The Cultural Foundation of the National Bank of Greece organizes and presents the exhibition by
a Journey from “the City of Rocks” to the Garden
Opening: Tuesday, 7 May 2019, at 20:00
MIET Thessaloniki Centre
Villa Kapandji – 108, Vassilissis Olgas Ave.
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
The exhibition is the outcome of an eight-year research project which presents the landscape changes that occurred on the Philopappou Hill or "the City of Rocks", as it was previously named. The research was based on the methodology of archaeological excavation, but, instead of digging with an axe, it followed the journeys of the plants which inhabit the hill today.
The everyday walks of the artist and his dog motivated this research which was later transformed into an interdisciplinary artistic endeavour, to which botanists, archaeologists and theorists contributed their knowledge. The whole venture ranges chronologically between the discovery of America and the current image of the hill. The discovery of America is highlighted since the image of the Garden of Eden was redefined when new species of plants and animals were discovered on that continent; the contemporary image of the hill is respectively highlighted for it features the characteristics of a garden where the notion of a persistent landscape is undermined, revealing that it was never the same.
The archive material, the drawings and installations collaborate in order to "implant" into the mind of the viewer concepts and politics related to globalization which, in this context, is illuminated by the movement and transfer of the plants.
Something similar occurred in relation to the Thessaloniki landscape when, in the late 1930s, a large-scale tree planting project took place on the hills of Sheikh Su – an area where the absence of flora corresponded to that of the Filopappou Hill in Athens. Even today there still exist areas in Sheikh Su which are subject to reforestation plans and await the next human intervention.
Papadopoulos originally creates an artist's book which illustrates his bibliographic and iconographic toolkit. He then develops a number of wall-mounted and three-dimensional reconstructions of this material. These compositions form a poetic representation of the world's long-standing human policy towards the flora. In the artist's book and the wall-drawings made by pencil or pen, the artist creates detailed, dot-by-dot depictions, transmitting a sense of a rediscovered pointillism. Papadopoulos’ dot alludes to the grain of the photographic film, the digital pixel or the spike of the printer – a persistent hands-on approach to the meditative creative process in contrast to the mechanical processes of the operation of his own hand. Through this particular drawing practice the artist transforms natural objects into images, transferring on paper those elements which he selects as important. The use of empty space is not accidental but acts as a natural source of light that illuminates the artworks from within.
The exhibition is theoretically supported by Fay Zika.