DL Gallery presents on Friday 20 October 2023 the solo exhibition of Nikos Samaras entitled “esotopes“. It is a complex project with installation, video projections, sound documentary, but also painting on a box and aluminium surface.
The architect George Alexandros Samaras notes about the exhibition:
“In his new exhibition ESOTOPES, in October 2023, Nikos Samaras presents a set of paintings, part of a larger series of works that the artist returns to over the years, again and again, reshaping and developing it. Its core and the axis around which it revolves, is set at a given moment in which the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and my birth coincide.
My position, by definition, next to the artist, from that moment onwards, makes me a witness to his life and work. This very position, if anything, makes my perspective towards his work emotionally similar to that of the artist, and this is one reason why I will not attempt an analysis concerning the painterly or technical values and virtues of his artistic production.
If, at least, one attempts to understand the driving force that propels the artist in the production of the work, one can come to the observation that this point in time, where the events of April 1986 take place, is the beginning of a rhythmic repetition, a leitmotif, which functions as a metronome in Nikos Samaras’ work as a whole and not merely as a source of inspiration in the development of the themes of his work.
It does not simply stick to a theme in order to sensitize the viewer to issues concerning ecological destruction, the reckless use of technology or irresponsibility, placing this work in the category of strictly militant art. The ESOTOPES series, through intention or circumstance, seems to evolve in time, to a certain extent, in the way a radioactive element is transmuted.
Esotopes is the atomic clock that reminds the artist of the constant need to seek the energy called art in his work and it is this that reconnects him with his audience.”
In her turn, the art historian Athena Schina, comments on the motifs in the work of Nikos Samaras: “Nikos Samaras chose, not by chance, but with absolutely crucial necessity, the basic nuclei of the conceptualization of his works, which were the sinks. Children’s washbasins, like those usually found in kindergartens. Small in size, to emphasize the difference in size and temporal distances, of observation, memory and recall. Sinks such as those of radioactive materials might be, but also sinks of a game (once timelessly dangerous). Sinks of the obligation of responsibilities like the sink of Pontius Pilate.
Sinks therefore of decontamination and pharisaical discharge, with electronically imprinted the time of the tragic accident, which was repeated persistently, guiltily, unpaid, recalling the global catastrophe in nature, the alterations in genetics, the victims in human resources, the collapse of any accompanying ideology, the rifts that have since been opened and remain uncovered, unjustified and with bankrupt reasons for their support. “Esotopes” of radioactivity and precipitations, these sinks with their electronic times nailed to the moment of explosion and leakage, insist on the leakage of time and the consequences that have intervened in this decade. A decade of high speeds, multiple images and overlapping noises. The “isotopes” of radioactive nature and the uncontrolled laws they unleash operate in the consciousness of the entire civilized world like the modern “original sin”, especially for those responsible and the generations that follow after them, taking the specific “directions”.
Exhibition Opening: Friday 20 October 2023 at 19:00
Exhibition Duration: 20 October 2023 through 16 March 2024
Opening Hours: Thursday/ Friday: 12:00 – 20:00 / Saturday: 12:00 – 16:00
Entrance to the exhibition is free to the public.