07.04 - 05.05.2023

Lamentations

MARIANNA PANAGIOTOUDI

The Eye Altering is pleased to announce Marianna Panagiotoudi’s first solo exhibition entitled Lamentations.  Having an art history education that is reflected in her work, the artist attempts a rather iconographic approach to the history of political homicides in contemporary Greek history: a pictorial study of how the images of the murdered victims (εικόνα) could be written (γραφείν) in the arts. Continuing a nearly unnoticed artistic tradition of the portrayal of political violence and its usual outcome – the mortal remains – Panagiotoudi produces not only a series of artworks but also a solid narration of the political homicides that have agonized the country. The murders recounted are that of Tasos Tousis (1936), George Polk (1948), Grigoris Lambrakis (1963), Diomidis Komninos (1973), Stamatina Kanellopoulou (1980), Iakovos Koumis (1980), Michalis Kaltezas (1985), Nikos Temponeras (1991), Alexandros Grigoropoulos (2008), Pavlos Fyssas (2013), Zak Kostopoulos (2018).

The artist depicts the bodies of the victims either antemortem, after being assaulted, or postmortem. At the most primal level, the human corpse might be visually shocking. Nonetheless, the cadaver presides over art history, manifested in the extolling Christian icons, the didactic symbolism of memento mori, the Baroque glorification of the grotesque, the Surrealist obsession with the exquisite corpse and most recently, the depiction of the dead body that has emerged in contemporary art. Besides the corpse, the title of the exhibition is also related to art history through the Christian iconographic tradition. The Lamentation of Christ is a common subject indeed in Christian art from the High Middle Ages to the Baroque, in which Christ’s body, after the crucifixion, is removed from the cross (Deposition) and the bereaved mourn over the remains.

From the religious Lamentation to the collective mourning, loss and grief that occurred as a result of death – let alone cold-blooded murders perpetrated in order to achieve political goals, impose ideas and instil fear – ought to find an outward expression both in an individual and a collective way.

The photographic material the artist uses as starting point for her artworks is borrowed from the public arena – the press, television, the Internet, and archives – and constitutes the evidence that establishes these events as undeniable. As the American writer Susan Sontag suggested photography does not evoke but shows, and unlike handmade images can count as evidence. Panagiotoudi follows precisely the opposite trajectory, she transforms the evidence into paintings, woodcuts, and monotypes to evoke the collective memory and narrate the inequality and injustice to which the corpses have been subjected to.

Lamentations, Installation View
Untitled (1973), 2023, coloured woodcut print, 70 x 50 cm (composition)/ 80 x 60 cm (sheet)
Lamentations, Installation View
Lamentations, Installation View
Untitled (1985), 2023, oil on canvas, 140 x 100 cm
Lamentations, Installation View
OPENING HOURS

Wednesday: 11:00 - 15:00
Thursday: 17:00 - 21:00
Friday: 17:00 - 21:00
Saturday: 11:00 - 15:00
(The indicated opening hours apply during the presentation of exhibitions.)

FIND US

2 Paikou street, 54625 Thessaloníki, Greece