Inter Spinas Florent at Kopria Store

17.01.2019

(Inter) \Spinas\ }Florent{ - A ceramics exhibition among plants

und. organises its second pop-up showcase with the participation of ceramicists Kika Hinari, Vassiliki Kyriaki, Giannis Mamoutzis and Haris Panousopoulos. The aim of und.'s pop-up exhibitions is to present artists in unusual and unconventional spaces, and to explore new relationships that emerge through the work of art and its environment within the particular context of the Athenian habitat.

The exhibition (Inter) \Spinas\ }Florent{ presents works by four Greek artists who use clay as their main artistic medium, and which works are the result of processes that can be described as organic, archetypical, biomimetic or even algorithmic.

Biomimicry or biomimetics is a branch of design and technology that draws inspiration from the natural world to create innovative solutions to human problems. For example, the super-high-speed trains of Japan borrow their aerodynamic shape from the anatomy of the kingfisher's beak, or some architects study termite nests in order to design better-ventilated bioclimatic buildings.

The relationship between art and nature is of course as old as the wall paintings of the first humans some 40,000 years ago. Furthermore, as one of the oldest human achievments, the art of ceramics follows closely the relationship between man and nature for millennia. The exhibition (Inter) \Spinas\ }Florent{ is seeking the quintessential, ontological relationship between nature and the work of art, by presenting works that approach the principles and methods of biomimicry as artistic device and methodology.

Kika Hinari's "self-conscious pots" are the result of coiling, and their startlingly lifelike forms blur the line between object and living creature. Vassiliki Kyriaki's Cactus Pots are a direct reference to the world of succulents, but at the same time are the result of a dextrous use of the artist's fingers as a moulding technique to create shapes that are uncannily familiar both to the eye and touch. In a gesture of advanced craftsmanship, Giannis Mamoutzis gives to the vessels and ceramic sculptures presented at the exhibition the look of skin, and at the same time creates interesting relationships between interior and exterior spaces. A flock of microsculptures by Haris Panousopoulos is the result of the artist's interest in reusing fragments and scraps from his workshop to create minuscule compositions, that remind microorganisms or plankton when seen from a distance.

The works are presented at Kopria concept store, which specialises in rare succulents and cacti that have a special aesthetic interest. Like a miniature jungle waiting to be explored, Kopria's interior garden becomes for a few days the habitat of these ceramic creatures, which are exhibited scattered in the space and without being visible at first sight. The goal is to allow the works to come in dialogue with the plants and create relationships between the plants's organig bodies and the inorganic bodies of the clay works. A small map guides the visitor to discover the exhibits and observe from up close their structure, expressive qualities and the relationship they develop with the plants that surround them.

The word structure (Inter) \Spinas\ }Florent{ paraphrases the motto of the French town Aubusson, "inter spinas floret" (it blooms among thorns), which in turn is a paraphrase of the well-known line from the Song of Solomon: "sicut lilium inter spinas, sic amica mea inter filias" (like a lily among thorns, so is my beloved among the daughters). More like a motto than an exhibition title, (Inter) \Spinas\ }Florent{ means "they flower among spines", and refers to both the literal spines of Kopria's cacti, and metaphorically to the relationship between pleasant and painful, domesticated and dangerous.

As long as Kopria is a "flowershop without flowers", then the works of the four artists at the exhibition become "that which flowers" as implied by the title, and allow the reading of the work of art as an expression of that particular human activity that domesticates matter — all the while constantly negotiating its position between utility and aesthetics.

  • The exhibition (Inter) \Spinas\ }Florent{ takes place at Kopria (Eressou 30, 106 81, Exarcheia) from 22-26 January 2019. For the exhibition there will be no opening event. Visiting hours are the regular opening hours of the shop (Tue-Fri 11:00-21:00, Sat 11:00-19:00). For more information please contact und.athens@gmail.com.
Artwork by Haris Panousopoulos

Participating artists: Kika Hinari, Vassiliki Kyriaki, Giannis Mamoutzis, Haris Panousopoulos
Curation, texts by Kiriakos Spirou / und.
Design, visual communication by Sofia Pliakopanou
Organisation assistant: Konstantinos Anastasiades
Hosted by Kopria
Organisation and communication by und.

*

Vassiliki Kyriaki was born in 1988 in Athens. She graduated from the workshop of sculpture, design, object-making and jewellery design at the School of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Western Macedonia in Florina. She has practiced various techniques of metal casting with Halilou Dahoud, Andronikos Sagiannos and Kimiaki Kageyama. In ceramics she has practiced with Daniel Didier (in Margarites, Crete) and Theodora Chorafa (in Aigina), and has also attended workshops on ceramic material technologies with Kostas Tarkasis and Menandros Papadopoulos. She has exhibited her work in two solo and six group exhibitions. https://vassilikikyriaki.wordpress.com/

Giannis Mamoutzis was born in 1980 in Maroussi, Athens. He has worked in painting, clay sculpture and ceramic glazing technologies. Since 2008 he works in his personal workshop materialising his inspirations and taking advantage of all the knowledge and input he has at his disposal. He has done two solo shows and has participated in group art and design exhibitions in Greece and abroad. https://www.mamoutzis.com/index.php/en/

Haris Panousopoulos is an alumnus of the 3rd Painting Workshop of the Athens School of Fine Arts under the tutelage of Rena Papaspyrou. He maintains his own studio since 2010 and in 2013 he founded "open studio athens". He teaches drawing and art subjects at schools; at the same time he paints, designs ceramics, collaborates with other artists and select art venues. He was in contact with ceramics and painting from a very young age, since both his parents were professional artists in these two fields. ✌ https://www.facebook.com/openstudioceramics/

Kika Hinari's engagement with ceramics began in 2013 with Giorgos Mitsios and Voula Gounela as her teachers. Through her work she explores the influence of form on everyday human life, and makes weightless containers/shells, with the intention that these will create a sense of calm. Having studies in Geology-Palaiontology, she often allows her work to draw inspiration from her observation of the Earth in relation to time. She lives and works in Athens. www.instagram.com/ki.ceramics, www.facebook.com/kiceramics

und. Is an artist-run platform for the documentation, promotion and development of emerging and underrepresented contemporary art in Athens and the wider region. Its scope of activities mainly includes independent publishing, both online and in print, and always in collaboration with designers, artists, writers and curators. As part of its mission, und. produces critical texts and publications about art, curates exhibitions, organises pop-p events, participates in art fairs and provided media sponsorships to independent art events. The platform was founded in January 2017 by Cypriot art writer and composer Kiriakos Spirou.

Kopria is a concept store operating on 30 Eressou St in Exarcheia since the summer of 2018. It is a plant shop specialising in rare and unusual cacti, succulents and interior plants. Kopria also stocks plant-care objects, ceramics, magazines and other objects around contemporary culture and aesthetics. Occasionally, the store organises exhibitions with young artists. https://www.instagram.com/kopriastore/

Info
(Inter) \Spinas\ }Florent{
22 - 26 Jan 2019

Kopria Store
Eresou 30, Exarcheia
Athens, 106 81
T + 30 211 113 2535
Tue - Fri 11:00 - 21:00
Sat 11:00 - 19:00

✍ Text by Kiriakos Spirou

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