On show 'Videos and Picnic' and 'The Gadfly Festival', two videos which document the activity of the artist whose projects take as their starting points the countless public monuments from various centuries that make up the topographies of our cities.
Curated by Katja Schroeder
Ursula Blickle Foundation in collaboration with Westfälischer Kunstverein Münster will present the two-part solo show Videos and Picnic and The Gadfly Festival by Yorgos Sapountzis.
The works of Yorgos Sapountzis engage with public space, placing it in a new consciousness incorporating both the past and the present. Many of his projects take as their starting points the countless public monuments from various centuries that make up the topographies of our cities. These become the protagonists of his own performances, sculptures, and videos, presenting a striking juxtaposition of contemporary art, historical narration, and the theatricality of the stage. With apparently inexhaustible energy, Sapountzis—alone or together with his audience—stages choreographies that are somewhere between slapstick, gymnastics, and group ritual. Parasite-like, he advances into the empty public space, most often at night, to enter into a dialog with the sculptures standing there as well as his protagonists by giving a temporary performance using adornments of simple materials and costumes. From the recordings of these performances, he then creates his own video installations.
Almost all of his works combine elements of choreography, theater, costume, and organized chaos. Sapountzis's subversive appropriation of public spaces combines a sense of playfulness with a specific creative intent. His staging sets ephemeral and corporeal fragility against the sculptural purity and architectural solidity of the historic public monuments, raising questions as to who can utilize the public space and how the esthetic signs of the past should be read. This productive appropriation of history also expresses an anarchic intent. The simple materials that he uses, such as cloths, plastic rods, and newspaper, are joined by striking colors, which run through all of his works like a red flag. A further key design element in his works is electronic sound, which accompanies all of Sapountzis's video installations, and which he develops specifically for the installations in collaboration with Norwegian musician Øyvind Torvund.
In his solo presentations at the Ursula Blickle Stiftung and Westfälischer Kunstverein Münster, he will provide an overview of existing video works and will also develop new installations on site.
Closing event 22 April, 4pm. Lecture and conversation with Dr. Hannelore Paflik-Huber, art historian, Stuttgart.
A catalog to accompany the exhibition is being published by Sternberg Press in collaboration with Westfälischer Kunstverein. Contributions by Rosalyn Deutsche, Willem de Rooij, Chris Kraus, Veit Loers, and Katja Schroeder
Image above: Yorgos Sapountzis, Fast Cast Past, 2011. Video still. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi.
Opening Sat 19 May, 7pm. Introduction by Katja Schroeder. Performance by Yorgos Sapountzis
Ursula Blickle Stiftung
Mulweg 18, Kraichtal
Wed 2-4 pm, Sun 2-6 pm