Eleven contemporary visual artists from Greece and Cyprus in dialogue with the Parnassos Literary Society historical collection.
Within the framework of its collaboration with Parnassos Literary Society in Athens, contemporary art platform Dio Horia presents the group exhibition “Beautiful” from 02 March to 06 April 2019. For the first time in the history of the iconic building on Karytsi Square, eleven contemporary visual artists from Greece and Cyprus engage in dialogue with works of eleven historical artists selected from the Society’s collection. At the beginning of December 2018, Dio Horia invited the artists Spyros Aggelopoulos, Savvas Christodoulides, Georgia Fambris, Chrysanthi Koumianaki, Aristeidis Lappas, Iliodora Margellos, Maria Papadimitriou, Vasilis Papageorgiou, Poka - Yio, Cacao Rocks, Tassos Vrettos to study the Parnassos Literary Society collection and chose an artwork, with which one of their own works is in direct dialogue, conceptually or technically. It is quite common for an artist to collaborate with a museum’s or cultural foundation’s existing collection. The occasions where artists have been inspired by museums and their various collections (archaeological, ethnographical, medicinal, botanical, zoological and others) are countless, and collections have been used as a subject both for academic studies and for creating original works of art. These collaborations have expanded our understanding of cultural objects beyond their typical museological presentation and analysis. The exhibition title “Beautiful” comes from collector and philanthropist Dominique De Menil’s quote, who invited Andy Warhol in the 1970’s to create a new work using object stored at the Rhode Island School of Design. Menil invited Warhol to the collection with the words: “What is beautiful for the artist, becomes beautiful. What is poetic for the poet, becomes poetic. So let us visit the museums with artists and poets.” In the case of the exhibition “Beautiful”, the works of contemporary artists reflect some of the ways in which individual and historical narratives of a relatively unknown collection are being revisited. The idea of contemporary artists collaborating with the collection of the Parnassos Literary Society opens up possibilities and raises interesting questions. On the one hand, it creates opportunities of collaboration between artists of different historical periods, allowing the creation of new works, new ways of presentation and new interpretations of the material in the Parnassos collection. At the same time, it examines the value of an historical collection from present-day artists and audience, highlighting both commonalities and disparities between works that deal with similar issues at the same geographical location but across different time periods.