The Greek Pavilion

The joint project by artist Athanassia Kyriakakos and architect Dimitris Rotsios that was presented at the Greek pavilion this year by Marina Fokidi, commissioner of the Greek Pavilion, made an overall positive impression. «Intron,» which is what the work is called, is an architectural construction made of uneven levels and protruding, pyramid-shaped parts on which the viewer sees alternating videos of people from all over the world recounting their dreams. The installation was inspired by the biennale’s general theme «Dreams and Conflicts, The Dictatorship of the Viewer» and is meant to take the viewer through an environment which feels like dreams do: It is not linear or logical, it recalls memories, it makes us think both of the past and the future and experience time the same way we do in dreams. Well-executed, the installation was nonetheless dented by a couple of practicalities: The fact that it was difficult and slightly dangerous to walk on it (the people guiding the viewers inside the installation were very helpful) was one problem. Also, a larger scale would probably have made the work more visually effective. (Differences in the size of the pavilions are an interesting reflection of each country’s international clout at the time when the pavilions were built). Still, «Intron» was conceptually interesting and engaging. It addressed the intricate concept of time and attempted the difficult task of translating time into space, shape and form. What was also interesting is how the work sprung out of the collaboration of two artists who work with completely different means and styles: Rotsios is more inclined to digital technology and futuristic designs while Kyriakakos is fascinated with people, communication and the traces left by tradition and the past. The barely discernible, embroidery-like patterns covering the floor of the installation are one of the work’s pleasant touches that can be traced to Kyriakakos’s interest in tradition. The embroidery patterns were also a subtle reference to Greek folk styles. «Intron» was a refreshing and respectable presentation which, like the reception at the opening day of the pavilion, had an international air. Coming from three relatively young people in the field, this is an encouraging sign of a new generation of artists who are in tune with the international art scene and have aspirations for improvement.

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