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Alecos Fassianos, Maria Marshall, Antonio Riello, Aphrodite Litti

2007 Contemporary Istanbul

28.11.07 - 02.12.07

2007 Contemporary Istanbul 3

The Potnia Thiron Contemporary Art Gallery will be at the Contemporary Istanbul art fair with four international artists: Alecos Fassianos, Maria Marshall, Antonio Riello and Afroditi Litti. As a gallery, P/T stands out for the dynamism which is evident in its choice of artists: starting out with its Fassianos exhibition, P/T showed the recent work of an artist who has consciously opted for the ‘eternal comeback”, to return over and over to the (pure and authentic) style that made his name, and to prove that far from being a trap, repetition and stylization have actually served to proclaim his identity and personal history as the “only internationally significant contemporary Greek artist of his generation”.
Our next step was the show by film artist Maria Marshall, whose work, responding to the duality of the mythological creature referenced in its title—“Sirens”—is simultaneously alluring and disturbing, seductive and repellent. In Sofikon Epidaurus, a work being shown at Contemporary Istanbul, the ritualistic element provides an enigmatic link between yesterday and today which offers itself up for decryption.
The politically incorrect or unorthodox, a concept embodied in P/T itself, is also manifest in the irony and sarcasm of Antonio Riello’s work. In the artist’s hands, guns, hand-grenades and artillery shells—objects associated with violence and brute force—are transformed into feminine accessories and decorative items for the home. Sex, power, kitsch and the dialogue between utility-object and art-work come together as core ingredients in a show by an artist who knows how to approach the viewer playfully without undermining the underlying seriousness of his work.
Finally, Afroditi Litti’s metal constructions shed light on the transcendental coexistence of subject and material: small, light, fragile creatures and elements of nature acquire a volume, weight and tangible substance at odds with their reality. Such insignificant commonplaces of the Greek countryside as a pine kernel and an insect are rendered monumental and allegorical, while her outsize ring functions as a preternatural reminder of its historical, religious and often emotional and recollective importance; mere jewellery no more, it has become an object of timeless symbolism.
The work of the four artists on show—side by side yet autonomous; autonomous yet engaged in dialogue—comprise four separate manifestations of a shared view of art which shuns reassurance and compromise in favour of the risks of creative conflict: just like P/T itself.