‘MR ROBINSON CRUSOE STAYED HOME: ADVENTURES OF DESIGN IN TIME OF CRISIS’, 2021

The exhibition proposed to reflect upon ‘craft as power’, as an ability or capacity to act in order to reclaim the knowledge of design and artistic autonomy. Kostis Velonis’ research on Robinson Crusoe as a maker lies at the very centre of this narrative. The exhibition refers to the example set by Daniel Dafoe’s hero who, initially stuck at an impasse, reaches completion and proves his value when he is forced to act and to find solutions to problems he has never faced before. During the period when a large part of the Benaki Museum’s permanent display of 19th-century material is relocated for the anniversary exhibition ‘1821; Before and After’, this contemporary art exhibition ‘occupies’ the galleries and reflects on their transitional stage.

Here, craft’s critical dynamic, which relates to the search for authenticity, the rejection of mass production and the reflection on concepts like ‘tradition’, ‘means’ or ‘process’, becomes a medium and a strategic practice for redefining the priorities between the artist, the artwork and the audience. The 36 participating artists present their works inside this overcharged with significance space by paraphrasing, using and upsetting the museum’s construction, the representation of history and the viewing conditions of the artwork. The exhibition thus explores the relations between the autonomy of art and the ‘heteronomy’ of everyday life by activating practices from the full spectrum of creativity and interpretive concepts like work, performance, functionality, production, bricolage and reuse.

Participating artists:

Vanessa Anastasopoulou, Maria Antelman, Margarita Bofiliou, Martha Dimitropoulou, Anastasia Douka, Petros Efstathiadis, Zoi Gaitanidou, Maria Georgoula, Giorgos Gyparakis, Hope, Dionisis Kavallieratos, Ilias Koen, Zissis Kotionis, Virginia Mastrogiannaki, Irini Miga, Maro Michalakakos, Oryo, Malvina Panagiotidi, Aliki Panagiotopoulou, Maria Papadimitriou, Nina Papaconstantinou, Eva Papamargariti, Antonis Pittas, Alexandros Psychoulis, Yorgos Sapountzis, Nana Sachini, Kostas Sahpazis, Stefania Strouza, Alexandros Tzannis, Thanassis Totsikas, Nikos Tranos, Panos Tsagaris, Giorgos Tserionis, Jannis Varelas, Alexandros Vasmoulakis, Eugenia Vereli, Paky Vlassopoulou, A Whale’s Architects, Theodoros Zafeiropoulos

EXHIBITION DURATION: 25/02/2021 – 13/06/2021

With the support of Outset Contemporary Art Fund Greece.