Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.
The international artist residency programme of Tinos Quarry Platform, presents the group exhibition "Curiosity", in collaboration with the Cultural Foundation of Tinos. Tinos Quarry Platform residency is taking place annually at the village of Isternia, Tinos Island, under the art direction of Petros Touloudis, with the aim to function as a platform for encounters between artists, curators, theorists, locals and visitors. More than just a residency centre, the platform promotes opportunities for research and experimentation at a place of deep historical and artistic significance.
The international residency is in dialogue with the history of the world-renowned Tinian marble sculptors, who defined Greek sculpture of the 19th and 20th centuries; this meeting of old and new creates a fertile ground for an edgy, contemporary production that places the island again on the global contemporary art map. Titled “Curiosity” and curated by Alexios Papazacharias, this year’s exhibition invited artists from Greece and abroad — artists with or without links to the Cycladic island who are nevertheless expected to explore Tinos based on their inquisitiveness, and delve into their own spirit of enquiry. Some of the artists are actually permanent residents on the island, others are frequent visitors while some have never visited the island before. What informs all of these artists’ practice is a persistent sense of curiosity provoked by the island itself, which also questions and challenges the traditional notions of Tinos, all the while causing purposeful displacements and creative ruptures even within the residency’s host organisations and institutions. As a reference point, curiosity gives artists complete freedom for their own personal experimentation and an opportunity for deeper acquaintance between them creating eventually complex and unexpected connections.
On this island of sculptors, marble as a reference is inevitable. Several of the artists participating used marble for their works, some for the first time in their careers. For example, Petros Touloudis presents the work “Secular Properties”, a proposal for the construction of an amphitheater in the municipality of Tinos, where its construction is seen by the artist as a public, collaborative sculpture. Cypriot artist Socratis Socratous exhibits “Auction Lots”, seven marble copies of used missiles from war zones in the Middle East, which found a second life in Cyprus, where they are sold in auctions as scrap metal. In another juxtaposition with marble and its connotations, Antony Jirat in the work “Black Sizes” uses archival cardboard-case covers, a material resembling the colour and the foliation of marble; the work is also playing with the idea of the monumental, as it juxtaposes the supposed elements of authority and immortality usually associated with marble constructions with the fluidity of self-organization and the fragile, impermanent existence of paper.
Another highlight from the exhibition is the collaborative installation by Paola Palavidi and Ioannis Kolliopoulos, which revisits the archive of Giorgos Poniros —a local who never received formal art education, but whose mania for collecting debris and love for assorting and layering his findings, produced impressive installations and collages. The documentation of these now destroyed installations has been reworked by the artistic duo, challenging our ideas of the definition and the delimitation of the art world (as Howard S. Becker would call it) and the artistic object. Other outstanding works are a graphite-on-paper drawing by Ilias Papailiakis titled “The Field (Study For a Wound)”, and an atmospheric sound intervention by Dimitris Papadatos, “Reverse Ariadne”.
The exhibition serves as a stage set whose actors left hastily for some inexplicable reason, disorderly leaving evidence of the theatrical act. The intense theatrical lighting emphasises the uncanny narrative seen in the works, whilst the viewer is invited to reconstruct the meaning using his or her own curiosity. Plain office sofas in which the viewer can repose, as well as house plants, handmade insect traps and other mundane objects create a mysterious locus that inevitably kindles curiosity. While in this space, you cannot stop thinking about the island’s mysterious atmosphere, with its countless stories about abandoned villages which the inhabitants fled suddenly and inexplicably, leaving behind them their property, their personal belongings and many stories that will remain untold.
Giorgos Agallou, Douglas Barrett, Franck Bragigand, Anastasia Douka, Antonín Jirát, Eleni Kamma, Katerina Kana, Ioannis Koliopoulos, Vasiliki Konstantinopoulou, Charalambos Kourkoulis, Melody Nixon, Paola Palavidi, Dimitris Papadatos, Ilias Papailiakis, Socratis Socratous, Iris Touliatou, Petros Touloudis, Filippos Tsitsopoulos.
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