Seventeen students, under the supervision of the 6th Painting Workshop of the ASFA,
This workshop was based on the exhibition “Have a Seat” held at the Hellenic American Union in February 2022, curated by art historian and archaeologist Louisa Karapidakis.
Nikos Athanasakis, Eva Andronicidou, Elizabeth Golfinopoulou, Panayiotis Gousias, Lena Dourmousoglou, Lambros Kordolaimis, Fotini Mavridis, Panos Meidanis, Amy Benekou, Vangelis Nanos, Angeliki Papadopoulou, Dimitris Simadis, Nefelios Sofianidis, Margarita Stephanidou, Spyridoula Feideropoulou, Angelos Hadjidemitriou, Theodoros Chiotidis.
Curated by the Sixth Painting Workshop of the ASFA
Organization: Dimitra Chanioti
Venue: Art Gallery “anti”, Antiparos
The reinvention of a seat by the Sixth Workshop of the ASFA
The exhibition Have a seat / Sit down presents this time interesting morphological quests and attractive theoretical approaches of students of the 6th painting workshop of the ASFA, around the same thematic unit of the “seat”, as a useful object of everyday use.
It is worth noting that these creations are the result of a long and multifaceted research and creative process of the sixth workshop, which included, apart from the educational activities in the workshop spaces of the School and visual stimuli with visual material, specialised guided tours in targeted exhibition visits.
. Nikos Athanasakis aptly captures the “multiple seat use options”, the Eva Andronicidou quotes the seat of well-being and touches on the “archetypal dipoles of the dynamic and the static, of movement and posture”, Elizabeth Golfinopoulou associates her versatile work with a familiar seat and “the memories of a family”, Panagiotis Gousias challenges the viewer to contemplate unseen aspects around different types of seating, small, large, formal, professional, etc. and touches on “the variability of the different dynamics of human relations”, Lena Dourmousoglou creates a dialogue between natural and processed materials with ecological sensitivity, Lambros Kordolaimis evokes human inertia, Fotini Mavridis on the occasion of two chairs ready made reasonably symbolizes the human presences-absences, Panos Meidanis represents a “subversive” sitter to indicate the escape tendencies of a trapped sitter, Amalia Benekou, on the occasion of her work, protests against the antiquated but entrenched patriarchal stereotypes, Vangelis Nanos at Everyday outfit emphasizes mainly the strong contrasting aesthetics, of conventional and unconventional, of yesterday and today, Angeliki Papadopoulou revisits the use of a former seat and describes the work as “an exploration of the shape and material of the chair”, Dimitris Simadis visually revisits a visible-not visible seat, Nefeli Sofianidi uses herself as a model and creates a prominent anthropomorphic seat to express her thoughts on “interdependence and balance, concepts directly or indirectly related to the seat”, in her creations Margarita Stefanidou the seats become wellness toys and lose their primary role, emphasizing mainly “moments of joy”, Spyridoula Feideropoulou with the design “wooden embrace” creates a small universe to highlight themes such as the lack of companionship and the nostalgia of lost persons, Angelos Hadjidemitriouwith the fragile “stool of responsibility” shifts his interest to the burdens of the “professional chair”, Theodoros Chiotidis likened the concept of the seat to the notion of a deep desire for family comfort.
The seating-artworks of the exhibition with their modern morphological elements and the various structural materials reconstruct the concept of seating and express the personal vision, perspective and ideas of each creator. The utilitarian object-seat is sometimes transformed into an installation or a sculpture or a conceptual work and either loses its functionality or is transformed into a work of applied art.
These are works of unparalleled dynamism with postmodern artistic formulations of a unique, contemporary aesthetic by seventeen young artists, which as a whole constitute an unprecedented exhibition experience for the viewer.
Louisa Karapidaki, art historian
“Have A Seat by 6th Studio of ASFA”
In early 2022, the very successful “Have A Seat” exhibition was held. This exhibition was co-organized by “anti Gallery” and the Hellenic American Union and was presented in the hospitable premises of the institution. The exhibition was curated by the very important art historian and archaeologist Louisa Karapidaki. The detailed, inspiring and very apt tour of the exhibition that the curator gave to the students of the 6th Painting Workshop, was the trigger for us to try our own artistic effort on this subject. We tried to deepen and analyse the key questions and concerns that were raised during that tour, so that they could be the trigger for the artistic creation of our students. So we proposed to our students to create their own artistic chair. A chair that can be real and functional can also be symbolic, unrealized, imaginary or manipulated.
Throughout human history, the chair has been used as a symbol of power and prestige or simply as a utilitarian object. The marble throne of Knossos, the throne of Zeus in Ancient Olympia, the symbolic Christian throne of “God”, the chair at Versailles, represented in various historical phases the attempt, through the seat, to emphasize religious, social, but also political power and supremacy. In Western art, the chair, always in the foreground, appears in works of various periods from Bruegel to Degas. Van Gogh is the one who uses the simple, frugal, modest, everyday chair with absolute respect and delicacy, thus indirectly answering the question whether the chair can be an artistic inspiration in its own right.
Chairs are a very familiar object for everyone. They coexist with humans in all kinds of places and human constructions. But as the shapes they take from their creators are numerous, the same variety of emotions and symbolisms are created by the artists who live in the interiors and exteriors and inevitably interact with these objects. For some it is the object of
their expectations and for others the object from which they want to escape. In some people the feelings of fullness, anticipation and optimism are manifested and in others the feelings of loneliness, loss and disappointment etc. Here we suggest to the young artists taking part in the exhibition that the chairs should be a source of inspiration, reflection, expression of feelings and concerns. In other words, we want these chairs to bear their own personal artistic stamp, with no strings attached and no compromises. Particularly nowadays, when the artist is emerging from a difficult period of confinement and isolation, time, space and the environment have an effect on the artist, acquiring a special dimension and dynamic. The results of these searches, in this highly charged creative environment, are presented in this exhibition. These results are indeed impressive in conception, execution and diversity. I believe that all those involved in this report are justified in this way.
Finally, we would like to mention the very important contribution of “anti Gallery” for the realization of this exhibition. From the moment it heard the idea of the “Have A Seat” project, it embraced our effort and believed in the work of the teachers and students. All this in practice and not in theory, since from the very first moment it proposed the transfer of the children’s works to the recognized and renowned spaces of the Gallery in Antiparos. This is a great honour for the workshop and even more so for the children themselves, since it is very important for the students that important art spaces, such as the “anti Gallery”, host their work and provide a bridge of communication with the public. Thank you very much.
Dimitra Chanioti, Workshop Faculty Athens School of Fine Arts / Department of Visual Arts
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