The timing is highly appropriate, as we commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Greek War of Independence, while at the same time countries and societies the world over are reeling from the pandemic. Within this framework, Portals aspires to convey the messages, ideas and visions of contemporary artistic creation, investigating the new reality revealed through the prism of change and disruption. The exhibition is curated by Elina Kountouri, Director of NEON, and Madeleine Grynsztejn, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
The exhibition continues in October 2021 with new opening hours and performances in and around the former Public Tobacco Factory.
Opening Hours: Wed, Fri, Sun | 11:00-19:00, Thu, Sat | 12:00-20:00, Mon, Tue | Closed, 28th of October | Closed
BRENDAN FERNANDES | A SOLO UNTIL WE CAN DANCE AGAIN
New project assigned by NEON
Performers: Cecil Mikroutsikou, Myrto Grapsa, Candy Karra
Former Public Tobacco Factory – Parliament Library & Printing House | Lenorman 218 | COURTYARD
Every Thursday of October, 17:00, 18:00 & 19:00
CHRYSANTHI KOUMIANAKI THE STAGE IS EMPTY: PART II
New project assigned by NEON
Performers: Eva Vlassopoulou, Maria Tzani
Kolonos Hill and Theater
8, 9, 10 October 2021, 18:45 – 20:30
Due to the sanitary measures, reservations at neon.artsvp.co are necessary
The exhibition is inspired by an article from 2020 by the novelist Arundhati Roy, who sees the pandemic as a “portal, a gateway between one world and the next”. Acknowledging that the rupture created by the pandemic individually and collectively opens a portal, it is up to us to negotiate our transition through it. According to Roy, “we can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world”.
Adriana Varejão – Ruina de Charque Lapa, 2001
Portals takes place in the NEON-renovated building of the former Public Tobacco Factory, which emerges as a modern cultural hub, open to all. In this space, artists from across the world express a pluralism of ideas, addressing the concept of the collective and our cultural understanding of history and politics, public space and our communal past, present and future.
(front to back) Danh Võ – Untitled, 2021 (λεπτομέρεια) & El Anatsui – Rising Sea, 2019
The exhibition explores contemporary reality and pays tribute to a world in need of healing and unity.
The 59 participating artists from Greece and abroad, create artworks using various media – installations, painting, sculpture, photography and performance – exploring topics such as Movement, the Communal, Connection and Home.
(από εμπρός) Γιάννης Κουνέλλης – Untitled, 2005 & Elias Sime – TIGHTROPE: ECHO!?, 2020
Among them, the 15 new commissions by NEON, created especially for the Tobacco Factory, enrich and consider the concept of the exhibition. The new commissions are by Anastasia Douka, Brendan Fernandes, Elif Kamisli, Panos Kokkinias, Chrysanthi Koumianaki, Glenn Ligon, Maria Loizidou, Teresa Margolles, Ad Minoliti, Duro Olowu, Gala Porras-Kim, Michael Rakowitz, Alexandros Tzannis, Adrián Villar Rojas and Danh Võ.
Glenn Ligon – Waiting for the Barbarians, 2021 (detail)
Portals will include a parallel programme dedicated to the history of the former Tobacco Factory building and created in collaboration with the respective departments of the Hellenic Parliament. In addition, a series of parallel events including discussions and educational programmes are scheduled.
Alongside the physical exhibition, there will also be an online ‘portal’. NEON’s free mobile app (available for iOS and Android) will provide access to self-guided tours, photographs and information about the works and the participating artists. It will also include details about the parallel programmes, and how to schedule visits to the Tobacco Factory safely and in accordance with the health authorities’ advice.
The exhibition is part of the Cultural Programme of Contemporary Art 2021 and is the outcome of the collaboration between the Hellenic Parliament and NEON marking the 2021 anniversary year. Portals aspires to highlight in Greece and abroad the ability of democratic institutions to face today’s emerging societal challenges through the lens of contemporary artistic creation.
(from left) Maria Papadimitriou – My Soul My Beast (Portable Monument of Animality), 2016 & Anastasia Douka – Anger organizes, 2021
The collaboration between the two bodies was announced on 14 December 2020 by the President of the Hellenic Parliament, Mr. Constantine Tassoulas, NEON’s Founder, Mr. Dimitris Daskalopoulos and NEON’s Director, Ms. Elina Kountouri, during an event in the Senate Hall of the Hellenic Parliament.