Drifting like a Fairy
A solo show by Antigoni Tsagkaropoulou / Bunny
Curated by Georgia Liapi
13.5 - 08.07.2022
Vas. Sofias 9 & Merilin 1
Two creatures walk hand in hand and start running. They go faster and faster. Their hands split apart as they accelerate and the wind against their bodies tears their clothes off. Gradually their skin tone fades away. Accessories, clothes and hair dissolve in the air. Everything is blown away. They run so freely that the ground on which they were stepping, detaches from the ground. They seem to be in the air now, on an ethereal cloud. There is no more daylight but neither is it dark. They cross their eyes and accelerate a little more. They now fly free of any weight, there is no time, nο place, no gender. They are perfect.
This is how the creatures of Antigoni Tsagkaropoulou / Bunny ’s work maneuver through the alternative universes they envision. A tender world of care and solidarity freed from regulatory frameworks and characteristics. Located at the limits between reality and fantasy, Antigoni Tsagkaropoulou / Bunny 's work raises questions of alternative, hybrid identities that point in all directions, speaking the personal stories of their creator. Antigoni Tsagkaropoulou / Bunny ‘s entire body of work rejects strict demarcations and approaches critical dipoles such as “right” and “wrong”, “good” and “bad”. It is born out of a brave confrontation with trauma and oppression and a parallel celebration of the art of “failure” (Halberstam, 2011); when the failure to perform or follow the given contracts does not have a negative sign but instead stands as a politically useful disturbance against regulatory standards.
Their work invites us to an inner investigation of our guilt and pleasures. Of our childhood memories and ambivalent desires. With the use of performing arts, sculpture and video they refine hegemonic attitudes and patterns, aiming to retrieve unseen parts of history, reframing and deconstructing relationships and events that are usually taken for granted. It proposes a perpetual transformation of beings, imaginary and not, who reconstitute the Greek traditions with boundless tenderness.
The solo exhibition, “Drifting like a Fairy” * consists of a fragmentary, poetic narrative that seek to create a dialogue with the place where it unfolds, the Constitution (Syntagma) of Athens, inviting the viewer to a dreamy wandering that aims to create a shelter of mutual care and acceptance of different ideals.
A “Hairy Fairy” and a sensitive dragon are expecting the visitor, in the entrance of the B & M Foundation to hug them, in a participatory installation that redefines the heroes of children's, and not only, fairy tales. The soft, tactile sculptures aim to create the sense of familiarity with a seemingly bizarre new world that claims status within the established social structure.
There is something as close to freedom as to immediacy when one combines their local folk art with the modernism of the 1930s, and the present context. With a strong sense of melancholy, Antigoni Tsagkaropoulou / Bunny suggests a personalized presentation of the work "Affect Alien" and a site-specific installation for the balcony of the B & M Theocharakis Foundation for the Arts and Music, in order to start a conversation between the emblematic and enigmatic figure of Greek rebetiko music, Sotiria Bellou, the artist Yannis Tsarouchis, and their personal experiences.
Sara Ahmed described as “Affect Alien”, someone who feels out of place because the “right” happy objects do not bring them happiness, or one who feels happy about objects that are seen as “wrong”. Starting from the idea of imposed happiness and how it can become an unbearable burden on one's subjectivity, the installation embraces “failure”, and invites the guests to a dreamy contemplation, while gathering all the above references in a direct dialogue with the stereotypes and prejudices contained in Greek society today.
* The title of the exhibition is an open translation of the verse “Like an elf roaming around” of the song “Zeibekiko”, 1972 with lyrics and music by Dionysis Savvopoulos, performed by Sotiria Bellou.
Antigoni Tsagkaropoulou / Bunny is an artist from Greece, currently based between Athens and Berlin. They hold a BA from the Athens School of Fine Arts and they will receive an MFA at the UCLA in Los Angeles, Ca with a scholarship from Fullbright, starting the Fall of 2022. They have realized several large-scale projects and participated in major exhibitions in Greek and international institutions such as a solo show at the Arnolfini Center of Contemporary Arts in Bristol, a one-year residency at the ATOPOS cvc, a summer school at the Royal Academy of Dance in London, the 6th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Arts, the Athens Biennale OMONOIA, Wrightwood 659 in Chicago, Kunsthalle Exnergasse in Austria, Athens and Epidaurus Festival, Goethe Institute of Athens, The Breeder Gallery, Sophienshaele Theatre, HAU Hebbel Am Ufer Berlin, KW Institute for Contemporary Arts, the Alternative Stage of the National Opera of Greece, Thessaloniki International Film Festival among others. Their latest project “Dentata Pearls” was commissioned and produced by STEGI Onassis Foundation in Greece. They have worked and collaborated with artists and educators such as Annie Sprinkle, Brooke Candy, Annea Lockwood, Willem Pope L.
Georgia Liapi is an art curator and cultural programmes facilitator with a main focus on contemporary art. She has been involved in creative projects, for both public and private institutions between Europe and North America, including Contemporary Art Gallery Vancouver, DESTE Foundation and Schwarz Foundation, as well as independent artist-run spaces. Her divergent professional and academic background from corporate positions to non-profit cultural organizations has laid the seed for her sociocultural, curatorial research that revolves around community engagement in different cultural contexts, re-examining the boundaries between established institutions and local communities, highlighting alternative and marginalized artistic perspectives. In 2019 she was a Curatorial Fellow and education programme facilitator for the exhibition 13,700.000 km^3 curated by Katerina Gregou, organized by the Schwarz Foundation. In 2020 she was a Fellow of the NEON Curatorial Exchange Programme and nominated as an emerging curator for the Whitechapel and NEON Curatorial Award. Sinse 2021 she curates the exhibitions & cultural events for the Greek Street Magazine “shedia” under the auspices of the Municipality of Athens. Since 2020, she is the Curator and Head of Parallel Programming at Zoumboulakis Contemporary. She currently lives and works in Athens, Greece.