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Epigrafomena at the Archaeological Museum of Poros

About the artist

Panos Charalampous (b.1956) is an artist living and working in Athens. He studied at the School of Fine Arts in Athens under Nikos Kessanlis. He has participated in international exhibitions, including: 58th Biennale Arte, Venice, 2019 / Voice-o-graph & Flatus Vocis, documenta14, Athens and Kassel, 2017 / Genii Loci. Greek art from 1930 since today, Saint Petersburg, 2016 / White House Biennial, Varna, 2016 / Breakthrough, ARCO, Madrid, 2004 / Eidos, Besançon, 2004 / Copenhagen - European Capital of Culture, 1996 / Ogrody, Poznań, 1996 / Kunst-Europa, Visual European Landscape, Berlin, 1991 / Glasgow - European Capital of Culture, 1990 / Οut of limits, Poznan, 1990 / 3rd Biennale of Young Artists from Mediterranean Europe, Barcelona, 1987. Some of his notable solo shows include: Αquis submersus, Athens, 2014-15 / Tobacco Area, 1986 – 2011, Athens, 2011 / Voice-O-Graph, Athens, 2006-2007 / Phonopolis, Athens, 2003-2004 / Psychagogia II, Athens, 2001 / 1496–2000 / como humo se va, Athens, 1999-2000 / Psychagogia I (Recreation), Athens & Thessaloniki, 1997 / ΙΧΘΥΣ, Athens, 1995 / Concerning fishing, Athens, 1992 / Τobacco story, Βerlin,1991, Athens,1990,1988. www.panoscharalambous.com

About the exhibition

This year’s cooperation of CITRONNE Gallery with the Archaeological Museum of Poros focuses on and refers to the memory of the in-scription, through the eyes of artist Panos Charalambous. Throughout the centuries, in-scriptions have always constituted a solid reflection of personal and collective human memory; from the written laws of the Republic, the epitaphs and the votive offerings to the Oracles of Classical Antiquity to medal engraving and the names on tombstones of our era.

Artist Panos Charalambous uses tobacco leaves as his engraving surface. This fragile raw material, in sheer contrast with the resilient materials of the Antiquity, produces inscriptions which are fluid, fleeting, perishable and stillborn. The current reality does not leave much room for permanence and eternity as regards speech – the same applies to the persons inscribed. The ever-quickening pace of history is not subject to permanent references. Thus, the inscriptions on the tobacco leaves are devoid of longevity and act in a mandatory and temporary topicality.

At the same time, however, perhaps as a counterweight, the artist reminds us of the continuation, the durability: he makes an intentional reference to the traditional cultivation of tobacco and its products, which have left their cultural mark on the everyday life of not just the Greeks.
"Inscriptions" generate a functional archive of our memory and of the ephemerality of our era, whose elements look more like "words in the wind" than "a possession for all time”.

Tatiana Spinari-Pollalis
Ph.D. (Art History) - Citronne Gallery, Director

This year, Panos Charalambous’ temporary exhibition entitled “Inscriptions” (or Epigrafomena) is hosted at the Archaeological Museum of Poros in the context of the events organised by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports for International Museum Day. This exhibition, organized in association with Citronne Gallery, comprises a group of artworks which feature writing elements on surfaces made of tobacco leaves.
The names of prominent people, mainly artists and writers, have been inscribed on a delicate plant matter, namely a substrate of tobacco, as a reference to the perishability of the earthly world. Charalambous’ works are exhibited in contrast with the ancient inscriptions on display at the Museum of Poros, which, in turn, feature the names of people who claim their place in an illusion of eternity through their tombstones, their votive offerings to the gods or as benefactors honoured by their city. Nonetheless, while those people of the Antiquity chose to carve their names on solid stone surfaces which remained unchanged over time, in the works of Charalambous, the importance of key exponents of modern culture is valued on ephemeral organic materials and is measured against the fragility of human nature.

Maria Giannopoulou Ph.D. (Archaeology) - Ephorate of Antiquities of Piraeus and the Islands