An exhibition about Aspa Stasinopoulou and her unruly art

This season’s standout artists and personalities, works and ideas outline the lively scene of contemporary art in Athens and are hosted at Megaro Isaia.

The exhibition is organized as part of “Back to Athens 2024”. “Aspa Stassinopoulos: The Carabinieri”in custody Christopher Marino.

“I met Aspa at Rena Papaspiro’s house. She was an impressive woman who was overlooked: tall, slim, with short hair, she looked like a bird. She had a sharp mind, a sense of humor and an unforgettable laugh. I was glad to see her in retrospect in 2010. Benaki Museum of PiraeusEdited by her Maria Marakov. It is an expression. Especially the works of the 1970s I think few Greek artists were able to capture the spirit or climate of that time. I say “era” on purpose, not “post-colonial,” because Aspa has an important body of work before 1974, such as the postal art exhibition entitled “Art is You.”

»In 2013 we collaborated on the fourth Athens Biennale “Agora” and after my proposal we presented his work at the Old Stock Exchange in Sophocles. After the Biennale, with the author Konstantinos Hadzinikolau We visited her at her home and watched several of her Super 8 films together in the 70s. It was an emotional moment for us and her as she has seen certain pictures since then. “In fact, in an attempt to capture the portrait of this important woman, Konstantinos wrote a poetic text about her and filmed her figure, her gaze and her hands,” says the exhibition’s curator.

Aspa was a lesbian and feminist who loved women, although some men had a special place in her life and in her heart, such as the linguist Tasos Christidis and Yiannis Tsarouhis, who were her friends and prefaced her first exhibition in 1966. Her “mad morality.”

“Aspa was a bigot, she didn’t mince her words, often blasphemed – I didn’t include her in the “Repetiko” exhibition by chance. I asked her which Greek male artists of her generation she admired, and she replied: “No. They are boring”.

Aspa was a lesbian and a feminist who loved women, but few men had a special place in her life and heart like a linguist. Thassos Christides And Yanis Saroohis, who was her friend and prefaced her first exhibition in 1966, noted her “crazy discipline”. At the same time, Aspa admired him greatly Marcel Duchamp, sounds oxymoronic. It’s the same girl who posed springily that day “Four Seasons”Photographed nude by Maria Tara Walking up and down an old wooden staircase pays homage to Duchamp’s well-known work.

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Aspa Stassinopoulou was one of the artists who changed their mode of expression in response to a new social and political reality in the 70s. Influenced by May 68, his work contains the basic elements of political art: resistance, resistance, questioning, anti-morality, disruption and counter-messages, hatred of capitalism. In 1972, while living in London, he abandoned painting and created environments with enlarged photographs, sound and film. His influential publisher and close friend Nikos Stakos It made her relate to his writings John Berger, which influenced her deeply and she incorporated them into her work. Especially the “Ways of Seeing” (“The Image and the Look”, 1972) becomes a reference point for her. The influence of Berger’s vision is evident in the solo exhibition “Must See Movies” He undertook Bartlett School of Architecture In September 1972.

Aspa will report on the London exhibition In his television interview Petriki Spiliatis In 1984: “I created a ‘space’ exhibition, if you like, I used a lot of photographs and films I took that were part of the space with sound. These photographs were collected from magazines, newspapers, daily news and some of my own, which I printed on transparent materials, starting from the ceiling and the floor. (Transparent curtains) reached large curtains and inset photos in them allowed the world to see them. These photos were put together and compiled” (“Living Museum” project, first screening: January 1, 1984, ERT2, director: Anna Kesisoglo).

Aspa Stassinopoulou, “Untitled”, 1985, mixed media, 150 x 150 cm by Maria Dara

In 1974, with postcolonialism, he returned to Athens permanently. She starts collecting everyday objects (chairs, tables, doors, windows, wooden boxes) from the streets of the city, and prints photographs along with documents from magazines and newspapers. “Thus, on the one hand, I try to subvert the meaning of the surrounding objects, to undermine the meaning of the photographic document quoted by the mass media, with its true meaning. We use it every day, and beyond their usual and limited use, they can also act as a means of expressing some other reality,” he writes in the catalog of the group exhibition. “Eco-Active: Trends in Greek Art Today”Organizing Committee Greek Association of Technical Judges In Zappeio In 1981.

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Aspa Stassinopoulou, “Art is You”, 1972, Mail Art, London.

At the same time, he incorporates excerpts from his texts into his works Peter Schneider (“Capitalism and the Cultural Revolution in Late Imagination”, 1969) but books on alienation, poverty and the degradation of man (“Allotriosion”, ed. Epikouros, 1973). He also records his film camera events with symbolic significance such as his first anniversary Polytechnic, His arrival Miki Theodorakis Funeral of Alegos Panagolis from Paris to Elenicos Airport in Greece. In 1977, together with Anna Gezizoglou, they filmed the short documentary “Hunger Strike”, which documented the forty-day hunger strike of poet Michalis Anastasiadis (1939-2012) outside the State General Accounting Office. Finally, her participation in the Visual Arts Center (KET) and the art group “4+” (she herself left in 1985) brings to light an artist who proposes a different way of using, circulating and consuming images. , education and sports.

Mikis Theodorakis returned to Greece after the fall of the military regime in 1974

“I am hosting the fair this year “Back to Athens” I present staged photos that must have been taken in the late 70s. As in other cases, here too Aspa collaborated with his photographer and partner, Maria Tara (1946-2000). Some of these films feature an armed man as the protagonist Panagiotis, nude and clothed, sometimes with a nude woman we don’t see (probably the artist herself), enlarged and painted, one of two photographs of a reclining man printed on a table with an emulsion technique. . Although they serve as preparatory material for the works he would exhibit in the 1980s and 1990s, these photographs retain their autonomy.

Aspa Stassinopoulos, “Panagiodis”. Photo by Maria Tara

Aspa Stasinopoulou, “Panagiotis II”. Photo by Maria Tara

“Title of the Exhibition,”Carabinieri” mentioned in his film Jean-Luc Godard, was studied by the artist and is one of his main references. Photographs are attached to the schedule of the exhibition “Art in Revolution: Soviet Art and Design since 1917.”Aspa got a chance to look into it Hayward Gallery London in 1971″, says Christoforos Marinos. “Women in revolt! Art and Activism in the UK 1970-90” (opening at the Tate Britain in autumn 2023 and now in Edinburgh) and I think Aspa, had he not returned to Athens, would have been one of the artists who performed – and obscurity – in Great Britain in the 1970s and 1980s. Photographer Michelle Ann MullenA member of the team Hackney Flashers (1974-1980), a participant in the exhibition, was a close friend of Aspa and dedicated a book to him, in which he incorporated text and photographs. Ann Mullen’s book ends with an allegory (“Faith is fighting”) and opens with a moving dedication: “To Aspa / who sowed hope”.

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Aspa Stasinopoulou, “Untitled”, 1987, mixed media, 220 x 170 cm.

Aspa Stasinopoulou, “Fire in the water”, 1992, wax figure, rotating mechanism, Eleftheria Park, Athens.

Aspa Stassinopoulou in front of the “Panagiotis” painting, 1982. Photo by Maria Tara

Aspasia Stassinopoulou was born in Athens in 1935 and died in the same city in 2017. He studied painting at the School of Fine Arts in Paris (1959-1963). He exhibited for the first time in 1963 in “Zigos”, where he presented deformed figures. Then he returned to abstraction. He participated in the Panhellenic Exhibitions of 1965 and 1967. In 1966 he held his first solo exhibition at the “Aster” gallery. From 1969 to 1974 he lived in London.

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