Maroan El Sani
Organized by ITYS Institute for Contemporary Art and Thought
When faced with a library, an archive or simply any large databank, the artist must be clear about his/her purpose before starting the quest for the ultimate documentation or representation. Any enquiry into the nature, focus, and inspiration of research results in as many individual responses as there are respondents. Some artists follow self-imposed methods, others lean on far more emotional and intuitive processes. Artists sift through historical information with a social, economic, or political content to construct identities and gain understanding while relying on a subjective approach which does not necessarily provide answers; it reveals. It is not concerned with the exact nature of reality or truth but rather with our perception of it.
Artists constantly challenge received knowledge with alternative histories based on personal memory and experience. Artists make choices not according to a certain methodology or by intuition, but following a path with its own inner logic. The next picture has to add to the context of the whole. It is not a random process, it is a guided one that ultimately tries and creates a level of recognition.
If partial knowledge accepts that we need to solve a problem on the basis of facts that are not entirely complete, then selective knowledge talks about the conscious choice to reject, select, and accept on the basis of need, desire, and expectation, until a story unfolds.
Rather than starting from large systems and accepted truths from which political, economic, and social developments are analyzed, the artists in the exhibition adapt the synthesizing character of the curiosity cabinet. Many bits and pieces allow for associations and interpretations.
The extent to which the academic world, more and more intent on drawing in the arts institutions, can respond to this changing and often conflicting approach to knowledge is part of the broader debate around the present state of education.
Mark Dion, Apostolos Karastergiou, George Hadjimichalis, Mark O’Kelly, Christian Boltanski, Pietro Roccasalva, Albert Oehlen, Candida Höfer, Nina Fischer & Maroan El Sani, Armin Linke, Henrik Olesen, Allen Ruppersberg, Eirene Efstathiou, Ivan Grubanov, Sam Durant, Vangelis Vlahos.
The show makes reference to Alain Resnais’ Toute la Memoire du Monde’, besides a display of books and documents by Hans-Peter Feldmann, Mark Dion, Patrick Van Caeckenbergh, Peter Piller, Sarah Seager, George Hadjimihalis, Mariana Castillo Deball, and Mark O’Kelly.
Exhibition Concept and Co-Ordination: Els Hanappe.
Exhibition in cooperation with M.I.E.T., National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation.
Joint Publication: Selective Knowledge.
ITYS, or Institute for Contemporary Art and Thought, is a newly established non-profit organization based in Athens, Greece. Selective Knowledge is its first major public event.
Image: Vangelis Vlahos, Images to influence the reading of Greece's interests in Eastern Europe and the Balkans today, 2008. Courtesy of the Artist
The National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation/MIET
Agiou Konstantinou 20 & Menandrou Streets 10431 Athens
Tue-Fri 10 a.m.-2 p.m. & 6-8 p.m.
Sat/Sun 10 a.m.-2 p.m.