Artist Alexandros Georgiou is not looking for an audience but fellow travelers with whom to share his journeys in faraway places. In the last few years, the artist’s body of work has been tied to his long-distance travels with a bare minimum of luggage and an immense desire to get under the skin of every place he visits.
Georgiou usually travels on cheap public transport, such as buses and trains, and stays in very low-budget rooms. His work comprises fragments of his routes: postcards, texts, photographs and small objects – tiny details that make up a great narrative.
The Benaki Museum of Islamic Art is currently hosting “postGods,” an exhibition curated by Eliza Gerolymatou which showcases the evidence of the artist’s months-long trips to India. Through the material he collected and forwarded to friends, collectors and supporters of his work, audiences get a chance to witness everything he found moving, enchanting, perplexing and absorbing.
Georgiou began visiting India in early 2000 and has returned to the country on numerous occasions. At the Museum of Islamic Art, visitors follow his pilgrimages to Char Dham (April-July 2014) and Maha Shakti Peetha (November 2015 – April 2016). Handmade postcards showcasing his refined handwriting, reworked black-and-white photos, CDs, DVDs, books and mementos are not so much a travel guide but rather a deeply personal diary, a story of personal impressions and experiences.
Those who take the time to explore this diary through the various displays will find it rewarding in its diversity.
The artist, an acute observer, is in no hurry to discover anything in particular and is more interested in becoming immersed in the general atmosphere. During the process, he describes social, political and cultural conditions, local traditions and religious practices and how these function in a contemporary society, while also narrating stories involving real people.
The exhibition’s title illustrates that both of these pilgrimages were tied to deities and monuments that belong to the religious sphere but which also affect people’s daily lives.
Georgiou’s oeuvre is an ongoing, open dialogue, which every now and then acquires new chapters and fresh experiences. The exhibitions runs through March 12, 2017.
Museum of Islamic Art, 22 Aghion Asomaton & Dipilou, tel 210.325.1311, www.benaki.gr