18020 Poros Island
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About the artist
About the exhibition
Constantin Xenakis is a nonconforming artist, intensely engaged in questioning and exploring the role of art and the artist’s responsibility towards the social whole. His work arises out of the contemporary socio-political reality he has experienced firsthand. Xenakis is a citizen of the world: he was born in Cairo and has lived in Athens and Paris. As such, he has a Greek identity and a triple cultural background: Greek, Egyptian and French.
This composite personality allows him artistically to approach the Greek situation from inside and outside. He has developed an abstract, yet at the same time, deeply meaningful visual idiom. He maps things out by constructing and deconstructing schemes, words, and concepts. He has invented a personal representational and visual alphabet. His figurative language makes varied allusions across time. He begins with ancient Greek and Egyptian civilization and progresses to contemporary everyday elements, such as international driving signs. He deconstructs all these references by transmuting them, recomposing them and creating new codes and images which reflect current reality- historical, social, and political.
Among the dead ends (NO WAY OUT) are paintings, collages, maps, and books-as-objects. These works are organised along an axis of Repetition / Juxtaposition / Superposition As such, they offer a codified image of contemporary civilization: “The symbols-codes interlock and meet in a chaotic manner and, by dialoguing with form and colour and concepts, attempt to coexist in the painting’s framework.” The work of art becomes, in the end, a means for ideological criticism of the existing socio- political system.