March 20, 2013


Nanos Valaoritis, Untitled (LA BETISE NE CONNAiT PAS DE DISTINCTION DE CLASSES), 1960s. Pen and pencil on paper, 29 x 21.2 cm. Private collection.

February 27–April 4, 2013

Opening: February 25, 2013, 8pm

Palais de Tokyo
13 avenue du Président Wilson 
75116, Paris, France

exhibition as part of Modules –
Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent


hell as pavilion / hell as text / hell as art practice / hell as exhibition / hell as method / hell as modus operandi / hell as modus vivendi / hell as exodus

The exhibition HELL AS PAVILION, organized at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, borrows its title from the word HELL AS as it appears in Jean-Luc Godard’s Film Socialisme (2010). Based on the pun created by the space in the word, the exhibition alludes to the recent ‘demonisation’ of Greece as a result of the European crisis and aims to serve as a subversive allegory on the absurdity of (co-) existence, which is also what art is having to deal with today, with a sense of urgency.

The Greek Pavilion could thus be understood as a fantasma, a premonition or a twinge of remorse, a disturbing idiorrythmy, the monster (teras) par excellence in the current temps des crises.The European bête noire hangs on a wall in an undetermined borderline condition considered here as a possible tactic; a laboratory of the para- logon (that which lies next to and beyond logos/reason); a precarious position from which current takes on humanism, punishment, radicalization, the collective and the connective can be reexamined.

The exhibition is conceived as a strange fresco gone wild, an inhabited migrant wall of “horrible mixtures,” which brings together Greek artists from various generations, and, starting from the Byzantine tradition, explores a neglected field of rhizomatic relationships and unexpected affinities, and urges us to “read history in unforeseen ways,” to imagine into existence new mobile and minor networks.

The participating artists represent different approaches and modes of expression: historic exponents of the avant-garde in Greek art and architecture coexist with contemporary creators and folk artists as well as with collectives who work on group projects in Greece and abroad. The twin bond between language and image is explored through works presented to the public for the first time.

The research of the show starts from the absurd, the unsettling and that which we fail—or refuse—to understand and face (the monster), and goes on into broader questions of identity, forms of alterity, anthropological and folkloric processing of symbols and enigmas before the Other; A distinct consideration in this research is the matter of how others see us (Hell as – …), and hence the role of the “scapegoat.”

HELL AS PAVILION can be perceived as a toolbox for the understanding of various Greek paraloga in the rather common and unsettled struggle to “be in” the present; as a chance to consider the viability of deviations, abnormalities and inconsistencies, in the xaos (chaos) of a situation where nations, states and all kinds of entities suspect and monster one another for economic misconduct and “lack of progress.”

HELL AS PAVILION is curated by Nadja Argyropoulou.

It includes performances, talks and the HELL AS PAVILION film appendix.

The project is realized with the collaboration of architect Yorgos Tzirtzilakis and a team of young architects comprised by Malvina Panagiotidi, Vassiliki-Maria Plavou & Yorgos Rimenidis.

Artists list: Alexis Akrithakis, Loukia Alavanou, Vlassis Caniaris, Savvas Christodoulides, Costis, Dimitris Dimitriadis, Antonis Donef, Andreas Embiricos, Nikos Engonopoulos, Haris Epaminonda, Stelios Faitakis, Takis Giannousas, Hollow Airport Museum (Nikos Charalambidis), Lakis & Aris Ionas / The Callas, Vassilis P. Karouk, Andreas Ragnar Kassapis, kavecs / Vana Kostayola & Kostis Stafylakis, Anja Kirschner and David Panos, Panos Koutrouboussis, Thanos Kyriakides / Blind Adam, Konstantinos Ladianos, Stathis Logothetis, Andreas Lolis, Panayiotis Loukas, Rallou Panagiotou, Nikos-Gabriel Pentzikis, Kostas Sahpazis, Saprophytes, Kostas Sfikas, Christiana Soulou, Thanassis Totsikas, Ira Triantafyllides, Souzy Tros (Maria Papadimitriou), Iris Touliatou, Nanos Valaoritis, Marie Wilson-Valaoritis, Jannis Varelas, Lydia Venieri, Vangelis Vlahos, Kostis Velonis, Tassos Vrettos, Takis Zenetos

Film appendix: Antoinetta Angelidi, Costis, Constantine Giannaris, Alexis Damianos, Nicos Papatakis, Angelos Prokopiou & G.Hoyningen-Huene, Thanassis Rentzis, Kostas Sfikas, Eva Stefani, Stavros Tornes, Athina-Rachel Tsangari, Christos Vakalopoulos & Stavros Tsiolis

This exhibition benefits from the support of: 
Messieurs Philip & Spyros Niarchos
Outset Contemporary Art Fund-Greece
DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art
Aegean Airlines
Centre Culturel Hellénique de Paris

HELL AS PAVILION at Palais de Tokyo
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