LINEAR B – A memorial project responding to works in the collection of
Greek artist Nikos Alexiou
The Stephen Lawrence Gallery, University of Greenwich, Queen Anne Court,
Old Royal Naval College, Park Row, London SE10 9LS
17 November 2011 – 6 January 2012
Private view: 17 November, 6 – 8.30 pm
Curated and Organised by Christina Mitrentse and Jonas Ranson
The exhibition presents new works produced by seven contemporary London based artists, responding explicitly to a selection of international artists’ work in the idiosyncratic private collection of late Greek artist Nikos Alexiou. An archival footage of the complete collection and Nikos Alexiou last work made, entitled ‘Grid’ will also be featured in the exhibition.Incorporating diverse readings, the show explores the dialectical relationships between artists, and between contemporary collectors and artists. It also alludes to the larger conversation of the artist-as-collector and artist-as-curator.
ALEX BUNN responds to REMY RIVOIRE, ALEX ZIKA responds to ADAM CHODZKO ,CHARLOTTE BERGSON responds to PANOS KOKKINIAS, CHRISTINA MITRENTSE responds to NIKOS ALEXIOU, MARSHA BRADFIELD responds to BERNHARD CELLA, MARTIN SEXTON responds to GIANNOULIS HALEPAS ,JONAS RANSON responds to VASSILIS BALATSOS
The notion and practice of the archive seem to be very attractive in the case of Linear B project. Nikos Alexiou’s collection is revisited and becomes the tank for new works, new thoughts, new inventions and new connections. If the recorded and the unwritten, the material and the immaterial, the visible and the invisible, the real and the imaginary are being registered in a way in every Archi(bio)ologie [‘Archiviologie’, Derrida], something similar happens in the case of Linear B.
If we speak in terms of narrativity, the whole project is a narration. Through a narrative manipulation of the sequence of events, the accidental acquisition of the first object becomes the beginning of a collection. When another meaningful sequence occurs (we are there now), collecting continues its journey in time, space and people’s psychic life. In any case, Linear B becomes a project of re-collection through an initial collection. (When we look at explanations of motivation however articulation of understanding recedes and yields to another narrative).
Only the principal agent of the narration is not here any more. An imaginary ending-death could be a constitutive force in subjectivity and a real ending-death also. Today someone else still “tells” a story, some other agents have driven the story to a new plot. The new agents continue to “tell” the story, regulate in their way the accessibility to some aspects of information and sustain what the art historians may miss; the depot aesthetics of the collection, a collection-archive that becomes a place of work and a method in the same time, a place and an institution.
The new agents’ story of re-collecting also begins by initial blindness, although less than the blindness of the principal agent. Their motivation is the new narrative aspect of collecting and its intrinsically ungraspable beginning. And this beginning is enriched by the new function the artworks have outside of being collected items, but into the psychic realm of personal reconstruction.
According to the logic of the plot, or of theories of fibula, of structuralist genealogy, the particular combinations of beginnings, middles and endings that make up a story of collecting allow illuminating specifications of collectings. In this plotted nature of collecting, the new artists-agents recreate, reinvent, respond, keep the dialogue open and alive. If the new seed can be found in the tiny, minuscule fragments of Alexiou’s collection, if new techniques revise the old craft of Nikos, if the collection’s works are being extended, then the common ground is somewhere there. And it has nothing to do with pragmatic and concrete formal issues. It has to do with psychic bonds of first degree, an artistic affiliation that not even Nikos could have predicted (or did he?).
Writing by Thouli Misirloglou, Art Historian, Exhibitions and Collections Curator MMCA, Greece http://www.mmca.org.gr
Project kindly supported by KIPOS, Nikos Alexiou Private Foundation, Athens.
The exhibition is part of the gallery’s programme for 2011-12 anticipating the forthcoming Olympic games.
Press and Communications by Aeon Rose
For Press Enquiries and information please contact Linear B Curators at:
For all other information please contact the
Gallery Director, David Waterworth
at : firstname.lastname@example.org Tel : 0208 331 8260
For Visual Documentation Of The Responders To The Collection Please visit: https://alexioulinearb.wordpress.com/collection/
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10 am – 5pm, Saturday 11 am – 4 pm
Closed from 23 December 2011– 3 January 2012 inclusive.
Image credit: ‘Grid’, detail, digital print on paper, dimensions variable ©
KIPOS, Nikos Alexiou private foundation, 2010