ACG Art of The American College of Greece presents Vassilis Karakatsanis' art installation entitled G8+?, a political work with cultural connotations.
As known, 'G8' means a 'Group of Eight'. Originally known as 'G6', it concerns an international forum established by France in 1975 for the governments of the world's six most developed industrial countries: France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, and United States. When Karakatsanis created this work the group also included Canada and Russia. The institution of 'G' reveals the inadequacy of our planet's richness. In 2010, the International Monetary Fund - IMF included Greece in the rank of 31 countries with a developed economy. If the condition of Greece is considered to be difficult, one could reasonably wonder what happens to countries outside the rank, such as Afghanistan, Mozambique and Somalia. For this reason Karakatsanis completes this work's title with the international and immediately readable symbols "+?" meaning that G8 may decide, but what of the others?
The installation was first presented in 2003 by Epoches Gallery at the 10th Art Athina at Helexpo Palace, Athens. At that time, in relation to the G8 summit, terrible events took place of various public reactions to its policy with at least one dead in Genoa. In response, Karakatsanis set the eight flags of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom and United States, right up against a central wall. Along the floor in front of them he paved a runway of white fabric with prints of naked human footsteps. Thus he juxtaposed the rich of the world with the poor people reminding to the former that they also exist. The concentration of the rich on one side and the poor on a first reading seems to refer to a financial dispute. By extension, however, the differences can be beyond economy with reference to society, psychology, geography and culture.
In the present installation Karakatsanis presents on a central view the eight flags recumbent as a group on the wall. These flags together represent a compact body with a common goal and policy as opposed to the rest of the world. G8 embodies within itself the issue of power in the union of those who may be in charge of peoples' fate. Within walking distance, but against a different wall, Karakatsanis presents on its own, yet standing, the flag of Greece (that happens to be a subsequent work). Here, the Greek flag represents the powerless in the world. It is noteworthy that the needy, along with Greece, include affluent countries like Finland, Monaco, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland, which lack the ability to determine the fate of the planet. However, apart from these countries, Greece appears to represent 'heterogeneity'. Greece may not be rich but she has wisdom. She does not belong to those helpless who dislike the privileged. She knows that the main issue is not about wealth itself, but about the management of wealth for the benefit of the entire world.
G8+? continues the long persistence of Vassilis Karakatsanis with fabric. The greatest part of Karakatsanis' artistic investigation deals with the garment we wear and see. The fabric has played an important role in express ing his artistic aim - the dynamic sensation that it emerges out of the canvas and the stretcher into space. He claims that "With fabric I transform all my essence, eroticism, fantasies and fetishes into art." The Clothes series that he presented at Trito Mati in 1989 was the first time he used actual pieces of clothing on the canvas to create a situation of virtual people in the absence of their body. Subsequently, in 1991, the presented the Rugs series at Titanium Art Gallery, where he painted carpet designs on wearable clothes. In 1992 he presented the Flags of Europe series at Vicky Dracos Contemporary Art at Perissos. In 1999 Kreonidis Gallery presented the Clothes installation with painting on real dresses at the 7th Art Athina at the Athens Exhibition Centre in Ampelokipi.
The opening of Vassilis Karakatsanis - G8+? will take place at 20:00, on Wednesday, 8 September 2010, at the ACG Art Center, 6 Gravias Sreet, Agia Paraskevi. The exhibition will remain open until 17 December 2010. Visiting hours are Monday through Friday 09:00-21:00, and Saturday 11:00-16:00.
INFORMATION: Megakles Rogakos, The American College of Greece - ACG Art
6 Gravias Street, Agia Paraskevi, Athens, GR 15342, Greece, T: +30-210-6009800/1456, E: info@ACGart.gr