Parallel exhibition to
Art Athina 2013
Curator: Artemis Potamianou
“the mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven…”
The exhibition Paradise Lost borrows its title from the epic poem of John Milton, which was illustrated by William Blake.
The main inspiration for the exhibition Art-Athina Contemporaries: Paradise Lost came from Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy.
Dante’s work is described as an allegory which can be interpreted as an existential journey-as man’s arduous effort to subdue his passion on his way towards perfection. At the same time, in Divine Comedy Dante clearly alludes to the political situation of a then corrupt Italy, yearning for a solution from an honest political or state institution which can lead people to happiness on Earth (Paradise). Yet in Jean-Luc Godard’s adaptation of the book in the film “Our Music”, this heaven is only an illusion-a concentration camp.
Man’s journey from hell to heaven –whatever this heaven may be to each person- is a motif we find in many literary works. In a similar vein, the hero in Homer’s Odyssey must go through many routes, experiences and trials before he can reach, wiser and purified, his own ‘Ithaca’.
Based on references to all these, the exhibition Paradise Lost features a labyrinth made of cheap materials associated with the urban landscape, with the concept of “transition” an “moving” and with all the negative connotations of an economic downturn. In this maze viewers are called upon to experience a journey that is meant to take them from hell to purgatory and heaven. Along this journey the works guide and complement one another.
Art-Athina Contemporaries: Paradise Lost aspires to present more that a snapshot of the currently produced Greek and international art. It aims to establish and encourage a constructive debate among the artists, their practice and their works; a debate which will reflect the current reality and state of affairs, the artists’ concerns and the variety of their media.
Paradise Lost is an action-exhibition that aims to demonstrate art as it is shaped, produced and presented in the present time.
To this end, the artists who took part in the exhibition come from almost all the galleries represented in the main programme of Art-Athina and are predominantly younger in terms of age or artistic generation.
Curator of Art-Athina Contemporaries: Paradise Lost