56th Venice Biennale
Why Look At Animals? AGRIMIKÁ
Curator: Gabi Scardi
Deputy Curator: Alexios Papazacharias
The Athens-born artist will be participating with her work titled Why Look At Animals? which focuses on the relationship between reason and instinct.
Maria Papadimitriou’s installation is a shop, a vestige of the past that sells animal hides and leather, transferred from the city of Volos to the central but “ruined” landscape of Greek pavilion. The AGRIMIKÁ are animals that coexist with humans, but resist domestication.
We, humans, see in animals the reflection of our own features, behaviors, and manners. This awareness permits separation by contrasting the human with the animalistic. As the beast ends up as embodying the divergence from the human norm, the image of a democratic society is deconstructed, and part of it degraded: rights no longer exist for all and in the same measure.
This presentation of the relationship of humans to animals becomes a contemporary allegory of the dispossessed and the resistant and sparks concerns ranging from politics and history to economics and traditions, ethics and aesthetics, fear of the foreign and the incomprehensible.
Maria Papadimitriou is a Greek contemporary visual artist living and working between Athens and Volos, Greece. She was born in 1957 in Athens, Greece. After graduating with an honours degree in painting from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA), Paris, Papadimitriou began practicing as a visual artist in 1989. She uses the medium of sculpture, installation, public art, video and photography to realize her artworks.
In 2003 she won the DESTE prize for contemporary Greek art. In 2002 she represented Greece for the 25th edition of the São Paulo Biennial with the project T.A.M.A. (Temporary Autonomous Museum for All), an ongoing project still central to her artistic practice. Since 2001 she is teaching visual arts at the Department of Architecture of University of Thessaly in Volos. Issues of identity, social integration and exclusion are the recurring issues in her work. Her work has been presented in numerous shows internationally.
Selected solo shows include: 2014 T.A.M.A. Overflow, Museum Alex Mylonas – Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (GR), 2014 -2012 SOUZY TROS ongoing project, Athens (GR), 2012 Over! Leftover, Batycki Factory, Gdansk (PL), 2011 T.A.M.A. The Roma Coat, Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens (GR), 2009 Infinito fa Rumore Eternità fa Silenzio, Mercato Coperto, Regio Emillia (IT), 2008 CORBU, Zina Athnasiadou Gallery, Thessaloniki (GR), 2007 SA MA KHOL TRUCK – a City Tour, Public event, Teseco Foundation, Pisa and Novocomum on Wheels – Direct Architecture, Politics and Space, Borgovico33, Como (IT), 2005 Two or three things I know about him, Riflemaker Gallery, London (UK), 2004 We’ll meet again, Espacio Uno, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (ES) and Temporary Office, Olivetti Foundation, Rome (IT), 2003 What do we really remember, Ex Convento Domenicani, Sternatia (IT).
Image: Maria Papadimitriou © Photoharrie