Prizing Eccentric Talents at Pet Projects / Athens, Greece

Prizing Eccentric Talents 

Curated by: George Bekirakis and Angelo Plessas 

Participating artists: 

Andreas Angelidakis, Danai Anesiadou, Eleni Bagaki, Despina Charitonidi, Savvas Christodoulides, Manolis Daskalakis-Lemos, Theodoros Giannakis, Katerina Komianou, Irini Miga, Maria Papadimitriou, Rena Papaspyrou, Panos Profitis, Socratis Socratous, Amalia Vekri. 

Duration: 09.06.2021 - 25.09.2021 

Pet Projects 

Kerkyras 87, Athens, Greece

The conception of this exhibition is all about its name.
We thought about what this title can bring to mind.
We immediately imagined the concept of prize as a plot for how individuals and groups relate or connect. 

What could be a prize nowadays? Prizing is a ritualistic act of giving a social value to an individual. It is a form of currency giving this individual new identification and recognition. Contemporary art is one of the most visible examples where creativity and its value are the foundations of motivation. The artworld is a permanent archive of different forms of honors, distinctions, exclusivity, scarcity. 

Art shows offer an ambiguous view as both containers and tools of this perpetual and anachronistic regulation but also form (sometimes) a communal mind between artists and curators for a desire to say. something new on culture. Being in a show is almost getting a prize - I heard an artist saying recently, a metaphor which sounds very valid. While curation methodology has permitted artists to achieve greater recognition and expansion, it fails to acknowledge the serious problems that such bulk of short-lived recognitions creates. This results in a sense of false overpowering, delusion, no sense of purpose or process, etc. 

Do curators by default take over the myth by establishing these systems by over- selecting, over-judging, over- evaluating people or objects making their shows and their selections extremely predictable? Do we all look at the artistic community from a wider perspective? Do artists tend to reconcile with these contradictions? What kind of shape “prizing” takes in our hyper-connected society nowadays? Let's look for the example of the recent NFT (non-fungible token) craze and their platforms who somehow act as more anarchic sequels of the more conventional art show format. NFT art platforms copy the art exhibition format where In their case digital files turn into a speculative financial instrument. Despite the radical shift on exclusivity and distinction new processes of curation will arise. Our world is increasingly relying on technology to solve immediate questions aesthetic, conceptual, and of course hierarchical. 

Welcome to the world of Punk Capitalism and Algorithmic Curating! 

The artists and their artworks in the show are not explicitly tackling any of the above arguments. Their selection is personal and impulsive. The contradicting title of the show Prizing Eccentric Talents makes its appearance in the crucial post-pandemic moment recuperating from dogmatic hierarchies and the groupings of pre-pandemic curatorial homogenizations. The show examines how such diverse voices could interact as a newly formed community. Their works stand as free-floating nonsequential propositions challenging relations both corporeal and communal. They are containers of ideas seeking context and a united mood may arise. 

The mood is the exhibition. 

Angelo Plessas, George Bekirakis