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Stavros Tsigoglou/Ta Nea tis Technis: This Month’s Work of Art - 'dB/Sexual Counter-Revolution'

[30/05/2007] back

The head, neck, right shoulder, and arm just beneath the elbow of a teenage girl lying in bed. It is made of Giluform coloured with intense, vibrant, pop colours. It is about twice the natural size (0,7 x 0,56 x 1,17m). It was presented in one of the hotel rooms of the Unfair 2007 exhibition. Both this and P. Pasandas' artwork caught my eye because they are site-specific – they were actually built to suit the specific occasion: the bed. The exhibition and its 'Rooms' would have been much more interesting in past years had gallery-owners and curators asked artists for site-specific artworks. This year's hotel rooms were mainly 'blank boxes'.

I fell in love at first sight with Kallimopoulos' artwork. I knew not its title. I found it very erotic. Eroticism is missing in contemporary Greek Art. The girl looks as if she just came... There is no sign of ecstasy. There is fatigue and sorrow. Post – coitus melancholia?

I imagined it floating in a bathtub or a swimming-pool. The girl is spaced-out, worn out... she may have taken drugs...

I like the erotic interpretation because it links the artwork to erotic (usually mythological) European Art. I elicited the views of a twenty-year old female medical secretary, a young female doctor and an elderly doctor and poet. The young girl was enthusiastic and saw sorrow. The female doctor diagnosed lust but found it repulsive. The poet saw drug-use but also aggressiveness, a youth's reaction to the way grown-ups treat her; dismemberment.

Kallimopoulos wrote to me about his intentions. The work was made to be set low against the wall. As for its title, in his view Greece did not experience the sexual revolution which took place in the West a few decades ago.

“...Greek youth shall have to cope with recent phenomena, mainly Aids and recreational drugs, which marked the 90’s acting as catalysts.

The artwork explores the social side of sexual expression among the youth and its impact on their relationships and self-definition. The scene it depicts takes place in a huge club or at some rave party during the early hours of a night sometime in the previous decade. Deafening dance music and the party lights affect the object’s appearance. The face expression reveals the condition of someone who has used drugs as the rave party nears its end.” I, unfortunately, have not been to a club or a rave party in the last twenty years.

We shall see it again, set in its right place this time, at Kallimopoulos’ forthcoming exhibition titled (at last, a title in Greek!) Εγώ κατ’ Εμέ, “I, According to Me”. It is a beautiful sculpture, animated, and genuinely contemporary both in the questions it raises and in its expressive means.

The artist has set aside abstract sculpture, hasty conceptual installations, and mutant ready-mades. We welcome the arrival of a new, articulate sculptor.

Source: “Ta Nea tis Technis” (The Art News) newspaper, n. 157, May 2007