NO COUNTRY FOR YOUNG MEN
Contemporary Greek Art in Times of Crises
27.03. — 03.08.14
Participating artists: Loukia Alavanou | Manolis Anastasakos & Alexandros Vasmoulakis | Bill Balaskas | Depression Era | Eirene Efstathiou | Stelios Faitakis | Marina Gioti | Alexandros Georgiou | Philippe Grammaticopoulos | Guerrilla Optimists | Michalis G. Kallimopoulos | Dionisis Kavallieratos | Panos Kokkinias | Alkis Konstantinidis / Zissis Kotionis | Marinos Koutsomichalis, Afroditi Psarra & Maria Varela | Nicolas Kozakis & Raoul Vaneigem | Nikos Navridis | Angelos Papadimitriou | Maria Papadimitriou | Antonis Pittas | Poka-Yio | Stefania Strouza | Lina Theodorou | Panos Tsagaris | Kostas Tsolis | Dimitris Tsoumplekas | Chrisa Valsamaki | Kostis Velonis | Eirini Vourloumis | Zafos Xagoraris | Yorgos Zois
A great deal has been written about the financial crisis in Greece. Reports have often focussed on statistics related to the economy, or sensationalist stories about riots, increasing nationalism and xenophobia. However, there has been little in-depth reporting of the humanitarian consequences of the austerity plan. The exhibition No Country for Young Men seeked to transcend stereotypical media representations of the crisis. It explored the state of affairs in Greece today, complicating the question of the crisis and shedding light on how it has affected the Greek people, the social body, institutions, landscape and environment, as well as artistic production. The exhibition reflects the social and economic reality of Greece today and pays special attention to the dramatic transformations that have occurred in light of the crisis, and its humanitarian dimension.
The exhibition’s title, which plays on Joel and Ethan Cohen’s film No Country for Old Men (and the book by Cormac McCarthy of the same name), evokes the unfavourable situation for young people in Greece today. The exhibition, however, also looked at the possibilities the crisis offers for re-inventing and re-imagining the country. No Country for Young Men therefore also highlighted the enormous creativity that sprung up in Greece in recent years. How has the crisis affected art production in Greece? How do artists react and respond to the current situation? What images of Greece are they making at this precarious turning point for the country? The critical nature of the Greek crisis is not something that concerns only the Greeks. It is symptomatic of a European as well as wider malaise, and can be considered a pars pro toto for the global picture.
This exhibition was the first of its kind since the outbreak of the crisis and is the largest presentation of contemporary Greek art to take place outside Greece for a decade. Brussels is the hub of many of the decisions that affect suffering European countries, making the location of this exhibition all the more relevant. No Country for Young Men included recent or newly produced work by 33 artists and collectives and aimed to reflect on Greece’s turbulent times and generated a sense of urgency, vitality, affective and emotive power.
Curator: Katerina Gregos
Artistic Director BOZAR: Paul Dujardin
Deputy Exhibitions Director BOZAR: Sophie Lauwers
Exhibition coordinator: Christel Tsilibaris
Exhibition design: Danae Giamalaki
Exhibition guide design: Leen Persoons
Project Extra Muros
There was also a satellite project, an exhibition of the collective Depression Era. The Depression Era project is a collective of photographers, artists, researchers, writers, architects, journalists and curators formed in 2012, recording the Greek crisis through images and texts. The Depression Era project aspires to portray a historical turning point; to reflect characteristic events and situations pertaining not only to the economic but also to the political, social, ideological, moral and aesthetic crisis: to depict the emerging landscape of the recession and the rapid unravelling of Greek society. The Depression Era project exhibition took place at Atelier Bouwmeester, just across the street from BOZAR, at 54-59 Galerie Ravenstein, and was the first international presentation of the collective outside Greece.
No Country for Young Men was generously supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, NEON, Aegean Airlines and the Schwarz Foundation with additional support from Outset.Greece and Atelier Bouwmeester.
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