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  • Sweat with honor | Nikos Ellinikakis
  • Sweat with honor | Nikos Ellinikakis
  • Sweat with honor | Nikos Ellinikakis
  • Sweat with honor | Nikos Ellinikakis
  • Sweat with honor | Nikos Ellinikakis
  • Sweat with honor | Nikos Ellinikakis

Sweat with honor | Nikos Ellinikakis

Nikos Ellinikakis creates an installation on the phrasal and conceptual stereotype "Sweat with honor”, commenting on the deep-rooted morals of the Greek society throughout time.

In the winter of 2003, I participated as a producer in the filming of a group of workers at a construction site, as they struggled to deliver a building for the pressing needs of the Olympic games. The workers, mostly immigrants imported from the Balkans and Africa, embraced the camera with confidence and a triumphant smile. The promotional video aims to boost the public moral by highlighting the efforts made towards the implementation of the “national vision” and the timely completion of the Olympic projects.

Months later, I searched for the names of these workers as well as the inner lining of their helmets. This piece of leather or foam used to absorb sweat from their forehead was placed as a key feature in my installation. It is a symbolic representation, a verbal and conceptual stereotype that has been overemphasized the past 50 years, to the extent of it being deprecated in the present day.

Holy Wood………………..Sweat with honor.

A bodily secretion that not only stains but also sanctifies, a phrasal and conceptual stereotype with a left-wing shade, deep-rooted in the morals of the Greek society of that time, something evident in the melodramatic films and the press of this period.

Sweat with honor....................... in the age of deodorants ?????????

A phrase banned from today’s mass media models. As we exist in an age of prototype iterations, sweat describes only the well-toned bodies of athletes and sexy girls on the beach, the club, the spa. Sweat with honor, a phrase worth considering in a time when the once meaningful stereotype is now emptied of any moral appreciation, left only to define the foreign hand labour willing to sweat instead of us, sacrificed on the alter of our fake visionaries.

Sweat with honor
Nikos Ellinikakis

"Sweat with honor is an obsolete expression nowadays. Upon hearing it, we go back to the 60’s when it was used with almost religious reverence….. It was a value system, which drove an entire post-war generation of Greeks to "an honest day’s sweat" for the reconstruction of their ideas and residential areas, and moreover for the economic recovery and development of Greece."

Excerpt from the text by Olinka Migliaresi Varvitsiotis, Art Historian
on the installation ”Sweat with honor" by Nikos Ellinikakis
Ολόκληρο το κείμενο ⬇

Opening: Monday, November 8, 2004
Duration: 8 – 28.11.2004
Hours: 14:00 – 21: 00, Monday – Sunday

25 A.Metaxa
106 81 Athens, Greece