Those who have visited the Kir-Yianni winery in Yiannakohori are aware of Yiannis Boutaris’s kitsch objects collection.
What happens when these kitsch objects go into an art space today? The narratives presented by the gallery owner Angeliki Antonopoulou through the kitsch souvenirs of the collection of Yiannis Boutaris point to an installation of contemporary art. In each series arranged by Antonopoulou the objects of the collection tell a new story. The viewer is called upon to reflect upon the deeper meaning of collecting, the illusion inherent in kitsch and the allegorical power of its poetics.
The exhibition at a.antonopoulou.art reveals Yiannis Boutaris’ collector’s passion and confirms —especially for those who ignore the existence of this collection— his reputation as an unconventional man who does not hesitate to take risks and try new experiences. He himself said:
“… Along this rather tumultuous life course I began to collect objects with no reason or purpose but based on one idea: to have some souvenirs from the countries and cities where I travelled over the years to sell wine — but every one of them was as cheap and tasteless as souvenirs are around the world. When they got out of hand and I had nowhere to store them, I put them in a showcase on the estate…”
The narratives presented by the gallery owner Angeliki Antonopoulou through the kitsch souvenirs of the collection point to an installation of contemporary art. In each series arranged by Antonopoulou the objects of the collection tell a new story. The viewer is called upon to reflect upon the deeper meaning of collecting, the illusion inherent in kitsch and the allegorical power of its poetics.
Among other things, the collection of Yiannis Boutaris comprises a host of animals (porcelain, plastic, wooden or carved in marble); portraits of political figures printed on mugs; figures of Greek mythology; busts of women and half-naked girls in erotic postures; racing cars, dozens of lighters, painted plates, ashtrays, oil lamps, wrist and pocket watches, matryoshka dolls, inventively decorated bottles, teapots in leopard patterns and a large section of memorabilia from the various places where their owner has travelled in the last thirty years. Many of these souvenirs are readily recognizable landmarks: the Parthenon, the White Tower of Thessaloniki, the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House, London phone booths or Manneken Pis, the famous Brussels monument of the urinating boy.
The ornaments and souvenirs collected by Boutaris belong in the category of melancholic kitsch, functioning as dreamlike images with which we can develop a personal relationship. These objects are more than inanimate possessions: by projecting on them our desires, often in a guilt-ridden way, we invest them with a strong fetishist dimension.
From September 23 until October 29, during the exhibition, the gallery is transformed by the spatial design and layout of N. Karakostanoglou Boutari.
Exhibition Opening: Friday, 23 September, 07:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Exhibition Duration: September 24 – October 29, 2016
Visiting Hours: Wed-Fri 2-8 p.m. and Saturday 12-4 p.m.
Curator: Angeliki Antonopoulou
The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue with an essay by art historian Christoforos Marinos.