July 20, 2010 - State Museum of Contemporary Art - Islands Never Found
July 20, 2010

Islands Never Found

Alice Aycock, Sand/Fans, 1970-2010
Mixed media, circa 4 m²
Collection of the artist
Courtesy of Salomon Contemporary, New York

“Islands Never Found”
28 June – 28 November 2010

Hellenic Ministry of Culture And Tourism
Kolokotroni 21, Stavroupoli 56430, Thessaloniki
Τ: +30 2310 589140-1 & 3, F: +30 2310 600123

info [​at​] greekstatemuseum.com

Venues: State Museum of Contemporary Art (Moni Lazariston) and Contemporary Art Center of Thessaloniki (Warehouse Β1, Port), Thessaloniki, Greece
Organizing institutions: State Museum of Contemporary Art, Musée d’Art Moderne de Saint-Étienne Métropole Comune di Genova/ Palazzo Ducale
Curators: Lóránd Hegyi/ director of the Musée d’Art Moderne de Saint-Étienne Métropole, Katerina Koskina/ president of the Board of Trustees of SMCA

Participating artists: Marina Abramović, Alice Aycock, Marina Bolla, Louise Bourgeois, Yves Bresson, Tony Cragg, Danica Dakić, Latifa Echakhch, Jan Fabre, Hans Peter Feldmann, Gloria Friedmann, Carlos Garaicoa, Gilbert & George, Siobhán Hapaska, Rebecca Horn, Ilya Kabakov, Anselm Kiefer, Kimsooja, Jannis Kounellis, Maria Loizidou, Richard Long, Natsuyuki Nakanishi, Maurizio Nannucci, Luigi Ontani, Dennis Oppenheim, Orlan, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Lucas Samaras, Barthélémy Toguo, Stefanos Tsivopoulos, Costas Tsoclis, Mamoru Tsukada, Günther Uecker, Lois Weinberger, Dimitris Xonoglou.

The exhibition “Islands Never Found” (Isole Mai Trovate / Îles Introuvables) focuses on the artist’s journey—the actual, but mostly the inner journey and its itinerary, stopovers, objectives, living conditions, achievements and failures. It is organised by the State Museum of Contemporary Art (Τhessaloniki, Greece), the Musée d’Art Moderne de Saint-Étienne Métropole and the Comune di Genova/ Palazzo Ducale.

The exhibition currently presented in Thessaloniki was on show from March till June 2010 at the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa and will finally be presented from December 2010 – April 2011 at the Musée d’ Art Moderne in St. Étienne.

The exhibition “Islands Never Found” (Isole Mai Trovate / Îles Introuvables) places centre-stage the artist’s personality, which is rich but contradictory, in part deleterious and unreservedly self-destructive and creative, tormented and self-sufficient. Τhe show is a tribute to those artist who along with their obsessive, committed and limitless creativity, and their ruthless radicalism and extravagant intellectual liberty, are able to create novel socio-cultural situations and mindsets. Thus, they show the way of new territories, which like the islands of the immense rolling ocean, simultaneously evoke asylum and imprisonment, home and hell, liberation and dissolution.

The “islands” in question are those particular creative areas, unique and individual, within which all artists objectify and communicate their own unmistakable approach, their own language and system of symbols, and their own vision of the world. The life and work of artists can also be understood through this metaphorical search for “their islands”, “their places”, and their own sphere of skills accompanied by a fitting technique. The very work of art is in a way their Island.

The purpose of this exhibition is to set out and monitor the artist’s perennial migration in search of his “islands” and to reveal the emotional and dramatic aspects of limitless discoveries, anarchic freedom, and unconventional invention and at the same time inordinate dissatisfaction, self-destructive misery, appalling torment and unacceptable, grievous imperfection.

The president of the Board of Trustees of SMCA, and co-curator Katerina Koskina, explains: ‘This exhibition is a small tribute to the perpetual journey of art and the utopia it offers. The endless journey of these artists is maybe more real and even more necessary than that of seafarers, because it is the only one which bears witness to this inaccessible model place that constitutes the ideal version of our own, the common and ideal home country of all of us’.

Lóránd Hegyi, co-curator of the exhibition and director of the Musée d’Art Moderne de Saint-Étienne Métropole, adds: “It is this ‘meaningful necessity of life’ that reveals itself on the artist’s strange, distant island, often very far from us, often never found or found too late, and nevertheless reachable for everyone”.

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State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki

State Museum of Contemporary Art
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