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Pledges by Kalliopi Lemos opens at The Byzantine & Christian Museum, Athens
A now abandoned boat which has been used to transfer immigrants is covered with more than 10,000 tamata (votive offerings), both handcrafted from beverage cans and factory-made, incised with the names, dates and places of birth of immigrants.
ATHENS.- Pledges: The site-specific installation by Kalliopi Lemos in the courtyard of the Byzantine and Christian Museum focuses on the human struggle through life. In an era of deep economic and social crisis, the Museum chooses to display a contemporary work of art imbued with the notions of interculturality, of social solidarity and equity, of peace.

A now abandoned boat which has been used to transfer immigrants is covered with more than 10,000 tamata (votive offerings), both handcrafted from beverage cans and factory-made, incised with the names, dates and places of birth of immigrants.

The installation focuses on the journey as transition from despair to hope, from death to life, expressing the constant human quest. Votive offerings, a timeless symbol of the human drama and hope, materialize the agonizing request for divine mediation. The work focuses on the courage of the human soul and the power of life itself.

The Byzantine Museum, this year celebrating its 100th anniversary, is presenting a work that offers an opportunity for critical thought and reflection in the present age.

Kalliopi Lemos’s recent exhibitions include “I Am I, Between Worlds and Between Shadows”, a critically acclaimed solo show curated by Beral Madra, which opened during the 2013 Istanbul Biennial. The exhibition at the Ioakimion Greek High School for Girls in Istanbul, had extensive press coverage including Art Review, International Herald Tribune, CNN and Time Out, and was one of the most well attended exhibitions during the Istanbul Biennial. The exhibition was extended until 23 June 2014.

Lemos‘s projects, since 2006 were intended to raise awareness on the ongoing illegal immigration from Turkey to Greece and to EU countries. In view of that, Kalliopi Lemos found in Istanbul a logical ground for her ongoing project, which started with the exhibition of abandoned boats in Elefsina (2006-2009). In 2007, Round Voyage, the second installation with boats was presented in Istanbul and is now on permanent display at Istanbul Bilgi University on the Golden Horn. In 2009 the third majestic installation with four boats was presented to international audiences in Berlin in front of Brandenburg Gate, and stirred a strong public opinion. The last installation, a boat covered with more than 1000 votives made of drink cans, and engraved with the names of illegal immigrants who reached the shores of Greece, was created for the 3rd Çanakkale Biennale and donated to the Çanakkale people.





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