commissioned Works
THE ART WALL
I AMness 2015 by Angelo Plessas
I AMness is a site-specific installation that comprises a website and a mural exploring the allure of the Internet for modern narcissists. In the virtual universe of the web, the narcissist discards one identity only to reappear in a myriad of aliases. Similarly, the repeating mandalas of I AMness create vivid and hallucinatory visual effects that attract and capture the gaze, dictating the viewer’s perceptual experience. The installation is accompanied online by the website I-amness.com.
Plessas, a Greek-Italian artist based in Athens, investigates the changing role of art and social practice in the time of the Internet through performances, sculptures, installations, books, interactive websites (more than sixty since 2000), and live-stream events. His work focuses on themes of authority and identity, as well as on the nature of abstract emotions experienced through electronic communication. Angelo Plessas recently won the prestigious DESTE Prize 2015 awarded by a distinguished international jury.
The Art Wall remains on view through December 2015 in the Olympic Tower Atrium; daily 8 am to 10 pm.
Mirrorsite 2015 – ongoing by Andreas Angelidakis
Andreas Angelidakis has curated the display of all works of art on view in the gallery of the Onassis Cultural Center to create an immersive atmosphere. Part of this artistic ensemble is his Mirrorsite, an ongoing investigation into the information overload that is experienced on the Internet. The project, an environmental projection, is based on a series of landscapes of mirrors, the ideal retreat for the modern Narcissus, one where he or she seeks refuge from saturation. However, the mirrors and their reflections will eventually trap Narcisuss with an illusion of infinite virtual spaces from which he will never be able to escape.
Angelidakis is an Athens-based artist and architect educated at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and Columbia University. His works lie at the intersection of art and architecture and focus on the concept of space and buildings, the society that inhabits them, and on the ways in which the Internet changes our behavior and perception of architecture. His projects have been on display in solo and group exhibitions in prestigious venues in Europe, Asia, and the U.S.
On View Online premiering September 30, 2015
On view, online at onassisfestivalny.orgonassisusa.org
The Inaugural Season Illustrations by Konstantin Kakanias
Konstantin Kakanias was commissioned to provide the illustrations for both the Onassis Festival NY 2015 and the Inaugural Season. Based on the iconographies that traditionally decorated Greek ceramics from antiquity, the images are updated with contemporary relevance through the insight and creative genius of the artist.
Konstantin Kakanias’s drawings, paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and animated films have been exhibited worldwide. His drawings have been published in magazines internationally including The New Yorker, Interview, Vogue, and the New York Times, where he is currently a contributing editor for T magazine. He has also published several books of his work, and designed textiles for both fashion and home decoration.
Works on Loan for the Narcissus Now Festival
Ten Columns (Sanctuary) 2013 by Blind Adam US Premiere
Blind Adam is a former Greek fashion editor whose genetic condition restricts his sight. This physical visual impairment has challenged the artist towards a new vision to explore and communicate art: his yarn constructions and canvases focus on the impossibility of perfect perception, demonstrating the deceptiveness of physical form and the fallibility of vision.
On view is Ten Columns, part of the installation Sanctuary, a ghostly Parthenon that charges the space with spirituality. These classical-inspired columns are testimony to the futile human impulse to create order out of chaos through aesthetic harmony, and to circumscribe and communicate the unknown. The structure of Sanctuary is insubstantial: the elements of this virtual temple collapse upon physical contact, confirming the treachery of human perception.
Blind Adam (Thanos Kyriakides) is based in Athens, Greece. He has presented his work in solo exhibitions at Galerie 104 Kleber, Paris (2014), The Breeder, Athens (2013), Kunsthalle Athena, Athens (2013), and at Suzy Tros Project Space, Athens (2012). Selected group exhibitions include “Hell As Pavillion” curated by Nadia Argyropoulou at Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2013), The Art of This Century at the Alex Mylona Museum in Athens (2011), at A Shaded View On Fashion Film festival, Centre Pompidou, Paris, (2011), at Chagallesque, Hydra School Projects in Hydra (2010).
NOW 1973 | 11:45 minutes by Lynda Benglis
The artist plays with two refracted images of herself on screen, directing and commanding her other self. The video was highly edited and re-taped to blend present and past sequences and selves to enhance the feeling of artifice. Using this technique Benglis blurs the line between documentary and performance, making it impossible for the viewer to understand which version of the artist is present, which is past, and which of these is therefore truly performing.
Lynda Benglis, a Greek-American sculptor and visual artist, is known for her wax paintings and poured latex sculptures. She worked and studied in Lake Charles and New Orleans (Louisiana), and New York. She held over 75 solo exhibitions and numerous retrospectives within America and around the world and her work is on display in national and international public collections.
Benglis executed a number of videos in the mid 1970s, continuing her exploration of female sexuality and identity—an overriding theme in her work. The interest in human form and presence in her process-oriented sculptural work finds its way into her self-reflexive, investigative videos.
YOU MUST KNOW WHERE YOU STOP AND THE WORLD BEGINS
From Truisms 1977-79 by Jenny Holzer
Projected on the Olympic Tower waterfall
For more than thirty-five years, Jenny Holzer has presented her astringent ideas, arguments, and sorrows in public places and international exhibitions, including 7 World Trade Center, the Venice Biennale, the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her medium, whether formulated as a T-shirt, a plaque, or an LED sign, is writing, and the public dimension is integral to the delivery of her work. Starting in the 1970s with the New York City posters, and continuing through her recent light projections on landscape and architecture, her practice has rivaled ignorance and violence with humor and kindness. Holzer received the Leone d’Oro at the Venice Biennale in 1990, the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award in 1996, and the Barnard Medal of Distinction in 2011. She holds honorary degrees from Smith College, The New School, the Rhode Island School of Design, Williams College, and Ohio University.
On view in the Olympic Tower Atrium; daily 8 am to 6 pm
Being-seen-by-another is the truth of seeing the other 2011
by Georgia Kotretsos US Premiere
In the myth of Narcissus, a pool served as the surface onto which he gazed at his own reflection. In Kotretsos’ work, that surface is the audience’s gaze: her artwork is the place where the viewer’s gaze finds refuge, and yet, the work is also reflected in the viewer’s gaze, in a complex and mutual narcissistic relationship. The triptych on view in the Foyer are the result of three consecutive moments, an open invitation for further narcissism that finds an interesting parallel with the ancient Greek myth, where the act of gazing takes central stage in the doomed love of the nymph Echo for Narcissus.
Georgia Kotretsos is a visual artist based in Athens who has lived and studied in South Africa, Natal and the United States. Her practice encourages speculative approaches to how knowledge is produced by resisting its traditional and historical acquisition.
She has exhibited in group exhibitions in Greece and abroad and has had five solo shows, most recently at the Maximilians Forum in Munich, Germany organized and curated by C9. She co-founded with artist, Natasha Papadopoulou, the Athens based collective WOMEN WITH TALENTS (2013) and co-founded Boots Contemporary Art Space, St. Louis (Missouri), USA (2006). She founded and edited the Boot Print journal (2006-10) and in 2009-13, served as a columnist for the PBS Arts feature Art:21 with her column “Inside the Artist’s Studio”. In December she will be an artist-in-residence at the International Artists in Bern program.
Moonstruck 2010 | 3:47 minutes by Eriphyli Veneri US Premiere
Described by the artist as “a re-contextualization of the self, the return journey to homeland Greece” the video presents obvious visual cues for Narcissus, perverting the myth with refreshing humor and self-derision. In Moonstruck, the artist throws effervescent paracetamol tablets into the sea, reflecting on the melancholia of returning in a place where the familiar has now turned unfamiliar, and the homesickness at home.
Eriphyli Veneri is an artist based in Athens. She has studied Painting at the Fine Arts School of Athens and she holds a Master’s degree from the Bauhaus University Weimar and a second Master’s from the University of the Arts Berlin. She has been displaying her work in solo and group exhibitions since 2006; in 2012 she was awarded the 2ndSpyropoulos Prize for her artistic practice and in 2013 she represented the Greek Participation at the 16. Biennale of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean in the field of visual arts. Since 2014 she is a doctorate student at the Department of Architecture of the University of Thessaly (UTH) in Greece.
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