Ghada Amer, Private Rooms, 1998 (Private Collection, Greece)

Synopsis 2. Theologies

Former Fix Factory

Synopsis 2.Theologies traces the relations of contemporary art to religiousness as a particular experience, doctrine, worship and power. References to religious traditions, sacred texts and places, types of worship and mystic theories are to be met, considerably often, in contemporary works of art. Does the fact then suggest a rekindling of religious quest and the return of contemporary art to religious spirituality? Or is it rather an occasionally undisguised and other times underlying form of criticism to religious restrictions?

Such questions exclude mono-semantic answers. Although such tendency, as it is proved by the works in the current exhibition, does not favor fundamentalism, it avoids conventional confessions of faith and often criticizes the Law, the commandments and prohibitions of sects, a hidden charm is simultaneously radiated as an outcome of the diverse ritual traditions, the powerful excess of human limits which constitutes the nucleus of religiousness and mainly of the mystic and erotic, as far as its outmost expression is concerned, experience of the various religions.

The peculiar relationship of contemporary art to religion can only be conceived within the horizon of globalization, as it constitutes one of the positive sides of the latter. It is within such horizons that the common wealth with which diverse religions enrich humanity can be evaluated, that the comparative research of religions is cultivated in our time, that opposition between different religious systems is fought, that sophisticated technology befriends deepest religious experiences and, what is most important, criticism, often acute, is exercised against the social and political power of religious hierarchies. Without the ecumenical dimension of information and communication, which encourages contact and co-existence of peoples and cultures, the question of the relation of contemporary art to religiousness would be rendered impossible, especially within the frame of the multicultural and inter-religious co- inhabitation in which it is being realized in this exhibition.

The metaphor of theology, a term of Hellenic and Christian origin to plural number, from the religious to the aesthetic field, indicates the multiplicity of the artistic approaches of the divine.
The works of the exhibition “theologize” indirectly and allusively, but what is invested in the theological discourse as an experience, conception or metaphor varies each time, and, surpassing the limits of the religious, reveals itself to multiple sociological, philosophical and other wonders.

Curated by Anna Kafetsi
Assistant Curator: Eleni Ganiti