Athens-Beijing | Harris Kondosphyris | 26th Bienal de Sao Paulo
The interactive installation Athens-Beijing by Harris Kondosphyris was exhibited for the first time in 2004 at CHEAPART/ Athens. During the same year, the two-piece installation is presented at the 26th Sao Paulo Biennale as Greece's national participation with National Commissioner, historian and art critic Irini Savvani and in 2005, at the 2nd International Beijing Biennale.
Athens-Beijing interactive installation by artist Harris Kondosphyris is the official Representation of Greece at the 26th Bienal of Sao Paolo, running from September 26 through December 26th at the Pavilhao Ciccilio Matarazzo in Brazil. The theme of the 26th Biennale is Territorio Livre (“Image Smugglers in a Free Territory”). Greece's participation is organized by the Ministry of Culture with historian and art critic, Commissioner Irini Savvini.
Following the 26th Bienal of Sao Paolo, Athens-Beijing was presented at the 2nd International Beijing Biennale in 2005. The installation was exhibited for the first time in 2004 at CHEAPART in Athens.
Athens-Beijing installation consists of two complementing but visually contrasting installations, which explore key issues in human communication and self-awareness, through the study of emigration and migration. “The Migrant’s Ark” is the facade of a Chinese pagoda, an architectural landscape which stands at the height of the spectator's eye. It’s scale and dimensions are revealed through light and shadow, experienced by the viewer as a "shadow theater" that projects into space. Enhancing the sensory perception of the work are smells released into the surrounding space, and the sound of electromagnetic music. In “The Heart of Darkness”, the outline of a standing crowd of immigrants is illustrated as life-sized figures which shadow their reflection. Clipped, stainless steel sheets form these contour human profiles on the large wall installation. The mirror-like surface reflects the image of the viewer as a part of the crowd, “forcing” his/her participation and interaction with the multiethnic global community.
Haris Kondosphyris, in collaboration with Greek-German musician Vassilis Kokkas, Greek-American poet Panagiotis Bosnakis and Greek-Austrian biologist Orestis Davias, creates common meeting points for all of us strangers- different and similar- who remain foreigners and emigrants carrying the baggage of our cultural identities, superstitions and viewpoints.
As art historian, critic and Greek commissioner Irini Savvani notes:
“In his work ‘Athens-Beijing’, Harris Kondosphyris and his fellow voyagers, remind us that art becomes, or can become, a synergic way of experiencing a different reality by opening passageways so that we are not content with superficial reflections, but may perhaps have an opportunity, like Alice, to enter other realities through the looking-glass”.
Athens-Beijing, Harris Kondosphyris
26th Biennale of Sao Paolo
Organized by: Greek Ministry of Culture
With the support of: Greek Consulate of Sao Paolo
Greek Commissioner / Curator: Irini Savvani
Exhibition organized in Athens: CHEAPART
26th Biennale of Sao Paulo
25 September – 19 December 2004
Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion, Sao Paolo, Brazil