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Who Will Fight the Dragon?

About the exhibition

Alekos Kyrarinis and Nikos Podias draw from the shared references of their youth and meet up in a joint exhibition, a visual consonance with the dragon as its theme. The motive and the aim of this exhibition is to highlight these two visual worlds, which, albeit clearly dissimilar as regards the circumstances, can be seen as one. And this living circumstance interacts with this visible affinity.

Their works are a blend of visual coincidences and divergences. In the context of this coexistence, it is worth mentioning that they also converge on issues that define them from the very beginning. It is all about the correlation and the quota of the essence of charm and the uncanny. This is their meeting point and reveals a united stance against the archetypical.

“I’m deep down a matter of light,” wrote George Seferis (On a Winter Sunbeam, IV). Alekos Kyrarinis builds light as a kind of geography. He persistently produces correlations of forces that organise our vision like calligraphic spreads. Nikos Podias’ works meet the light and go beyond reciprocally. They weave the finest visual flair. At their center is the handicraft itself, which is filtered through feeling and turns into philosophy.

In(de)finite Selfhoods II

About the artists

Chiderah Bosah Samuel (b.2000) is a self taught contemporary visual artist whose flair for art incepted at a very tender age of replicating -with pencil on paper- any visual figures he found in books and comics. This early and random interest in art eventually metamorphosed into a full-fledged career for this Port-Harcourt based Nigerian visual artist. Growing up in Africa, and with the common narrative incumbent on a typical black person, Bosah had always wanted to communicate these everyday experiences- the struggles and blessings- from his own standpoint. He uses art as an outlet not only to express himself but also to becocome a voice of the people. Currently exploring the medium of oil on canvas, his genre of art spans across figurative representation, simplified realism and portraiture, employing them as a means to mostly depict the resilient lives of Africans in the motherland. The singularity in Chiderah’s style of painting is the pronounced use of calm and pale hues to consummate his peculiar niche. Chiderah Bosah’s works have been exhibited in some major fairs across Africa, Europe and the United States.

artsy.net/artist/chiderah-bosah

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.

panoscharalambous.com

Léllé Demertzi (b.1993) graduated from the School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens in 2017. She also studied acting at the Athens Conservatory Drama School. She completed the MA Raumstrategien (Spatial Strategies) at Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee in July 2019. In September 2020, she completed a 12-Month Internship at the International Program of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. In 2020 she was awarded the ARTWORKS Fellowship for Visual Arts, funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. She has presented her work (performance, video, installation, photomontage) in solo and group exhibitions in Athens, Berlin, Zurich and Luzern, Salzburg, Accra, and New York. She is part of the artist duo “Reservoir Peacocks”, advocating for unapologetic female empowerment. Recurring matters in her artistic practice which begins from the research of the body, are identity, displacement and the need for belongingness, the ‘self’ and ‘the other’, the in-between spaces, language and silence, memory, presence and absence, as well as the scars and the
stars in the digital era.

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Nicole Economides (b. 1992) is an artist and independent curator based in Athens and New York. She holds an MFA in Fine Arts from Parsons, The New School and a BFA from the Department of Fine Arts and Art Sciences at the University of Ioannina (2015). Economides is a recipient of the Gerondelis Foundation Scholarship, the Elizabeth Greenshields Grant for Painters and the IBM Grant for Artists in New Media. Her work has been shown in exhibitions in Greece such as Faces of a Hero, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) & Lincoln Center, New York City & Athens, Back to Athens 7, Cheapart (2020), and Inspire: Effective Spaces, the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art (MMCA) (2015). She has participated in multiple group shows in New York such as Life-Giving Art: 9 Women Artists of the Diaspora, CUNY (2020) and Beneath Them Was Forever, Westbeth Gallery (2019). She was an artist in residence at the Agora Collective, Berlin in late 2016. She has participated as a guest juror for the 2022 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards presented by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers. The artist also maintains a collaborative practice with Natalia Almonte, Paradoxluxe, a collective that critically engages the reductive perceptions of Greece and Puerto Rico. They co-curated the exhibition, We Are Here To Serve You (2020) at the Arnold & Sheila Aronson Galleries in Manhattan, that is traveling to Pública: in San Juan, Puerto Rico (2022). She also co-curated the group exhibition What Is Real? with Natalia Almonte and Tunie Betesh which was on view at The Real House in Brooklyn, NY in 2021.

nicoleeconomides.com
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Panos Famelis (b. 1979) is an artist and independent curator living and working in Athens, on various media ranging from painting, sculpture, drawing, installations, performances and theater. He is the founding member of Under Construction group. He has curated solo and group exhibitions, including: ‘’A letter to Esme’’ & ‘’No Land’’ Two Women Solo Show (Crux Gallery Athens), “Grounded”, Re-Culture Festival, “Coney Island” ( Ersi’s Gallery), “Art is hard”, Festival, Athens – Thessaloniki, “Black Jack 21 artists” (Rhodes Casino) and “Oasis” (Skironion Museum, Athens). He had solo and group exhibitions in Greece and abroad, his work is included in museums and private collections.

panosfamelis.com

Courage K. Hunke (b.2000) is a contemporary experimental artist who resides in Ashaiman, Tema. His practices involve the use of acrylic on canvas as well as graphite. He is a member of the Artemartis collective based in Accra, Ghana. His works were recently exhibited at the “Birds of a Feather” exhibition, a collaboration between Phillips Auction House and Artemartis in London. His art is influenced by the stories of everyday Ghanaian women and children.

theartemartis.com

Cédric Kouamé (b.1992) is a multimedia artist, DJ and radio host (also known as African Diplomat) born in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. He holds a certificate in Communication and has studied performance and installation in Brussels. He was also trained at the project space Klaym in Abidjan, where he was mentored by photographers Joana Choumali and Flurina Rothenberger. Additionally, he’s done several residencies and workshops with sculptors Kafana Soro and Daniel Bamigbadé. Currently living and working between Brussels and Abidjan, he divides his practice between sculpture, photography and performative activations. His photographic work consists of street portraiture, architecture photography – mostly shot on 35mm films – and a collection of damaged positives and negatives, which he started in 2012. Most of those pictures are reflecting the clash between vernacular and modernism, the impact of this clash on the Ivorian social environment and the idea that a photo even damaged will always retract an emotion or a story to its owner.

Alekos Kyrarinis (b. 1976) was raised on the island of Tinos, the place of his origin. He worked with his father, Yiannis kyrarinis, who was a sculptor in marble, from the age of eleven until he entered the Athens School of Fine Arts in 1997. He studied there between 1997 and 2003, in the studios of Dimitris Mytaras and Yiannis Psychopedis. He has illustrated the books: “Alpha Group Calendar 2003”, “Verifying the night», “Encima del subsuelo / Above the subsoil”, “Drip from the tiles” and the Issues No 1, 2 and 3 of the magazine “New Responsibility”. He collaborates with the magazine “Shaft” and the cultural space “Baumstrasse”. He has published a short essay book about painting entitled “Questions to Nefeli” from Nefeli publications, Athens, 2011. He has had solo and group exhibitions in Athens, Tinos, Poros, Barcelona and Brussels. He lives and works in Athens.

Ebenezer Nana Bruce (b. 1988) is a figurative and portrait painter who lives and works in Accra, Ghana. After graduating from Ghanatta College of Art and Design in 2012, he has been practicing as a full-time artist, experimenting with tools and materials, and investigating, researching and experiencing the life behind the spirited crowds and individuals around him. By doing so, he unearths the latest trends in his country, identifies the topics he would like to address, and paints a picture of contemporary Ghanaian society. As an artist he feels he has a vast responsibility to culture and society: to uplift his country through his medium by creating awareness of situational circumstances, by addressing issues that impact us all and by provoking questions that lead discussions around solutions. Ultimately, Nana Bruce offers the observer an inside look of the society through his eyes, both as an artist and a citizen. On the canvas, he applies thick strokes of acrylic paint in an impressionist technique to visualize his narrative.

Dessislava Terzieva (b. 1989, Sofia) is a Bulgarian-American contemporary artist based between Detroit and Sofia. She earned a BA in Political Science from Oakland University and an MFA in Sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2021 where she won the Museum Purchase Award and her work was accessioned into the permanent collection of Cranbrook Art Museum. Before attending Cranbrook, Terzieva made a name for herself as a prominent figure in the Detroit art scene, exhibiting in off-site locations, curating independent art spaces, and executing interactive and immersive installations in the public sphere. She has exhibited in the United States and internationally, including: ART-O-RAMA in Marseille, France; KO-OP in Sofia, Bulgaria; College for Creative Studies Center Gallery in Detroit, Michigan; Sculpture Center in Cleveland, Ohio; Aether Haha in Amsterdam, Netherlands; Huron Art Space in San Francisco, California; Mönchskirche in Salzwedel, Germany, Guck mal Günther, Kunst in Lenzburg, Switzerland, International Biennale of Santorini in Santorini, Greece; Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She has been awarded a residency at Hestia (Serbia), Bedstuy Art Residency (New York), Atelierhaus Hilmsen (Germany), and World of Co (Bulgaria). In 2021, she founded FIDANA Foundation, a non-profit organization facilitating contemporary art and interventions in public spaces using pre-existing infrastructure.

dessislava.xyz
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Adonis Volanakis (b. 1976) studied/ researched in Wimbledon School of Art, Central Saint Martins, Aalto University, University of Athens and New York University. His visual practice is a collaborative amalgam of fine and performing arts, human relationships and aesthetics, poetry and politics. Since 2003 his work focuses in herstories and since 2006 he facilitates blind date, a togethering collaborative platform. Adonis creates installations, exhibitions, community based public art projects and performances: USA (Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery, Dixon’s Place, Kimmel Galleries, etc.), in UK (Royal Opera House-Covent Garden, National Theatre, etc.), in Switzerland (Archeological Museum/ Basel, Kaskadenkondensator); in Georgia (History Museum of Tbilisi); in Greece (DOCUMENTA 14, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, State Museum of Contemporary Art, European Cultural Centre of Delphi, Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete, National Theatre, Greek National Opera, Athens and Epidaurus Festival, Benaki Museum, Cacoyannis Foundation, Athens Biennial) and in France, Canada, Finland, Czech Republic etc. Creating safe spaces for exchange and creativity is part of Adonis’ artistic practice and since 2005 he has being teaching and/or researching nonstop in universities in Greece, France, USA. Currently is an Assistant Professor at Cyprus University of Technology. Foundations that support his work Fulbright, Onassis, London Institute, Arts and Humanities Research Board/UK, B&E Goulandris, Propondis and Leventis.

adonisvolanakis.com

Emmanuel Kwaku Yaro (b. 1995) is a Ghanaian contemporary artist who resides in Labadi, Accra. He has been a practicing artist for over six years and has a number of group exhibitions to his name, working with notable institutions including Alliance Française d’Accra. Yaro has also had a solo exhibition in the African Regent Hotel in Accra which also resulted in growth in the interest in his works, both locally and internationally. He has also been involved in a number of group exhibitions with Efie Gallery in Dubai and Phillips Auction House in London. He is a member of the Artemartis collective in Accra. Inspired by a range of artists like Georges Seurat, Marie-Guillemine Benoist and Sami Bentil, Yaro‘s research and development practices go beyond the limitation of his five senses, and his works are a testament to his passion for detail.

theartemartis.com

About the exhibition

The group exhibition In(de)finite Selfhoods was initiated by CITRONNE Gallery as a research project to detect and bring forth new voices of contemporary, emerging, international artists. The point of departure for the dialogue were matters of identity, collectivity, cultural background, local and global genealogies of thought and creation, art movements and art histories.

The routes of communication and collaboration that create linkeages between the 12 international and Greek artists led to the first installment of the exhibition In(de)finite Selfhoods (4 June – 18 July), which inaugurated the gallery's Summer Program in Poros. The exhibition which assembled artworks in a variety of media spanning from painting to photography and installations, bridged discourses from different cultures, geographical locations, generations, singularities, artistic investigations and practices. The show in Poros provided for many of the artists the opportunity to meet, to share and to exchange, to be inspired from each other, and to construct in-between spaces.

The osmosis between the artists leads to the conceptual yet organic continuation of the exhibition in Athens, as a sequence that expands, broadens and delves into the artistic dissents. With the experience of the first show, a new series of artworks wishes to illmuminate and to decipher the realms, the roots, the causes, and the aspirations of our “glocal” collectivity.

Chiderah Bosah (NI) contributes two female portraits in pale purple hues that allude to the daily struggles and the resilience of Nigerian youth. Matters of representation motivate the practice of the young artist, who aims to spolight the underrepresented and invisible voices. Interpreting the stereotype of “the strong black woman”, Bosah either directs Sonia's gaze right towards the onlooker, challenging them with her strength, or he averts Daisy's gaze by portraying her tender and more vulnerable side. Despite the darker composition of colours, a light shines from within his subjects, who are inspired by his close social circle.

The series Tobacco Archive by Panos Charalampous (GR) functions as a collage of material inner landscapes, of “dry gardens”, which testify on the economic power of tobacco trading in Greece, that faded out half a century ago. The artist paints names, numbers, calculations, and dates on tobacco leaves in order to highlight the everyday labor, both physical and mental, of local tobacco producers, relating to the cultivation, the processing, the exportation and the circulation of tobacco.

The exploitation and exportation of local natural resources through globalized trading routes is also pivotal in Kwaku Yaro's (GH) work, who resorts to upcycling and repurposing of materials including mats, plastic bags, and jutsacks, frequently used in the trading of cocoa and coffee beans. For the artist, upcycling is a means to contribute to his community Labadi in Accra with managing the volumes of plastic waste. His subjects, members of this community, are dressed in a westernized manner, influenced by the social media and the popular culture. Yaro calls into question the practices of fast fashion that lead to mass waste in West African coasts, and wonders what is the position of his country in the contemporary geopolitical landscape.

Means of production and protocols of trade also become the backdrop in the installation of Panos Famelis (GR). The “sculptive drawings” A Frankenstein made of charcoal and sulfur | Stitch me up and put me in a wire fence of words employs a wooden cargo surface, where codes and protocols of transport are still visible behind the writing. The multi-layered automated transcription of poems renders the writing illegible and drives language towards abstraction: it becomes image and rhythm. Famelis contrasts the personal with the social, and he asks how these two frequencies coexist in the formation of a subjective identity, in a moment of crisis. The sewing of the different parts not only reminds of Yaro's seam lines, but also echoes an internal effort to put together the pieces of a fragmented whole.

The art practice of Dessislava Terzieva's (BU/USA) that combines collages, sculptures, and installations, becomes a conceptual anchor for this show. Terzieva draws from the tension between the attractive and the repulsive, the established and the precarious. She celebrates the aging of materials, the decay of public infrastructure, as well as the improvisational practices within a balkan household that stem from scarcity. Leading personal narratives towards abstraction, she re-contextualizes objects, material cultures and traditions with humor. For the needs of the show, the artist was invited on a residency by Citronne Gallery to procude a site-specific installation inspired by the genius loci of the city. The juxtaposition between materials and objects sourced from athenian flea markets and second-hand scarfs and textiles from her hometown evince the continuity of a shared historical and cultural Balkan experience.

Meanwhile, Nicole Economides' (GR/USA) practice handles the concepts of memory and monumentality (μνήμη/μνημ-ειακότητα), as well as the relation between personal and national identity through symbols and images of nostalgia. The painting Apollo touches on the appropriation of Greek mythologies by western modern painters and serves as an act of reclaiming her ancestral history. The use of language and erasure reflect on the in-between spaces of her dual citizenship. On the bottom of the work, the polaroid of Apollo's protome from the MET points out the access to transnational histories in universal museums and the ambiguous motives of the agents in the preservation and “safeguarding” of cultural heritage.

Abstraction is also the vehicle of Léllé Demertzi's (GR) hybrid collages on mirrors, which are inspired by the Greek mythology and Ovid's Metamorphoses in particular. The melding of sculptural and physical bodies, through photographs taken in metropolitan museums around the world, alludes to the diaspora of artefacts and people. Through the reassembling of dismembered bodies, the series aspires to reiterate and embody eternal traits of the human nature, and to empower through the consciousness of our incompleteness. The use of mirror invites the onlooker to become part of the artwork, to identify with the narratives of mythical creatures, deities and mere mortals, and to allow the trauma transform into scars (and stars).

The ravages of time and decay inspire the Ivorian mutli-disciplinary artist Cédric Kouamé (CI) in his ongoing project Gifted Mold. He collects and recomposes vintage photographs in order to materialize the passing of time by superposing layers of history that coexist in post-independence Abidjan. His premise is that no matter the degree of distortion of the photographic material, the image still conveys a sensation by implying the personal story of its subject. A similar point of departure gives breath to the triptych All is less by Adonis Volanakis (GR) which is based on an archive of glass films from Brussels by unknown photographer and provenance. The juxtaposition of the female figure with the grating shade (which reminds of a prison cell) comments on the glorification of beauty, elegance and ornament. The side panels derive from the verses by Paul Celan “All things are less than they are. All are more” and refer to the paradox between self and self-representation.

Ebenezer Nana Bruce (GH) also focuses on female portraiture with a larger-than-life stirkingly bright-coloured painting. The female form emerges from the monochromatic flat background with thick strokes of paint and is captured as a numinous being. The title of Yellow Shawl points to the unmediated realness of the woman behind her appearance, and thus beyond religious beliefs, social and economic status or personal taste. Ebenezer is motivated by matters of representation and manifests the essence of his subjects in all their frequencies and shades.

Alekos Kyrarinis (GR) is inspired in terms of form by byzantine iconography, folklore and the chistian tradition. His themes descent from archetypical narrations and scriptures. His practice spanning from marble sculture to painting, reinterprets intertemporal symbols in the here and now. The artwork Battle of Worlds II belongs to a larger series exploring Eastern traditions. The illusion of bas-relief, as well as the blending of figures and decorative patterns remind of the votive function of inscriptions, oblations, and offerings. In Kyrarinis' work, the figuration and the adornment, the physical and the metaphysical, the concepts of Good and Evil, and Human merge.

Finally, Courage Hunke's (GH) portrait draws the attention to one of the obscurest facets of the deeply religious Ghanaian society. Hunke aims to create awareness for the international community around the oppressing practice of stigmatizing any deviation from the societal norm, any form of resistance, and any expression of mental health disorder, and ostracizing it from the community, particularly in Northern Ghana. The artist traveled to these camps, the “safe spaces” where (disproportionally female) victims of this superstision are logged and documented their personal stories. His paintings are a living testimony of all these marginalized people.

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