April 5, 2019 - Greek Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - Panos Charalambous, Eva Stefani, Zafos Xagoraris: Mr. Stigl
April 5, 2019

Greek Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

[1] Panos Charalambous, A Wild Eagle Was Standing Proud, 2018–19. Installation and performance. [2] Eva Stefani, Only Men (as part of Anaglyphs), 2019. 16 mm, Hi8, VHS-C, HDV, color, sound, approx. 80 min. [3] Zafos Xagoraris, The Concession, 2018–19. DrawingCourtesy the artists. 

Panos Charalambous, Eva Stefani, Zafos Xagoraris
Mr. Stigl
Greek Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
May 11–November 24, 2019

Inauguration: May 10, 2pm

Greek Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Giardini
30122 Venice
Italy
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm

mrstigl.com
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Three Greek artists Panos Charalambous, Eva Stefani, and Zafos Xagoraris represent Greece at the Venice Biennale 2019 in an exhibition titled Mr. Stigl, curated by Katerina Tselou. 

Mr. Stigl, who lends his name to the title of the exhibition, is a historical paradox, a constructive misunderstanding, a fantastical hero of an unknown story whose poetics take us to the periphery of official history, but also of reality. He may be an ironic narrator who introduces us to a space of doubt, paraphrased sounds, and nonsensical identities and histories.

What does history reword and what does it conceal, consciously or not? In the environment created by the artists Panos Charalambous, Eva Stefani, and Zafos Xagoraris, there is a transposition occurring, from grand narratives to personal stories. The unknown (or less known) of history emerge, subverting the indisputable character of the official record—in a playful manner. These fragmentary narratives do not attempt to retrieve the past but to create polyphonic stories in a condition of active present.

The voices introduced by Panos Charalambous reach us through the rich collection of sounds he has accumulated since the 1970s. Known for combining installations with sonic performances, he brings forward those who have been forgotten or silenced, recomposing their orality through an idiosyncratic play. Two such voices constitute the starting point for his glass installation A Wild Eagle Was Standing Proud, upon which an ecstatic, “ultrasonic” dance is performed—a vortex of deep listening. The viewer is invited to walk on this transparent stage and leave behind an echo, a trace.

Eva Stefani moves between the genres of observational cinema and experimental film. In Anaglyphs, she retells human stories that at first sight seem marginal, of little importance, yet unravel as significant paradoxes of realism and fiction. Small ceremonies of private life. “An infinitely large number of infinitesimally small actions,” as per Tolstoy’s description of history. She cites her own previous filmic stories and subversive acts to archival footage in this new work. And like the pages of a diary, it reveals the intimacy of the human condition through an unofficial telling of the past that casts light upon history.

The work of Zafos Xagoraris often references historical details or neglected facts that connect to a specific site and institutional framework. He takes as point of reference an image or a sound to draw out a fact or a story for the present; an attempt to give rise to small changes in the reception of institutions and their histories. His installation The Concession transports us to 1948, connecting the Greek past (specifically the troubled years of the Civil War and the concentration camps) with the movement of modernism and also the figure of Peggy Guggenheim. That year the Pavilion of Greece was offered to the American collector to show her pivotal collection of modern art for the first time on European soil, essentially changing the history of the Biennale itself.

The Metropolitan Organisation of Museums of Visual Arts of Thessaloniki (MOMus) has been appointed commissioner of Greece’s national participation by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports. The role of commissioner is undertaken by Syrago Tsiara, deputy director of the MOMus–Museum of Contemporary Art and MOMus–Experimental Center for the Arts. The project is funded by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports

 

Download full press materials here

For all media inquiries, please contact Fotini Barka:
press [​at​] mrstigl.com; T +30 694 562 4707

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Mr. Stigl
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