Totemic Other

Opening: 10.04.2021, Duration: 16.04.2021

Spring Τravelogue 2021
Konstantinos Berdeklis engagement with writing – writing as merely an imprint on a surface, as a trace of a sensation, as a cue that leads to a memory, or an interpretation of things implied – has begun since 2019. Using pencil and chalk, he draws on paper. His drawings can be viewed as an abstract version of renaissance studies of painters such as Michael Angelos*. During the period of the first pandemic lockdown those drawings lead to the creation of ten artworks of much bigger scale. The artist works on them in succession, as a single piece. Entrapped and hunted down, like a modern caveman, Konstantinos Berdeklis uses a primitive medium, charcoal, on unprepared canvas. His gaze focuses on the space in between, joins the dots and scans the landscapes of memory. Just like the mind does, he creates paths by following the footprints of everything that has an effect on him.  He eventually constructs canvases that when aligned are a little less than 15 meters of abstract compositions all together. Compositions that may or may not be compete that is. What remains for the artist to do is to see them from a distance, which is not possible in his “cave”- atelier. That is how the idea for an 11-day travelogue is born, during which the art pieces will be moved from the artist’s studio to The Blender Gallery, where they will find their true form as one complete piece – mythical being, the ARCHETYPE A, as the artist has named it. From the 5h until the 16nth of April, The Blender Gallery will be transformed into a place of worship, a mosque where the ARCHETYPE A, set up like a vertical totem of canvases, will take over the center of the exhibition space, away from the walls and backlighted. The rituals in the “mosque”-gallery will be many: the set up of this anti-exhibition itself, Berdeklis intervention on the work, the dialogue between the ARCHETYPE A installation and the work of artists Anna Charaktinou and Vasilis Botoulas. Τhe invitation of participation towards Anna Charaktinou reflects an attempt to purify the primordial racial segregation and to create one whole being with feminine and masculine side. The invitation to participate towards Vasilis Botoulas arises from the rituality embedded in his obsessive writing, the repetitive and detailed imprint on paper, which being depicted a small scale, stands at the opposite end of Konstantinos Berdeklis latest work. The travelogue is of many shades and has an open ending; it is recorded and reconsidered constantly, with the texts of Dimitra Karachotziti, the poetry and drawings of Iason Ali and the costumes of Thomais Kopania connecting and accompanying the work of the artist Konstantinos Berdeklis. The project imitates the artist’s attempt to outline on the canvas the fluidity of mind associations.  Mimicry, here as well, is a tool to conquer, and therefore understand, the “other”.  The Totemic Other is an experimental, multilayered and dynamic project, open to interactions amongst the participants and the public. It will be communicated digitally in the Spring of 2021, on the website and the social media of The Blender Gallery and the participants.

Team of participants:
Invited artist I: Anna Charaktinou
Invited artist II: Vasilis Botoulas
Stories by Iason Ali – drawings by little Sotiris
Costume design: Thomais Kopania
Texts accompanying ARCHETYPE A: Dimitra Karachotziti
The travelogue is recorded photographically by Kimon Ali and Charalampos Vlachodimos and Kosmas Kokkaris.
Curation and coordination: Leonie Gavrias
Participation in the organization: Margarita Kataga
Totem costume character Drenia Iasonidou
Music: by The Kika Project (Yannis Iliopoulos, Christos Kosmidis, Konstantinos Berdeklis)
Communication Sponsors: Athens Voice, Insider, Art22, Kroma

Related Artists

Anna Charaktinou

Based in Athens and France

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Totemic Other | Spring Travelogue 2021