02.05.07 - 19.05.07

“Gallery Trophy”, 2007, installation view, dimensions variable


The installation entitled "Gallery Trophy" comments on the subject of competition in art. Is art competitive? If yes, how much does this influence its creative part but also in relation to the artist's choices?

Since the 80's new conditions in the art scene were created, which were strengthened during the 90's. The progress which concerned art itself, as we observed it in the large international exhibitions, ceased to be regarded in relation to theoretical Word.

For the first time -at least to that degree- art derived its prestige from going together with the market, in a wider sense. The competition, which pre-existed in art, obtained new dimensions, obeying the rules of the market. New conditions were created in the way these matters were perceived.

Some of the questions that rightfully arise are: Can someone be creative undistracted, uninfluenced and with no "commitment", when all around them such a competitive climate governs, which introduces art, in such a straightforward way, with the notions of the market, "fabrication" and "promotion" as primary characteristics? Is it likely that the introduction of these new facts guides artists towards specific directions and urges them to get place in the "lifestyle" of the given era, making the inwardness and creative spontaneity come second?

In the exhibition "Gallery Trophy" I present a tennis court, in half of its real dimensions, placed in the space of AD Gallery. The gallery is transformed into a court, a court which is distorted in order to fit in its new "surroundings". Facing it, hanging, it's the "prize", a wild boar's head. The head of the wild boar is placed in the space like the embalmed trophies of hunters in mountain village houses, as a demonstration of power and dominance.

The parallelism of the tennis court with the wild boar hunt is the continuation of a mural entitled "hunt", done in the old Arsakio school in Patra, in the exhibition "What remains is Future", as part of the events of the European Capital of Culture, during the Fall of 2006. In the work "hunt", I contrast a wild boar hunting scene, which is a copy of Rubens's drawing, entitled "Boar hunt", 1835, with a drawing of a modern tennis court. This parallelism poses diachronic questions about survival, dominance, supremacy as well as social stratification.

Nikos Papadimitriou

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