in collaboration with Yellow Brick
Yellow Brick presents: ‘Nurseries of the unconscious. Desiring-productions and group fantasies’, the second episode of A Hollow Place.
In this unique project, four internationally acclaimed artists are given the opportunity to inhabit, through their work, a natural cave and reflect on the role given to this space within our contemporary imaginary. Their interventions will populate the space individually and for a day only, creating a sense of an itinerant community sharing a place without claiming any ownership over it. Through their sensitivity, they will highlight its physical elements of protection as well as constraint, its potentials as temporary home, refuge or place of contemplation. Their works, however, will not raise any claims over the space as their own, leaving no trace of their passing, thus underlining the ephemerality of our presence and actions, contrasting the natural space hosting the event.
For this edition, the works will then be presented as a collective exhibition, hosted by Yellow Brick for an entire week, where the artists will have the occasion to unfold additional reflections on their topics.
The curators initiated A Hollow Place as a reflection on the fractured relationship between us and our natural environment, caused by rapid urban development, a society driven by consumption and increasingly separated by specialized spaces. The schism produced by the incremental set of limits and thresholds between human condition and natural spaces, led us to eventually relegate its imagery to the margins, viewing it only as something that needs protection from our inherent greed. By framing it as fundamentally “other”, however, we lost the ability to recognize it as something crucial in the understanding of our own motives, in our own way of thinking. It is something that even in the case of caves, hollow spaces underneath the surface, forms our subconscious and directs our actions and desires.
Once the reign of dreams, monsters, the evil, as well as magical worlds, caves and the underground have disappeared from our common imaginary, more than other as- pects of the natural world. These spaces have become “non-places” we only experience through underground trains we use to avoid the traffic of our congested metropoles, a hiding place for all the vital infrastructure made of tubes, cables and canals we do not want to see on the surface.
In its second edition, A Hollow Place examines the role of the subterranean as an “other place”, a heterotopia, of the unconscious. An interior space in which desires, conflicts, hopes, dreams, futures and presents all collide, shaping the way we act, react to external stimuli and create new social bonds. It is the space in which our inner being is formed and thus our societies and cultures take their forms. In order to develop this thought, the image of the nursery, a place we experience through multiple perspectives as newborns and adults, serves as the departure point for the artists’ interventions. Through their works, the four invited artists will unearth aspects that link our subor even unconscious thinking to dreams and hopes about ‘future us’. In a similar fashion, we collectively build fantasies around the idea of a nursery and the new life we associate to it. However, the questions raised by their sensitivity remind us of the hard structures that rule our bodies in society. Structures we sometimes hardly notice, and less so reflect upon, but that constrain our interaction with the world. The same ones we face for the very first time as newborns in the cradles, separating us for the first time from the familiar and placing us in a sterile and machinic environment.
The space of Yellow Brick thus functions, similarly to the nursery in the last image, as the white cube where the gestures conceived in the cave are transferred to, and acquire the status of ‘Art Work’ as a product of the accepted societal canon. Similarly to a newborn placed in the nursery, they undergo a ‘process of becoming’ as dictated by the bio politics of culture.
* The cave can be reached only through a narrow path and the entrance has a rather low ceiling height, which visitors will need to navigate. The size of the cave itself limits the audience to 4-5 people at the time.
With the support of Outset.
Kostis Velonis – “Goat Song”
Kostis Velonis is a Greek artist known for exploring the dystopia of unrealized Modernist and avant- garde projects. His sculptures, paintings, and large-scale installations are best characterized as craft- based compositions that construct allegories from the complex relations of history, class, identity, and the conflicts of the human soul. Velonis work has been supported by the MAK Center for Art and Architecture (Los Angeles, 2011), the Swedish Arts Council (Malmö, 2012), Casa Maauad (Mexico City, 2016) the Akademie Schloss Solitude (Stuttgart, 2017) and recently was a Stanley J. Seeger fellow at Princeton University (2018). He has participated in multiple exhibitions, biennials and residencies internationally. Most recently, his work has been shown at Kunsthalle Athena (Athens, 2014), Whitechapel Gallery (London, 2015), Lothringer13 – Städtische Kunsthalle München (Munich, 2015), Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea (Milano, 2015), documenta 14, Fridericianum, (Kassel, 2017) , Mu- seum of Contemporary Art -M HKA (Antwerp, 2017) NEON City Project (Athens 2017), Belvedere 21 Museum for Contemporary Art (Vienna, 2018) , Leventis Foundation ( Nicosia , 2019) Cranbrook Art Museum ( Detroit, 2019).