April 5, 2008 - Thessaloniki Center of Contemporary Art (CACT) - Genius Seculi
April 5, 2008

Genius Seculi

Genius Seculi
Until April 30th 2008

Warehouse B1, Port

www.cact.gr

Surfacing memories from tough stories, important facts of the world history infiltrated by personal experiences, stories that whether we want to repel or we insist of keeping them alive, are the subject matter of the exhibition “Genius Seculi”, which is going to be presented at the Contemporary Art Center of Thessaloniki. The exhibition consists of photographs and video installations by Deimantas Narkevicius and Despina Meimaroglou, which will be hosted until the 30th of April, at the CACT, Warehouse B1, Thessaloniki Port.

How does one coexist with the ‘ghosts of the past’ in contemporary post-Soviet Lithuania? Why are we afraid of and why do we banish the public monuments of the communist era? These are some of the questions that Deimantas Narkevicius stresses throughout his work. On the other hand, the contemporary history of Cambodia and Northern Ireland and the millions of civilians that were eradicated by the Khmer Rouge regime, as also the “troubles” in Derry, are concepts that emerge from the works of Despina Meimaroglou, having as a result the combination of her own artistic narrative through the experiences and testimonies of others. Or the “Spirit of the time”, which apparently is the meaning of the exhibition’s title.

The president of the State Museum of Contemporary Art, George B. Tsaras, is stating that, “through the exhibition, a meeting is achieved in terms of the select relation between two artists, whose starting points differ only ostensibly. The common denominator in the work of both artists is the artistic approach to a traumatic past through moving and static images, namely videos and photographs. Art has the power to turn us into communicants of global problems that directly or indirectly concern the lives of us all, and to raise political, social and ideological issues in a certain universal manner that respects the uniqueness of every artist, whereas at the same time it allows every observer to interpret the message of the work of art in his/her own way“.

The director of the C.A.C.T., Syrago Tsiara, -also the curator of the exhibition- is underlining that, “the remaining and surfacing memories are the constituent elements of this exhibition. The Genius Seculi tackles difficult stories. It deals with painful memory, the recognition of the self in a part of the past, both individual and collective, whether we wish to repress it or ‘masochistically’ insist on keeping it alive.

The works of Deimantas Narkevicius deal with the first instance: How does one coexist with the ‘ghosts of the past’ in contemporary post-Soviet Lithuania? Can one uproot a part of his past simply by getting rid of its repulsive symbols? And what happens to those fond memories of our childhood years, our first loves, the friendships and happy moments that happen to coincide with that ‘time of terror?

The curator is also mentions about Despina Meimaroglou that “she reverses these roles. By keeping the critical observer’s gaze alert, she places herself in the position of others, touches on recent dramatic events that do not evidently concern her personal story and creates her own artistic narrative through the experiences and testimonies of others. Her works converse with the contemporary history of Cambodia and Northern Ireland. How can one overlook the fact that millions of civilians were eradicated by the Khmer Rouge regime, a regime that not only crushed its political opponents, but also the social fabric itself, thus destroying the very core of the family? Why are the citizens of Derry in Northern Ireland so obsessed – even today, 37 years after the tragic ending of their protest – with keeping alive the images of the dramatic events by depicting the protagonists-martyrs of the conflicts against the British repressive forces on huge murals?

INFO
MINISTRY OF CULTURE
STATE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART

CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER OF THESSALONIKI
Warehouse B1, Thessaloniki Port, P.O.Box 107 59, 54110 Thessaloniki, Greece

Exhibition “Genius Seculi”
Despoina Meimaroglou & Deimantas Narkevicius

Production: Contemporary Art Center of Thessaloniki
Curator: Syrago Tsiara, Director CACT

Exhibition duration: March 6th-April 30th 2008
Space: Warehouse B1, Thessaloniki Port, Thessaloniki, Greece

Contemporary Art Center of Thessaloniki
Tel: +30 2310 546683 & 2310 593270

www.cact.gr

info@cact.gr
cact@otenet.gr

Press Office S.M.C.A.
Yiota Sotiropoulou
Mobile . +30 6972336261
T.+30 2310589152
F. +30 2310589210
press@greekstatemuseum.com

Thessaloniki Center of Contemporary Art

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