Chapter 1: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
Duration: 10-17 January 2020
Digital Production: Aias Kokkalis
Curator: Panos Giannikopoulos
B & M Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts and Music,
Vasileos Georgiou B 17,
Athens 106 75, Greece
Valinia Svoronou's new work "ENDYMION / Chapter 1: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse" is the first narrative chapter of the artist's augmented reality application. The work is an astronomy-stargazing application that reveals a story alongside new year's celestial events beginning with the penumbral lunar eclipse on January 10, 2020. The app is informed by various myths surrounding the zodiac constellations, as well as their use as a means of navigation across the centuries.
The underlying narrative of the app takes the ancient Greek myth of Endymion as a point of departure to explore romantic ideas around historical exchanges between East and West in relation to the contemporary world. Endymion's myth assimilates the plot twists of Roman times, its romantic readings, and appropriations in pop culture.
Svoronou uses the tools of astronomy to create a node where mythologies across time and geographical boundaries converge with scientific observation. The work, in addition to the app, exists as sculptural installation and a series of prints. As a porous membrane between the material, the digital, and the corporeal, the work allows for various stories to interweave, exploring their individual boundaries and allowing for them to resolve variously. Zodiac myths are understood here as escape plans, distractions, detours and wanderings. Svoronou brings together seemingly contradictory content to create something new, suggesting a kind of intuitive navigation-reading. She raises a series of questions about positivist readings of science, history and the art world. Through the mythological connection of Endymion and the Moon, she focuses on the power relations of the observer and the observed, subject and object, on the gendered dimension of the gaze to negotiate the concrete nature of the latter.
Svoronou seeks to rethink the political possibilities of appropriation in art within the museum. Language, representation, and the space of action become tools and targets of critique - a means of reflection on the way stories are constructed, exhibited and consumed.