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Yorgos Sapountzis

From performance to installation
14 August 2018 / 7 pm CEST

Sculptures cannot eat, video projection, various materials, music, Yorgos Sapountzis, 2017
Sculptures cannot eat, video projection,
various materials, music: Øyvind
Torvund, 2017
Courtesy Yorgos Sapountzis,
Barbara Gross Galerie and Eleni
Koroneou Gallery
Photo: Nick Ash

In this talk, Yorgos Sapountzis will describe his career to date, in particular the path that took him from performance to installation. “Theatre was my first great love. Even today I’m fascinated by that moment of self-abandonment that’s always there when someone exposes themselves before an audience and starts playing a role. This moment is so important because it’s precisely this we need to learn: the ability to feel through and with others. This is why, as far as my own work is concerned, I call only those works ‘performances’ where I have an audience. And because this special element of feeling through others can take place only given human presence, I hardly ever turn such performances into video works after the event. There’s one idea underlying all of my performances: ‘Here I am! I’m here for you now!’ Time plays a role, the audience’s gaze, and their empathy with me, the performer. You can’t translate that into videos. Each time I have to overcome my fear of presenting myself to people again. So there I stand with my materials, and with their aid I try to construct a story or and experience. Basically, everything that I do as an artist is born of this element of performance. Experiences during a performance are so strong that they often eclipse everything else in my memory. My memories of my performances point the way to my other works.”

Yorgos Sapountzis, born in Athens in 1976, lives and works in Berlin. His multi-media work engages both public and private spaces, often taking as a starting point public monuments and everyday images, objects that represent some aspect of collective and personal memory. At the core of most of his works are sculptural installations using such materials as aluminium sheets and rods, brightly-coloured fabric, pins, ribbons and adhesive tape. From the daily encounter with the materials and objects he comes across in his routes, he reconstructs within the works the scenography of a city. Buildings, machines, bodies – they all generate power and heat; only the fluidity of the memories rescues his personal narrative. The closed nervous system of the city with the countless high resolution images is dominant and insistent. Within this inhospitable condition, the abstract precedes as an imperative need.

Solo exhibitions
2018 Yorgos Sapountzis MICHSICH HOTEL, Kunst Meran, Merano (IT). 2017 Nacktes Erbe: Die Äpfel, Barbara Gross Galerie, Munich (DE). 2016 Yorgos Sapountzis: ATM (…songs about love and death), Eleni Koroneou Gallery, Athens. 2015 Übersetztes Handbuch “weich und hart” – Duo- Exhibition with Benedikt Rugar, Prince of Wales, Munich. 2014 Die Landschaften Griechenlands, Barbara Gross Galerie, Munich. Athens Screens, Eleni Koroneou Gallery, Athens. 2013 Freymond-Guth fine Arts, Zurich (CH). The Protagonists, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol (UK). Urnerknabe am Schaufenster/ Empathie, Kunsthaus Glarus, Glarus (CH). Schinken und Käse, Kunsthalle Lingen, Lingen (DE). 2012 Stechfliegen Festtage/The Gadfly Festival, Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster (DE).

Group exhibitions
2017 It Looks Like Up To Me, Eleni Koroneou Gallery, Athens. ANTIDORON. Die Sammlung des EMST im Museum Fridericianum, documenta 14, Kassel (DE). Viva Arte Viva, 57th Biennale die Venezia, Venice (IT). PRODUKTION. made in germany drei, Kestner Gesellschaft, Kunstverein, Sprengel Museum, Hannover (DE). 2016 Idiopolis, State of Concept, Athens. The Kids Want Communism | Part 3, MoBY, Tel Aviv (IL). 2015 esse estranho, ubíquo e implacável sítio a que chamamos memória, Galeria Pedro Cera, Lisbon. wow! Woven? Entering the (sub)Textiles, Künstlerhaus Graz (AT). All Tomorrow’s Past, Kunsthaus Hamburg (DE). 2014 Glass Puzzle, Simone Subal Gallery, New York, NY (US). Inundumundumherum, Kunstverein Arnsberg, Arnsberg (DE). Common Spaces, The Kitchen, New York, NY. Future Perfect. Contemporary Art From Germany, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw.

Portrait photo Yorgos Sapountzis
Portrait photo: Andreas Lux