Mary Zygouri, «EX CORPO»

The City of Athens is proud topresent “EX CORPO”, the new exhibition of the visual and performance artist Mary Zygouri, at the City of Athens Museum of Folk Art and Tradition “Aggeliki Chatzimichali”, from March 9 to April 23, 2023. The exhibition, organized by the City of Athens Culture, Sports and Youth Organization, gives Zygouri the opportunity, within the context of the museum, to talk about entities and spectra through her mysterious images, constituting a psychogeography, a contemporary ethnography of today.

Mary Zygouri’s exhibition “EX CORPO” is the culmination of a cycle of works that began during the mandatory lockdowns because of the pandemic. Through videos, performances, installations, staged photographs and performative texts, the artist capture a process of transformation and inner displacement. Having her body as her primary material, Zygouri attempts to disassociate herself from her identity. Its working condition starts from a neutral object or abject to end up in different entities or personas. At a time when many visual artists explore what constitutes personal, national, social and gender identity, she reverses the question and asks: Is it possible to have no identity today? What does it mean? What images can a reflection on non-identity produce?

The performative personas Zygouri introduces through her exhibition were born in the context of various performances/residencies of the artist over the last two years. Through these performances, “Foxapha, Sappho of Eros”, an inorganic orange entity, the vagina-woman, a microcephalous giant, a white female column and a white medusa/clam emerged. Each persona develops, mutates, converses with objects/symbols, and together compose an iconographic universe.

Zygouri examines performance beyond the experience of the collective moment, treating it as an archive of transformation. Her performance is not completed when she performs it, but it continues to change. Thus, these new entities-identities, as traces of the shifts and mutations that took place, are reconstituted in the exhibition with the aid of a tarot deck designed by the artist. Each of the 74 cards presented in two showcases in the museum’s main hall is a composite work. Each card includes libidinal and feminine symbols, such as the vulva, the snake, the eye and the corset. Each image is an attitude, a gesture, a ritual. In addition to the 74 cards in the deck, the artist presents 21 prints on plexiglass, four personas as dolls scattered in the space, which converse with the already existing dolls of the folk art museum, a series of small-scale paintings, as well as a hypnotic video from the archaeological site of Amphiareion, where an episode of the three personas, hung from the large tree next to the Temple of the Sanctuary, is presented.

Mary Zygouri was born in Athens in 1973 and lives and works between Greece and Italy. She studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1994-2000). She completed her postgraduate studies with “Distinction” at the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London (2001-2004). Zygouri researches, represents and reconstructs the political and poetic of the archive. Her public actions are reflections. Memory, trauma, systems of power, surveillance, censorship, human rights and relations between humans and animals are issues raised through her artistic language. In 2017 she participated in Documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel (Palais Bellevue). In 2014, as part of the Aeschylus/Eleusis Festival, in collaboration with Michelangelo Pistoletto, she performed “Venusoftherags/IN TRANSIT”, a Public Performance. She has exhibited in museums and institutions such as Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (GNIAM), Mu.ZEE, Ostend (2018), MOMUS, Thessaloniki, Citta dellarte, Biella, Italy, (2016), Institute of Contemporary Greek Art (2012), Istanbul Foundation for Culture (IKSV). She has conducted a series of Public Projects and Art Residencies in Munich, Sao Paulo, Istanbul, Venice, Rome, Naples, and Turin. In 2012 she was awarded by the Greek Section of the International Association of Art Critics AICA.

The exhibition is curated by Christoforos Marinos, art historian and curator of OPANDA’s exhibitions and events.

Exhibition Opening Date: Thursday, March 918:00-21:00

Duration:  March 9 –April 23, 2023

Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday 11:00 – 16:00, Saturday – Sunday 10:00 – 15:00, 

The exhibition will be closed on Mondays

Free Admission

Info: +30210 3243972


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