Angelos Spartalis. The apology of Socrates in Kaufbeuren
The Apology of Socrates in Kaufbeuren
Curator: Maria Marangou
Former County Court of Aghios Nikolaos,
at the corner of Nikolaou Plastira & Filellinon St.
Opening: Friday, 18 December 2015, 19:00
The Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete, in collaboration with the Cultural & Sports Organisation of Aghios Nikolaos, presents the exhibition “The Apology of Socrates in Kaufbeuren” by Angelos Spartalis.
The exhibition, curated by Maria Marangou, will open on Friday, 18 December at 19:00 in a historically and architecturally emblematic building of the city of Aghios Nikoloaos — the former County Court.
“The Apology of Socrates in Kaufbeuren” comprises two separate works.
The first is a pseudo-documentary on 16mm film that features, among other things, a mental patient (played by the exquisite Elias Logothetis) who pretends to be Socrates in an asylum which is supposed to be the Kaufbeuren mental institute in South Bavaria, Germany.
The second work is an oil painting of monumental size, 3m high and 9m long, made up of 18 sections. The artist here plays around with the notion of the fake, presenting a scene which bring the viewer before an entire world, surrealistically rendered, supposedly in the same mental hospital.
Maria Marangou, Art Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete, writes about the exhibition:
…Angelos Spartalis, an exceptional artist of our times yet also innocent in a period of cultural crisis, takes up two old tragic issues which he updates into a surreal carnival.
His recent work “The Apology of Socrates in Kaufbeuren” is inspired by an enlightened man's death sentence in an era when Democracy is frightened and therefore irrational. Upon the pretext of atheism, Athens of the 5th century BC condemns Socrates to death by hemlock poisoning.
The second, more recent tragic historical event takes places in 20th-century Bavaria, between 1939 and 1945, at the Kaufbeuren mental hospital and its Irsee branch where approximately 20,000 innocent people have to die in a practice of euthanasia as part of the experiments carried out by the Third Reich. The last child to die, at the age of three, is killed by the head nurse in late 1945.
Angelos Spartalis connects these two events in Greece at the dawn of the third millennium, when Democracy is once again frightened enough to become irrational.
The contemporary artist seeks the answer to his personal ontological question using the means at his disposal. He goes back in history and consults the sources using canvas, paint and film —the medium matters little in art— according to his own sensibilities and particularities in relation to his time. The societies that once eliminated dissidents now have the luxury of ignoring them. The artist, most often an exile in terms of current habits and prevailing tastes, defends himself. The issue that Angelos Spartalis chose to examine reflects the essence of his own views on art and life. Set within the accursed hospital, the Apology of Socrates points to mankind’s guilt of the crimes of complicity it has committed by remaining silent…
The exhibition will run through the 11th of January, 2016.
Daily: 18:00 - 22:00
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART OF CRETE
Rethymnon Municipal Enterprise (Κ.Ε.ΔΗ.Ρ.)
Messolonghiou 32, 74 100 Rethymnon
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