State of Concept
Athens

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28 September—11 November 2023

Solo show

Bona Fide #3 Landform Instrument

Danae Io

With

Amelia Groom

Location

State of Concept Athens

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State of Concept presents the first solo exhibition in Greece of the Greek, Rotterdam-based artist Danae Io, entitled Landform Instrument. Τhe exhibition is the third in the Bona Fide series, dedicated to contribute to the promotion of young Greek and international artists and critics/curators, and is accompanied by a text by the writer and researcher Amelia Groom. Exhibition’s upcoming parallel public program will be announced soon. 

Landform Instrument presents a series of new works that have come from the artist’s long-term engagement with “the interrelated histories and functions of bureaucracy, mythology, and nation-building”. Through video, sculpture and text, Danae Io’s practice examines organisational systems that have their roots in modernity and have been imposed widely through imperial practices, enquiring about their role in forming dominant narratives.  The works in the exhibition respond to the fabrication of the Greek ideal as an anchor of European identity and its relation to the institution of modern Greece. The show brings together commissioned sculptures and two short films developed from this research. The poems featured in the short films Sprouts of a dragon’s teeth and Seven Types of Dust (both 2023) were developed in collaboration with poet and theorist Stathis Gourgouris. 

Io draws on the contemporary city of Thebes and the myth of Cadmus for the works in the exhibition. Thebes, the city of Antigone and Oedipus, serves as an ‘other’ to the ideal city-state, a site where the relations between labour, land and systems of organisation are examined. As Groom notes, it functions as “a stage for a particular misunderstanding/ retelling of the myth of Cadmus, it became a site from which to explore the historical intersections of written language, state violence, and the bureaucratic processes of nationhood.” While negotiating the construction of historical narratives, Danae Io points to the possibilities of myths as performative forms of collective storytelling, through which narratives are never static and singular.

The sculptures in Landform Instrument are related to the material infrastructure of the state’s administrative organs. Stainless-steel, aluminium, paper, security watermarking ink used by the Ministry of Finance and repetitive inkless tracings are embedded in sculptural structures that attach to the main exhibition space and State of Concept’s courtyard. 

All quotes are from Amelia Groom’s text ‘Landform Instrument’ (2023).

 Part of the Bona Fide exhibition series 

With the support of the Mondriaan Fund  

Image Credits: Courtesy to the artist.








 

 

 

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Danae Io is an artist based in Rotterdam and Athens. Working in film, text and sculpture her practice takes as a focus processes of nation-building, the ways in which histories are narrativised, and the role of language in maintaining, resisting or shifting realities. Her films have been screened at the Institute of Contemporary Art London (2023) and the International Film Festival Rotterdam (2023). Recent group exhibitions and performances include: Open Systems at UKS, Oslo (2023), I am inside who I was at PuntWG, Amsterdam (2022); In the current of the situation at Kunstverein, Amsterdam (2018). She is a founding member of the collective research project System of Systems.

Amelia Groom is a writer and researcher who completed a PhD in Art History & Theory at the University of Sydney in 2015. Groom is currently working on a book about the art and antifascist activism of Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, read through the lenses of environmental art practice and queer and trans ecologies. Her essay on Mariah Carey’s refusal of linear time was published by e-flux journal in 2023, and her book about Beverly Buchanan’s environmental sculpture Marsh Ruins was published by Afterall in 2021.

Stathis Gourgouris is a poet, essayist, translator, and sound artist, living between New York and Athens. He is Professor of Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University.

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