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Constantin Xenakis
GREECE AND WRITING CODES
June 27 - October 4, 2020
Poros

Archaeological Museum of Poros
Koryzi Square
18020, Poros

(+30) 697 9989 684

Opening Hours
Mon, Wed-Sun: 08.30-16.00

About the artist

Constantin Xenakis was born in 1931 in Cairo (Egypt). He studied Architecture and Interior Design at the École Supérieure des Arts Modernes and Painting at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière (1956-61). He taught at the Schiller College and at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Berlin (1970, DAAD grant). He settled permanently in France in 1973. He taught at the École Normale Supérieure de l’Enseignement Technique (Cachan), he participated in educational committees and he presented his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide. He held the retrospective exhibition “The Return of the Artist: 1958-1996” in Alexandria and Cairo (1996). He exhibited his autobiographical series “The Book of My Life” in three parts (1995, 1997, 2003) in Greece, and in 2003 he organized a retrospective exhibition, with works of 20 years (State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki). Two monographs have been published on his work so far in Greek (1995 and 2009). He was awarded the “Pierre Delmas” prize by the Institute de France (1996). He lives and works in Paris and Athens.

About the exhibition

The multifaceted visual idiom of Constantin Xenakis is inspired by signs and symbols that span the spectrum from the ancient worlds of Egypt and Greece to contemporary reality: urban structures, computer systems, the chaotic internet. He charts and codifies, combines elements from past and present, documents and denounces the impasses of communication, the lack of understanding, the contemporary world's failure to connect.

His works unify time and space, since questions like these have always engendered a universal preoccupation. They unfold along an axis of repetition / juxtaposition / layering, a codified image of contemporary culture. In this way the artwork becomes a means of ideological critique to the current sociopolitical system.

The emblematic work in the series at the Museum is a map of Greece, a chart of the sea—"la mer grecque". As always in the mapping works of Xenakis, the objective documentation is chaotically mingled with symbols-references that are personal or cultural in a broader sense. The charted Aegean Sea is presented as a "mosaic of shipwrecks"; a Greek sea that acts as both an intercultural cradle and a hub of Greek tragedy. It must be remembered that the Aegean is the predominant marine point of reference throughout Greek history, political and cultural alike, and hence a timeless element of Greek and Greek-born identity.