The exhibition Mere-exposure effect approaches a contemporary art exhibition through the perspective of the social psychology phenomenon of the same name. The “mere-exposure effect” concerns a process by which a person develops an attraction or preference for a stimulus by being continually exposed to it. Even if initially the unfamiliar stimulus causes unpleasant feelings, the repeated exposure cancels out any negative (first) impressions, even when no interaction occurs between the stimulus and the person (Robert Zajonc, 1960). The mere-exposure effect proves more effective when the persons or objects presented to someone are completely new or unfamiliar to him or her.
In putting together this show, the curating process drew on these insights and consciously refrained from imposing an interpretative framework onto the displays. The show thus aims to give an opportunity to six young artists to ‘expose’ the visitors to the subjects of their work, their technique and the artistic result they propose, and to familiarize them with their work.
Evagelia Dimitrakopoulou’s work invovles what Kant terms “examples of free beauty”, be it floral motifs such as those found on William Morris’ tapestries, or the lace of traditional embroidery. Driven by a need to improvise, the artist combines elements that are structurally and notionally dissimilar. She re-examines the various qualities and states of the raw material and uses these limitations to generate conditions anew. Due to the potential difference between opposing elements, the resulting work lies, one would say, ‘betwixt and between’. The artist is concerned with the notion of memory and preservation, and the value of remembering, that is, man’s need to commemorate, often through cheap construction materials.
In her installation Hold your breath, Eri Dimitriadi constructs a narrative space by outlining three vertical axes. In every storytelling process there is an anticipated, yet riveting moment that makes you hold your breath. Between that gripping instance and the listener’s involvement, whether conscious or spontaneous, in that frozen moment in time, the observer is invited into a story that has just started and is not moving on. In the works that make up this section, a rope cutting through the sea breaks its perspective and promises a wandering with a malfunctioning ventilator as the only means provided.
Foteini Palpana’s installation If you were written on ice you would be equally indecipherable focuses on visual information, tactile relations and the remnants of a violent dialectic organized around a steady observer. We are dealing with the recreation of hermetically sealed surfaces bearing the signs of indecipherable writings. The network of crevices on the surface of a rock is viewed by the artist as a cryptogram that can be transcribed, but not necessarily interpreted.
Sofia Simaki’s Repetitions constitute variations on a common theme, based on the element of time. Their juxtaposition creates an opportunity to observe them in the same way one observes the changing weather in a landscape.
Pythagoras Chatziandreou finds solace and comfort through his own perspective -which often he himself struggles to comprehend- thus striving to fill an ideological and existential void within a given imaginary context, of which he happens to be part. In his own words “the work A personal short story of sin formulates an elaborated bizarreness, since it has the right to do so”.
The manufacturing process followed by Giannis Cheimonakis draws on manual processes, as well as the personal dimension of labour, and views the human body both as a tool and as a scale of measure. His works take form through complementary additions and extensions, and their structure is formed with the minimum joinery required. The empirical-metaphorical approach of the object relates to processes of perception and organization of space, where negative interspace potentially constitutes part of the work.
Pythagoras Chatziandreou, Giannis Cheimonakis, Evagelia Dimitrakopoulou, Eri Dimitriadi, Foteini Palpana, Sofia Simaki