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How is painting defined at the end of the 20th century? How can the painting image create meaning, especially in a society inundated with imagery? Is painting obsolete, reactive, and conservative? Under what conditions can we refer to it as an act of reflection within the framework of a broader theory of culture, as analyzed in Terry Eagleton’s After Theory, a landmark in the theory of modern culture? These are some of the questions that the exhibition entitled “Paint-id” attempts to answer; the exhibition will take place from May 24 to September 31 at the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, within the framework of the 2nd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, organized by the State Museum of Contemporary Art under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture.

The exhibition entitled Paint-id is a presentation of contemporary artistic trends, centred around the work of modern artists in Greece, artists who make a critical negotiation of both artistic reflection and the painting medium. It is a complement to recent international developments at a curatorial and theoretical level, with respect to the revival of the painting medium.

The public is given the opportunity to view works by artists who express themselves through painting or artists who reflect semantically on painting, even if they do not use it as their main form of expression. Their work is presented in relation to contemporary international references and reclassifications, while also presenting the aims of each artist’s aesthetic programme. The indicative representation of important painters with international activity in this exhibition, proposes an additional parallel reading of domestic artistic production within an international framework.

The exhibition entitled “Paint-id” constitutes an appraisal of the role that painting plays in contemporary art. The title “Paint-id” should be read as both “the identity of painting”, but also as the psychoanalytically defined “painting self”, beyond the ego. The exhibition, from this point of view, has two parameters: it constitutes a comment on the historically defined relationship between the painting image and the society that produces it, but at the same time it also constitutes a trans-historic reference to the ontological conditions of the human state, as these become points of critical treatment in contemporary works of painting. Video ergo sum. This question is addressed to young Greek artists who express themselves exclusively or mainly through the medium of painting.

The curator of the exhibition, Sotiris Bahtsetzis, mentions that “the title ‘Paint-id’ should be read as a question for the tabula rasa of painting, both as ‘identity’ and as ‘ID’, as we choose to name the psychoanalytically defined, ontological unconscious background of what we call ‘image’, the peculiar entity that moves within the semantic network between the object, its mental presentation and representation, between the subjective and the collective, between the imaginary and the rationally real. The artists who participate in the exhibition, and who implement their artistic reflection through painting or comment semantically on painting even if they do not use it as their main form of expression, are invited to provide answers to critical questions through their work, to reflect on ontological or anthropological coefficients. This is the only way for the painting image to become a link for contemporary social, political and ideological premises at the apex of the technocratic society of entertainment and the contemporary neutralization of history.”

Participating artists: Emi Avora, Athanasios Argianas, Vasilis Vasilakakis, Vaggelis Gkokas, Christos Delidimos, Irene Efstathiou, Vasilis Zografos, Nikos Kanarelis, Vassilis Karouk, Konstantinos Ladianos, Panagiotis Loukas, Sotiris Panousakis, Nikos Papadimitriou, Ilias Papailiakis, Eftihis Patsourakis, Maria Polyzoidou, Vassilis Salpistis, Dimitris Tzamouranis, Alexandros Tzannis, Kostas Tsolis, Mantalina Psoma.

Curated by: Sotiris Bahtsetzis

Duration: May 24 – July 31
Venue: Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art

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