During recent years, in the context of globalization, a considerable number of artists within the context of globalization occupy themselves with current political events and social matters around the world, which although often maintaining local character, transcend the restriction of national boundaries and influence global changes and developments. Phenomena of economic globalization, modern slave trade and immigration, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Cyprus issue, the post-apartheid period in South Africa, political terrorism and the mass media industry are some of the urgent issues of our times, either on global or local level, which raise artistic interest.
Works of art refer to such issues, by adopting both faithful ways of recording and persuasive codes of representation, with conventions and practices drawing mainly on the history of photographic and cinematic documentary.
If historical avant-gardes and modernism in general, highlighted social referentiality as a problem of artistic form can we then speak of the return of politics in contemporary art? A new type of commitment and a reestablishment of realism? Are works of art and the notion of immediate testimony and document absolutely identified? And if this is not the case, how does contemporary art reposition the relation and the boundaries between real and unreal, between fiction and reality? Such questions hold no answers, unless and provided the ideological and aesthetic prerequisites and conditions are determined, under which the current endeavour for the reunion of art and politics or the return of the issue of representation is being performed.
The aim of the third Synopsis, an exhibition cycle of open explorative character on the basic tendencies and investigations of contemporary art is, apart from comprehensively mapping representative political and social testimonies, to trace the critical core of the works, to promote the questions they pose or the discourse they invoke and also to examine both “poetical”, in the original sense of the term, ways of approach and deconstructive practices of real events and their institutional representations.
As in the contemporary novel, in most works the primordial narration material is the product of journalistic, sociological or archival research on existing data. By having as basic instruments reportage and in situ question-answer interviews and a documented and unintermediated approach of reality as his original goal, the artist is transformed, at an original stage, into a participant viewer and eye witness of events and circumstances, who is afterwards called to narrate.
Curated by Anna Kafetsi
Assistant Curator: Elisabeth Ioannides