Outraged by Pleasure
Curated by Nadja Argyropoulou
Curatorial Assistant: Adrianos Efthymiadis
Antoinetta Angelidi, Patricia Apergi & Aerites Dance Company, Tosh Basco, The Callas (Lakis Ionas & Aris Ionas), Daglara, Sofia Dona, Navine G. Dossos with James Bridle, Georgia Fambris, Family Business, iLiana Fokianaki (with Danae Io, Harun Farocki, Mary Zygouri), FYTA, Ιoanna Gerakidi (with Yianna Charachlianni, Leah Clements, Anna Savvatopoulou), Pinelopi Gerasimou, Hypercomf, Dimitris Ioannou, Xenia Kalpaktsoglou with [Pegy Zali, Sofoklis Koutsourelis, Panagiotis Lianos] and Athina Koumparouli, Lito Kattou, Dionisis Kavallieratos, Blaise Kirschner, Katerina Komianou, Konstantinos Ladianos, LALA, Kostas Lambridis, Iris Lykourioti, Irini Miga, Rashaad Newsome, Nionia Films (Maria F. Dolores, Sofia Dona, Alkisti Efthymiou, Smaro Papaevangelou), Malvina Panagiotidi, Aggelos Papadimitriou, Eva Papamargariti, Agnieszka Polska, Filipa Ramos (with Rosalind Fowler, Goutam Ghosh & Jason Havneraas, Mariana Murcia, Lea Porsager, Ani Schulze), Teos Romvos & Chara Pelekanou, Kostas Sfikas, Gabriella Simossi, Panos Sklavenitis, Kostis Stafylakis & Theo Triantafyllidis, Nancy Stamatopoulou (with Nicoleta Chatzopoulou, Makis Faros, Tassos Vrettos), Eva Stefani, Valinia Svoronou, Temporary Academy of Arts, Eleni Tomadaki, Thanassis Totsikas, Antigoni Tsagkaropoulou / Bunny, VASKOS (Vassilis Noulas & Kostas Tzimoulis), Marina Velisioti, Nikos Velmos, Hypatia Vourloumis (with Jackie Abhulimen, MAENADS (Eleni Ikoniadou, Aliki Leftherioti, Afroditi Psarra), Maria F. Dolores, Maria Sideri, Taka Taka), Iria Vrettou, Rea Walldén, Marie Wilson-Valaoritis (with Zoe Valaoritis & Katerina Valaoritis)
Sept. 29 - Nov. 12, 2023
“Nobel” building – cultural space in the City of Chalandri,
Ivis 30 & Tymphristou, 152 34 Chalandri
In a letter dated September 29, 1962, writer Nikos Kachtitsis (1926–1970) addresses his friend Epameinondas Ch. Gonatas (1924–2006), writer of O Taxidiotis [The Traveller] (1945), with dismay at the latter’s doubts about the aforementioned debut short story of his:
“...I am stunned by your cruel and dismissive manner vis-à-vis this little masterpiece of yours, which made me outraged by pleasure [exo frenon apo efcharistisi] ... while the entire work is based on the absence of even the slightest plausibility, at no time is the reader not assured that all of this is real.”
The exhibition and events titled outraged by pleasure start from the ambivalent co-existence of outrage and pleasure in this paradoxical utterance within the sociocultural, literary and political context of its times, and moves on to explore what the phrase may mean in the present and in the future and in relation to the fields of life and art amidst various crises and urgencies.
Outraged by pleasure tries to make sense, with and through all that participates in it, of pleasure in its shapeshifting and multiversality within current “outrageous” circumstances: complex artistic practices, fights and assertions related to gender and sexuality, activist initiatives, communal (re)formations, a tidal turn to conservative politics and the painful fail of progressive ones, a pervading feel of doom-and-gloom induced by the destruction of the natural environment, the rapid reign of immaterial communications and digital economics, the extraordinary normalization of inequalities.
Outraged by pleasure wishes to trace the possibility of another connection to joy, delight, excitement, enjoyment; to imagine into existence the possibility of reclaiming “outrageous pleasure” from the technocapitalist imaginary and its diminishing futurology, from the far right’s macho perversion of wildness, from colonialist-type censorial abuses within woke- culture claims, from all-levelling practices of commoning and institutional appropriations.
Outraged by pleasure wishes to examine the (re)connection of pleasure to post-growth practices of environmental care and social justice; to processes of descaling and mutuality; to reconsiderations of an architecture of enjoyment; to queer approaches of care, generosity, solidarity; to native traditions and anti-colonial movements (such as buen vivir, quilombismo, etc.); to humour as a transformative power of subversion (as this appears in the work of Sara Ahmed and Silvia Federici); to rewilding and the untamed “aesthetics of bewilderment” (Jack Halberstam); to the ecstatic accuracy (found in Kachititsis’s “rabid readings,” in Gonatas’s “literature of subversion,” in the hitherto unknown paintings of pioneer filmmaker Antoinetta Angelidi, in the surrealistic visionary works of Marie Wilson- Valaoritis, in the political aesthetics of Kostas Sfikas’s cinema, in the solitary experience of Thanasis Totsikas’s craftsmanship, in the collectively-developed-over-many-years activism of Teos Romvos and Chara Pelekanou for the salvation of the insular environment); to the complex sense of reciprocity described by Michael Taussig; to the ambiguity of inconvenient objects such as the jumping beans that drove a wedge between Caillois and Breton; to Michel Serres’s “marvellous trampoline”; to the detection of radical futurisms attempted by T. J. Demos; etc.
Outraged by pleasure unfolds in space as a convivial collective study, with the intense physicality, the disquieting mood and unhierachical emergence of the questions it poses: How often do insurrectionary dynamics turn into guilt, or transform into (self-)punitive didacticism, paralyzing grief, numbness, or even neoliberal self-improvement technologies and soft philosophies, in the face of the relentless politics of destruction and the cosmogony that legitimize and prolong them? How do friendship, love, solidarity, radical pedagogy, the perception of multiple shades, the “from the bottom up” demands materialize today, in the various different contemporary circumstances and possibilities of affirmation, denial, representation? How does the phrase “outraged by pleasure” translate into different linguistic environments and hence different philosophical worldviews or cognitive approaches (e.g. enjoyment, jouissance, etc.), or how could it be perceived beyond the boundaries of language? What might be the stance towards it of independent entities and initiatives of the public sphere (the “dark matter” according to Gregory Sholette)? How can we even perceive “outraged by pleasure” in the more-than-human world?
Outraged by pleasure is conceived, and will attempt to unfold, as a world of many worlds, an oddkin created by all invited people and entities, with or without material characteristics. Invited artists and curators from Greece and abroad co-shape and co-animate its “outraged by pleasure” body in many different directions.
Outraged by pleasure will be held in the half-finished, under-construction “Nobel” building in Chalandri, a space that is associated with both the idiosyncratic desire of its founder George Markou (1946–2017) and, primarily, the resilient persistence of the City of Chalandri to claim its socially and culturally extrovert presence (something that was already marked by the interdisciplinary event “The Forest’s Riddle,” September 2022–January 2023).
The program of events, attached hereto, will be successively updated in detail. It includes performances, tributes on queer initiatives and collectives, film screenings in special curatorial groups, performative speeches on social ecology and degrowth, musical events, etc. It will be updated during the course of the show.
A detailed description of each curatorial intervention will be included in the exhibition’s leaflet.
Visual Identity and Print Material: Eva Papamargariti
Audiovisual Design and Installation: Makis Faros, Antonis Gkatzougiannis Contributing Architect: Sofia Tektonidou
Εvents Αssistant: Stephanie Orati
Lighting Design: Nikos Vlasopoulos
Text Editing: Fotini Pipi
Transport and Installation of Artworks: Move Art
Insurance: Karavias Underwriting Agency S.A.
Production: Laika Productions, AtoZ communication & strategy P.C.C.
The works of Nikos Velmos are exhibited courtesy of The American College of Greece Art Collection, Gift of Takis Efstathiou
Organization: City of Chalandri
Sponsor: FLYA, Municipal SA for the Management of the City of Chalandri’s Real Estate Sponsor: Karavias Underwriting Agency S.A.
*Photos: Tassos Vrettos