VENICE, ITALY.- Curated by commissioner Katerina Koskina, the artist will present the multi-part installation Hospital, at the Greek Pavilion in the Giardini della Biennale in Venice.
George Hadjimichalis (b.1954) is one of the most prominent Greek artists. His mature work has consistently explored the medium of painting and its ‘renewal’ through the possibilities afforded by other techniques, media and modes of expression. Since 1985, Hadjimichalis has mainly focused on the creation of large scale installations which attest to the relation of the work of art with the collective memory and emphasize its social character. His mode of work involves a thorough personal research in the areas of various art fields and sciences (archaeology, literature, astronomy, history etc.), a painstaking process of data collection and classification, and the constant blending of written and visual elements.
Hadjimichalis’s art combines the thoughtful approach of the artisan with the universal concerns of the artist. His most seminal works (The Lighthouses Chart, Visibility in the Archipelago. North, South, East, West) exhibited in Documenta IX, Schiste Odos-the Crossroads where Oedipus killed Laius and others, exhibited in P.S.1 in N.Y. and the Workshop of Projects and Images in Crisis, a life’s work in progress) are conceived as microcosms complete with physical/technical infrastructure and references of origin (ancient, Byzantine, early Renaissance, classical, modern etc.) while also serving as frameworks of contemplation on the great questions of life and their answers in art. Consequently, Hadjimichalis’ new work shown at the Biennale comes as a culmination of these aesthetic and philosophical quests.
This mixed media installation, titled Hospital, has been conceived as a non-space, devoid of life’s trivialities, alluding to art, the triumph of life over death. Consisting of separate but complementary parts – a) The Building, b) The Plan of the Building, c) Views from the Windows, d) A moment in the mind of Mr. A.K. – the work functions on the levels of both, personal and common experience. The concrete and the fleeting, the existing and the predicted, the sacred and the profane, the obvious and the ineffable, the fatal and the suspended, form in Hospital a new whole: the topos par excellence where art is survival.
George Hadjimichalis lives and works in Athens. Selected Solo Exhibitions in the past years include George Hadjimichalis: Works 1985-2000, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens; George Hadjimichalis: Seven Works, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; Bernier/Eliades Gallery, Athens; The Lighthouses of the Aegean Sea (installation aboard the “F/B Apostolos P” sailing from Piraeus to Aegina), Greece.
Selected Group Exhibitions include: Documenta IX, Kassel, Germany; De la main à la tête, L’Objet théorique, Centre Regional d’ Art Contemporain, Kerguehénnec, France; Contemporary Art from Greece, York City Art Gallery, England; Y.Tsarouchis, S. Antonakos, G.Hadjimichalis, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt/M., Germany; The Pioneers, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki; Breakthrough! Greece 2004: Contemporary Perspectives in the Visual Arts, Alcalá 31, Madrid, Spain.
The Greek Participation 2005 is kindly sponsored by the Stavros S. Niarchos Foundation and supported by G. Karavias & Associates, authorized correspondents to Lloyd’s.