Submission
Group Show

Tell me I belong

Mark Barker, Suska Bastian, Behrang Karimi, Sinaida Michalskaja, Natalia Papadopoulou, Paul DD Smith, Valinia Svoronou, Nikolas Ventourakis


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Installation view
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Behrang Karimi, Swan song, 2016, Oil on linen, 20 cm x 30 cm
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Installation view
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Sinaida Michalskaja, Demi, 2020, Jacquard woven cotton blanket, 185 cm x 135 cm
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Suska Bastian, Not yet titled, 2021, Surface transformation on found palm leaves, 85 cm x 21 cm x 10 cm
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Valinia Svoronou, The days we spend together I-II, 2021, Digital print on PVC, fabric, synthetic cushion filling, cotton thread, two parts, Dimensions variable
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Paul DD Smith, In the Garden, 2020, Glazed ceramic, Diameter 34 cm x 3 cm
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Sinaida Michalskaja, Swing (Die Gedanken sind frei solange man sie nicht erraten kann.), 2020, Steel chains, steel ceiling mounting, PVC swing seat, 275 cm x 27 cm x 16 cm
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Nikolas Ventourakis, Spread, 2021, 4K video, HDR, stereo sound, 24 min., 64 cm x 112 cm x 6 cm
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Valinia Svoronou, Alma 1-2, 2021, Printed sugar paste, cookie biscuit doe, plate, bell jar, cake tray, Diameter 30 cm x 21.5 cm
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Sinaida Michalskaja, SOPHIE, 2021, Full-HD video, no sound, 2 min 14 sec, 32 inch screen, TV wall mount bracket, 46 cm x 73 cm x 7 cm
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Nikolas Ventourakis, XX. “It was a Good Sunday as far as I remember it”, 2021, Inkjet print on baryta archival paper, mounted on Dibond, in artist’s frame, 80 cm x 100 cm
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Mark Barker, as yet untitled (headache), 2020, Oil and charcoal on board, glass, pins, 42 cm x 29.7 cm
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Behrang Karimi, Weiden, 2021, Oil on linen 44 cm x 33 cm; Nikolas Ventourakis, XXVI. “And then, there were none”, 2021, Inkjet print on baryta archival paper, mounted on Dibond, artist’s frame, 100 cm x 80 cm
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Paul DD Smith, Disquiet, 2021, Painted silk, cotton embroidery, acrylic on wood, 90 cm x 70 cm
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Natalia Papadopoulou, Anarousa, 2021, Full-HD projection, 9 min 42 sec, sound (with Elektra Stampoulou), Dimensions variable

“Death, drugs, beauty” – the tagline marks the streets, the single words in bold capitals stacked on top of each other. It doesn’t really read as a demand, or as desire, more like a nod to those in the know.

It’s true, though. Death, drugs, and beauty creep up from all sides: from the past and the future, from the earth, the skies and the oceans, from outside and in. Life – living – has become intoxicating again. And amid this collective psycho-passive desperation, in which the same old, same new, has never been so unrealistic, if not ridiculous, a new kind of hope seems possible.

In an interview earlier this year, the author McKenzie Wark remarked that:

“the key to Guy Debord’s writing (…) is not the concept of spectacle; it’s détournement. It’s related to the English word for detour, but it’s essentially what he describes in an early manifesto as ‘literary communism’, the idea that all culture is collectively produced and belongs to all of us. And that its appropriation and modification in the direction of hope is a political practice in itself.” (McKenzie Wark, May 2021)

Belonging – an active and layered process by definition – remains an empty word, or phrase, or hope, when not connected to others; to bodies, to pleasures, to loving, making and bringing about change, for others as much as oneself. There will be no offering without suffering, for the beauty of belonging is that its form is fluid and interchangeable. It can be a dance, a promise, a kiss, a broken heart, a play, a trip or a show.

The works by the eight artists in this exhibition respond and reach out to one another in silent gestures of hope. Across two floors they expose their physical existence as animated objects, revealing and articulating the pleasures that come with the crave.

Tell me, I belong
Tell me, I belong
Tell me, I belong

Text by Sinaida Michalskaja and Shahin Zarinbal