The solo exhibition of Yioula Hadjigeorgiou entitled Sourdine and the solo exhibition of Eleni Lyra entitled Crossing are hosted at Flat 1 in Vienna, from 14 to 26 February 2024. Both exhibitions are curated by Dr. Stratis Pantazis.

The Cypriot artist Yioula Hadjigeorgiou has given the title “Sourdine” to her current solo exhibition at flat1 after the wooden accessory sourdine, which is attached to various instruments and especially to stringed instruments, in order to “muffle” the sound and change its pitch. The majority of works presented in the show are based on the unpublished 16 mm film and photographs from the 1930s of the Greek musicologist and music educator Spyros Skiadaresis (1904 – 1967), and focus on one of the ethnological exhibitions, known as human zoos, organized at the Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale in Paris. Specifically, African people from the French colonies, half-naked, are exhibited as curious anthropoids among the inhabitants, the whites, the “civilized” of the big city. People are reduced to a spectacle, an object of study, a pleasant nothingness: without emotion, mind and substance. Similarly, her fragile “doll” installation, made of ashes, become a tribute to the children, victims of the mechanisms of power, who fail to live and dream. They are sensitive to the slightest blow indicating devastation, death and decay.

The Greek artist Eleni Lyra focuses on the human drama in her solo exhibition “Crossing.” In her series of photographs (2001 – 2020) printed on cloth, angel-children or angel-elderly are moving away from the earth, heading towards the sky, in a pose reminiscent of the Crucifixion of Christ, a symbol of His crossing from life to death, in order to save humanity and bring purification. Similarly her sculpture with the women’s dress in the shape of the Cross expresses again Lyra’s concern for the weak, while her plaster sculpture, inspired by Hermes or Herma (Ἑρμαῖ) sculptures that first appeared in various parts of Ancient Greece, makes references to gender-based violence. For the artist, women, children and the elderly are often the first victims in the “game” of asserting and subverting power.

Both artists’ works bring to the fore the dark side of our civilization, which has been muffled or beautified. They manage to remind us the truth and the fundamental problems of our “civilization”.

Radetzkystrasse 4
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