Rethymnon, October 1, 2004


After Rethymnon, the exhibition entitled “Suffering Body” was invited to be presented in Athens.

In May 2004, the Centre of Contemporary Art of Rethymnon (now Contemporary Art museum of Crete) inaugurated a big production, an exhibition whose dynamic was proven to coincide with international concerns and which had a wide impact on the art world called “Suffering Body”.

The great success of the exhibition is characteristically summed up in the comment of a not so random visitor: As I was walking it was as if I were at an exhibition of the Modern Art Museum of New York. But I was in Rethymnon”.

The original idea of the exhibition followed by an excellent realization and a dialogue with all that is contemporary in the international art scene was really born in Rethymnon. We say it was born because it was not realized only in Rethymnon, this small southern city which still maintains its reputation of being a city of art and letters. It was invited to travel and be presented in Athens. It was able that is to break through the aloofness with which every artistic centre, Athens in this case, views any regional artistic proposition or event. 

The Rethymnon Centre is perhaps the only regional centre of contemporary art in Greece which is treated as equal by the big Museums of Contemporary Art because it can produce events which not only cross the narrow local boundaries, those of Crete or Greece but are of such importance that they can be aligned with the international artistic pursuits.

Thus, the paediatric surgeon, Mr. Stavros Tsigoglou was called upon to “defend” the Suffering Body either as a living reality which reshapes and deforms the body or as the theme of an exhibition which aims at the relationship between the artist and disease. His text for the catalogue of the exhibition was a thorough study of disease in contemporary art which was divided into five units: 1. Breast cancer, diseases, lesional actions, 2. The Art of AIDS, 3. The Suffering Body of the artist in Body Art, 4. The suffering body as a metaphor, 5. Parody-Sarcasm.

The “Suffering Body” was not the only production of the Centre of Contemporary Art of Rethymnon which has travelled to other cities. Since its foundation, back in 1995, the Centre of Rethymnon established a dynamic presence with its first exhibition entitled “Ephemera”. That exhibition was invited to be presented in museum halls in Athens and Thessaloniki. Other productions of the Centre such as the exhibitions “Intimacies”, “Nature in ten chapters”, “Czech artists”, “Made in Berlin”, “Archive Bond”, “The death of Che Guevara”, “At Home. Cretan Artists” and of course the exhibition of the Permanent Collection of the Centre, have been presented in other cities besides Rethymnon which produced them.

At a critical moment of the Centre of Contemporary Art of Rethymnon and while the expiration date of the contract between the Municipality of Rethymnon and the Ministry of Culture was nearing, the exhibition “Suffering Body” was hosted from October 4, 2004 in the rooms of the “Nees Morphes” Gallery in Athens.

The exhibition was reshaped in Athens and some changes were made without altering however the general atmosphere of the exhibition. Thus, some large paintings were not exhibited in Athens while some other paintings borrowed by private collections were added which were included in the catalogue but were not available when the exhibition first opened in Rethymnon.

We note here that the presentation of the exhibition in Athens was sponsored by Abbot and Remek.

The exhibition was presented in Athens from October 5 until October 31 in the ”Nees Morphes” Gallery.

Eric Giovon
Creative Varieties
29 June - End of October 2019
Ibrahim Han Mosque - Fortezza