until 27.02. | #2942ARTatBerlin | 68 projects presents from 16th January 2021 the solo show Urlaub in Deutschland (> Holidays in Germany) with paintings by the Greek artist Paris Giachoustidis.
The pictures of digital mass media form the basis of Paris Giachoustidis’ paintings. Who authored them, who has the prerogative of interpretation and how does this influence the image of a person, an entity, a (sub)culture?¹
The artist’s work revolves around such questions of image production, reception and their effects. Depending on the thematic orientation of the found material, he discovers new, adequate forms of painterly appropriation and alienation.
For this solo exhibition he has created a series entitled Urlaub in Deutschland (Vacation in Germany). Using photographic images from postcards, he realistically renders holiday scenes in bright acrylic colours on paper. In addition to small groups of happy-seeming people, recurring motifs are camper vans, bathing water, lush green meadows, carefully trimmed hedges and bright blue skies. Idyllic moments are captured: a couple flirting in the pool, drinks with a view of the water, (sun)bathing in a lake surrounded by mountains. But unlike on the postcards, these scenes are interrupted: suddenly a fire, which seems to have gone unnoticed, appears in the centre of the picture, lightning strikes or clouds of grey colour emerge, evoking both a street and a large cloud of smoke. They are unsettling, encouraging a critical reflection on the idealised representations. Is the weather really always pleasant on holiday? Are all German waters clear and blue, the surroundings clean, the masks funny and the people happy? Of course we know that this is not the case. But don’t we nonetheless send postcards that seem to suggest just that? To what extent do we ourselves deceive, idealise, turn a blind eye?
Idyllic depictions of past centuries already make it clear that humans prefer moving in intelligible, seemingly safe spaces where all foreign and thus potentially disturbing factors are dismissed. But the idyll is a one-dimensional projection. The bolt of Eros strikes, the colour – and the ice? – within the winter landscape begins to melt, the caravan goes up in flames. These threats conjure associations with current social developments. How long can they be ignored?
Using references to art history, as well as productive disturbances in the form of targeted artistic interventions, Paris Giachoustidis’ Urlaub in Deutschland succeeds in unsettling viewers, forcing them to reflect on what they have seen. He thus creates highly topical, socially relevant works that sharpen our perception and potentially impact our everyday life, provoking a more critical attitude when dealing with images and pictures in general.
¹ While the word picture designates the image as object, the word image refers mainly to content as well as to non-material images, such as ideas, memories and appearances.
Born in 1990, in Serres, Greece, Paris Giachoustidis‘ creative work was predominantly influenced by the 1990s and the Young British Artists. Paris holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Arts from both the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece and the Weißensee Kunsthochschule in Berlin, Germany. He has exhibited extensivly in Germany and Greece including exhibitions at KWADRAT, Berlin; KINDL-institute for contemporary art, Berlin; Art center Bethanien, Berlin; Max Liebermann Haus, Berlin and Russi Klenner Gallery, Berlin, amongst others. He was awarded the NEUSTART KULTUR, bildende Künstler*innen Stipendium in 2020 and the Art Prize Haus am Kleistpark in 2017. His works may be found in private collections including the Christos & Polly Kolliali Collection, the Miettinen Collection and A Private Collection – Tyrown Vincent, amongst others.
Exhibition start/opening: Saturday, 16 January 2021, noon – 7 p.m.
Exhibition dates: Saturday, 16 January – Saturday, 27 February, 2021To the Gallery
Image caption: Paris Giachoustidis, OHNE HANDTUCH AM BERGSEE, 2020, Acryl auf Papier, 92 x 125 cm
Exhibition Paris Giachoustidis – 68 projects | Contemporary Art Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin