Kostis Velonis at the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens
Gaining Socialism While Losing your Wife (After Popova's Set Construction for 'Le Coçu Magnifique', 1922), 2009
11 May - 5 September 2010 Opening Hours:
Thursday: 11.00-22.00, Monday: closed
Loneliness on Common Ground: How Can Society Do What Each Person Dreams
Curated by: Daphne Vitali
The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST) is organizing a solo exhibition of the renowned young Greek artist Kostis Velonis. Velonis is considered to be one of the most important Greek artists of his generation. His sculptural work often refers to historical events and art-historical movements and the focus is on political utopias and the failure of ideology. His artistic practise is characterized by the combination of personal narratives with a re-examination of historical data.
For his exhibition at EMST, titled 'Loneliness on Common Ground: How Can Society Do What Each Person Dreams', Velonis presents a number of large-scale sculptural works as well as some smaller sculptures that he created in 2009 and 2010. This exhibition reassesses the nature of Velonis' oeuvre, focusing on some recent political works. The sculptures on view take Russian avant-garde, ancient Greek democracy and the working class consciousness as their subject matter, examining how these concepts and visions can be seen today. Through architectural constructions of Russian constructivist artists such as Liubov Popova and Gustav Klutsis, the artist refers to the contradictions that accompany the aims of the Russian avant-garde and the communist politics. His sculptures seek to unfold and question the ideologies behind political structures and to reflect upon ideas such as the utopian ideal, democracy and revolution. The exhibition also presents works that bring out the artist's interest for craft making and working class orientation.
The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue (Greek and English), which features texts by Miltos Frangopoulos, Chus Martinez, Daphne Vitali and Florian Waldvogel.
Kostis Velonis was born in 1968 in Athens where he lives and works. He studied Cultural Studies at the London Consortium (Birkbeck College, ICA, AA, Tate Gallery) in 2000 and Visual Arts at the Paris VIII University, (Maitrise, D.E.A). In 2009 he received his Doctorate in architecture from the N.T.U.A University of Athens. He has participated in numerous exhibitions in Greece and abroad. His recent solo shows include: 'How one can think freely in the shadow of a temple', Kunstverein Hamburg, 2009; 'Craft Boy', Monitor Gallery, Rome, 2008; '...was einmal über heute gesagt werden wird: Köln Show2', BQ Gallery, European Kunsthalle, Cologne, 2007. Recent group exhibitions include: 2nd Athens Biennial, 2009; Brussels Biennial 1 for Contemporary Art, 2008; 9e Biennale de Lyon, Villeurbanne, 2007; 'In Present Tense. Young Greek Artists', National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, 2007; 'The Grand Promenade', National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, 2006.