Science in art and painting

This may not be the most interesting season on the visual arts scene, yet a number of exhibitions that are currently taking place in Athens offer thorough presentations, interesting ideas and something of an exception to the standard group shows that are shown in art galleries. «Rebirth,» which is the title of a contemporary art group exhibition on view for a few more days at the Eugenides Foundation (in the domed hall of the old planetarium) is a sophisticated project that expresses the increasing interest of artists in science and technology, both in terms of form and content. Vassilis Kokkas, a composer of electro-acoustic music and one of the exhibition’s seven participating artists, has composed a piece of experimental music that is intended to symbolically portray the movement of planets in the solar system. Kokkas has participated in visual art projects many times: he is a member of Personal Cinema, a collaborative visual arts group, and has composed the acoustic part of «Athens-Beijing,» a work by Haris Kondosfyris that represented Greece at the recent Sao Paolo biennale. His work in «Rebirth» gives a space-age feeling to the exhibition and captures the mystery of the universe in the language of music. Several of the works in «Rebirth» were performance art pieces that were shown only once. What the visitor to the exhibition now sees is their documentation on video. Artist Yiannis Melanitis, for example, presented an interactive performance on the theme of genetics. Chain-like structures that allude to fractals are the leftovers of a performance by Elena Poka. In her video, Ioanna Myrka considers the future of biotechnology. Andreas Sitorego’s installation alludes to the intricate and undecipherable way in which the human brain functions. Constantinos Tiligadis has used a robot as part of his virtual-reality projection and Costas Daflos has created an instrument that captures the movement of the exhibition’s visitors and then projects it onto a cloud of smoke. If «Rebirth» is about the future, both of art and science, two solo exhibitions that are currently on display in Athens look into the past and are based on the traditional medium of painting. Yiannis Adamakis has rummaged through his childhood memories and grouped them in each of his paintings at the Zoumboulakis Gallery. There are old postcard-like images of boats, antique cars or animals, a collection of diverse elements that are interspersed in each painting and take the viewer on a nostalgic trip back into childhood. Like Adamakis, a young painter by the name of Socratis Fatouros looks into the past; not so much his own past as the history of civilization and art. In his semi-abstract paintings currently on view at the Nees Morfes gallery, one finds motifs that allude to distant civilizations, yet what most strikes the viewer is the elaborate, chiseled surfaces of his paintings (canvases stretched out on wood) and the unusual rendering of space. Eugenides Foundation 210.946.9600, Zoumboulakis Gallery 210.360.8278, Nees Morfes 210.361.6165.

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