"Any courage is a fear" @Dafni Psychiatric Hospital, Athens, Greece
Text by Dr Kostas Prapoglou:
The installation ...Any courage is a fear..., 2022, a title that comes from a poem of E.E.Cummings (1894-1962), is an immersive environment surveying the oppositions between the imbalances of the outside world and the potential tranquility that can be achieved through esoteric processes. War, conflict and environmental degradation are some of today's traits that the artist wishes to expel from our life. Employing materials that channel undisturbed peacefulness and serenity, she proposes a new space of rumination and equilibrium. This is her own domain that she gracefully shares and invites us to be a part of and re-construct a new -sturdier- inner fortress. Reverberating positive frequencies, Skandali's work is a poetic take of our actuality suggestive of the universality of humanity and the re-establishment of our higher self.
reality check: inner sanctum
curator + concept design: dr Kostas Prapoglou / artefact athens
“my destination is no longer a place, rather a new way of seeing” ---- Marcel Proust
The geographical location of the Psychiatric Hospital of Attica (Dafni, Athens, Greece) is situated on the axis of the ancient Sacred Way that connects the city of Athens with Eleusis. This is where the ritual and procession of the Eleusinian Mysteries used to take place in antiquity. Just across the road from the hospital, one could find the temple of God Apollo (Dafnaios Apollo), above which the Byzantine Monastery of Dafni was built later. The sanctuary of Aphrodite (Aphaia Skaramanga - Haidari) was also located on the same axis. It incorporated carvings and niches on the natural bedrock, where the pilgrims used to place votive offerings to the goddess praying for personal uplift, fulfillment of desires and catharsis.
In 2021, the group exhibition reality check took place in one of the largest –abandoned– buildings of the hospital grounds, turning our attention beyond the objective hypostasis of a psychiatric institution.
One year later, the exhibition reality check chapter II: inner sanctum, curated by Kostas Prapoglou, returns to the same place with 36 artists seeking through contemporary art, answers to new questions, figments of a dialogue between artists and viewers; a dialogue that has been unfolding unceasingly since the artistic praxis gave a new breath of life to the muted building at Dafni.
Does the future exist and, if so, how close is it? Do we live in the future and, if so, what value could the present and the past possibly carry?
Spaceless time and timeless place are ubiquitous. We sail towards an unknown direction; this ‘unknown’ often disarms, disorients and paralyses us. And yet, an inner driving force awakens us, challenges us to continue, to breathe, to feel, to love [again]... life itself and our own self seeing it anew, reborn and resurrected.
This power is the inner sanctum that dwells and hides in our souls. It is the place that makes us feel at home. It is our refuge, the locus of our inner flame, our precious sanctuary. It may take time for each of us to discover and realise it.
This conceptual theme will be the basis, the yeast and the magic of the artistic creation in the second chapter of reality check.
Each artist has a separate room, and every viewer has the opportunity to converse with them following their own –personal– mapping of the exhibition. This process will give the audience an opportunity to discover, decipher and interpret the works in their own time. They will follow a course within the objective space, while simultaneously developing a dialogue with the subjectivity of space-time into which they will gradually surrender.
Lydia Andrioti (Greece), Christina Anid (France/Greece/Lebanon), Zeina Barakeh (Palestine/Lebanon/USA), Orit Ben Shitrit (Israel/USA/Morocco), Robert Cahen (France), Yannoulis Chalepas (Greece), Evangelos Chatzis (Greece), Lydia Dambassina (Greece), Angie Drakopoulos (USA), Guillermo Galindo (Mexico/USA) Aikaterini Gegisian (UK/Greece), Michal Heiman (Israel), Daniel Hill (USA), Elia Iliadi (Greece), Nikos Kokkalis (Greece), Natalia Manta (Greece), Stella Meletopoulou (Greece), Gisela Meo (Italy), Andreas Mniestris (Greece), Noemi Niederhauser (Switzerland), Vana Ntatsouli (Greece), Stefanos Papadas (Cyprus/Greece), Pipilotti Rist (Switzerland), Evi Savvaidi (Greece), Ariane Severin (Germany/Greece), Nadia Skordopoulou (Greece), Dimitris Skourogiannis (Greece), Dimitra Skandali (Greece), Constantinos Taliotis (Cyprus), Tolis Tatolas (Greece), Nikos Tranos (Greece), Iakovos Volkov (Greece), Tori Wrånes (Norway), Gil Yefman (Israel), Katerina Zacharopoulou (Greece), Eleni Zouni (Greece).