On Thursday, 28th September 2017, Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center presents the solo show of Michalis Zacharias titled Mostly Harmless*.
The show will run until 04th November 2017.
“The impulse of modernity, we are told on the other hand, is exhausted; anyone who considers himself avant-garde can read his own death warrant. Although the avant-garde is still considered to be expanding, it is supposedly no longer creative. Modernism is dominant but dead.”
Modernity-An Incomplete Project, Jürgen Habermas
Although modernism as an impact dominates western culture and most of its characteristics can be traced as echoes everywhere, it appears that these echoes are filtered and reflected in a way that the Utopian impulse -to use Fredric Jameson’s description of the modernist vision- seems nowadays to be expressed in a neutralized way, unarmed and stripped of its radicality.
We have witnessed an avant-garde nostalgia in recent years, a more direct revision of modernism, aesthetically closer to its origins, and all the above observations seem more legitimate than ever. Michalis Zacharias’ Mostly Harmless is a body of work that deals with this subject, comments on the historical value of modernism and especially on how we perceive it and redefine it.
The exhibition consists of six “notes”, which vary from printed pages to large scale prints and installations, where a system of beliefs based on modernist visions as doctrine is recognized, along with the awareness of the post-modern identity that defines contemporary culture. As contradictory as possible, in a dipole explained simply as modernism versus reality, a juxtaposition is created, which sets the aesthetics of modernism in a specific context, where the vision behind the aesthetics dissolves in a mixture that produces irony. Forming always a pair of data, an iconic image or notion of the avant-garde and a surrounding context that tends to absorb the image’s radicality, the works generate an annotation on how contemporary culture integrates modernism.
*Mostly Harmless is the description of planet Earth in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the electronic space-travel guide in the series of books The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.