Marina Abramovic, David Hammons, Robin Rhode. Within the exhibition, each artist encourages the audience to freely ponder between the lines of our public and private lives, eager to provoke unexpected discoveries unto ourselves.
An ephemeral happening in life, chance is similar to performance, yet here it is staged
and revealed through monochromatic photography, video and variegated installation.
Each performance challenges the mystical nature of chance having used the body and a tool with no absolute ruling. The action sways in either direction beyond one’s control and within this limbo, the viewer is invited to decide for themselves.
Often describing herself as the “grandmother of performance art”, Marina Abramović plays between the breaking points of the body and the mind. In her collaboration with longtime partner Ulay, she surrenders full control and enters a life-threatening, vulnerable position in their performance, Rest Energy (1980). Applying the weight of their bodies, Abramović leans backward grasping a bow, while Ulay opposite her also leans backward, clinging onto the taut arrow directed at her heart. As the timed four minutes pass, they remain steadfast countering their fatigue and rapidly increasing heart beat. Abramović admits, the performance explored love and “complete and total trust”.
Countering this private world, David Hammons in the 1970s became preoccupied with the breakdown of cultural classifications placed in the “high” or the “low” and set the judgment of the art historical canon into question. His installation Untitled from 2008 launches this conceptual ideology by confronting the elitist identity of painting, notably abstract expressionism. Hammons imprints his physicality by actively thrusting a wooden armoire with its mirrored front against the colorful, gestural surface of the canvas. Here, the artist summons the viewer to imagine and reinterpret distinguished forms of twentieth century art, with no control in the final resolve.
Drawing from South African post-apartheid experiences and the memories of those generations before him, Robin Rhode’s subject matter varies from poverty, politics, petty crime, gambling and racial stereotypes. In the photographic installation, 36 Ways a Dice can Roll/ Dice (2011), he captures the fundamental human will to succeed, often with great risk to achieve a certain desired reward. The thirty-six storyboard inspired panels depict Rhode as protagonist, disguised as a common “suit”, tossing an imaginary, colossal pair of dice drawn on an industrial urban wall. Through a sequence of staged sweeping actions, the viewer reflects on the tension between desire, gain and loss in the ever unpredictable game of life.
The George Economou Collection is a private collection located in Athens, Greece. Rooted in history, social awareness and aesthetics, the collecting activity began evolving in the 1990s with a focus on early twentieth-century European art and has expanded to include an important holding of postwar and contemporary art.
Central movements of the early twentieth century such as German Expressionism and New Objectivity are collected in depth. Unique to the collection is the complete graphic oeuvre of Otto Dix and Otto Mueller. Works by artists such as Anselm Kiefer, Georg Baselitz, Andreas Gursky and Neo Rauch continue the German dialogue into the contemporary sphere alongside works by noted international artists such as Agnes Martin, Ellsworth Kelly, Cady Noland and Jenny Saville.
The George Economou Collection organizes two to three exhibitions per year in the space in Athens. In addition, the collection collaborates regularly with international institutions and curators.
Image: David Hammons (b. 1943–) Untitled, 2008, mixed media, 259,1 x 182,9 x 61 cm
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Opening on November 1st 2012, the exhibition explores the perception of chance in private and public life through a selection of provocative performances by Marina Abramović, David Hammons and Robin Rhode.
The George Economou Collection
77, Grammou Str. 15125 Marousi, Athens, Greece
The visit of the exhibition is possible through an advanced reservation for a guided tour from Monday to Friday, 10 - 6 pm, Thursday, 10 am – 8 pm