Balkan Art Scene
Polyeco Contemporary Art Initiative
It was founded in 2014 by Polyeco S.A. Vice President Athanasios Polychronopoulos as a result of his genuine belief that art is the best tool to stimulate dialogue about critical environmental issues. The transition to moving image in the last decades as a dominant expressive medium is the main reason for PCAI’s primary focus on video and film.
PCAI implements its objectives though three areas of activity, its Art Collection, its Projects and its Support.
The Collection is based on special commissions and acquisitions of moving image and contemporary art. During commissions PCAI provides mid-career and emerging artists with the means and resources to create an artwork inspired by urgent environmental issues in their broader relation to current sociocultural, economic, philosophical concerns.
Artists may draw inspiration from the waste management sites and facilities, the countries, the workforce and the people involved in the waste management process in a free and innovative way. They can investigate waste sources and itineraries; they can research the external factors and taboos that affect our perception of waste.
The Projects are all the activities and events (special commissions, exhibitions, publications, educational programs and workshops) organized by PCAI around its growing commissioned based Collection.
Support refers to our engagement with other initiatives and individuals that share the same vision and concerns.
Since September 2018 PCAI is a member of the International Association of Corporate Collections of Contemporary Art IACCCA and was awarded during the Corporate Art Awards 2018.
The Collection is based on special commissions and acquisitions of moving image and contemporary art. During commissions PCAI provides mid-career and emerging artists with the means and resources to create an artwork inspired by urgent environmental issues in their broader relation to current sociocultural, economic or philosophical concerns. The Collection invites artists to reflect on the concept of sustainability, waste and related processes in a free and innovative way; to create art that challenges the limits of previous views and representations; to imagine new forms and use radical tactics while addressing our changing world. A selection of works from the PCAI Collection is presented below.
The Projects are all the activities and events (special commissions, exhibitions, publications, affiliations, screening events, talks, conferences, educational programs and workshops) organized by PCAI within the organization’s foundational aim. Such activities and events develop beyond the Collection, yet are often in dialogue with issues raised by its material.
PCAI SUPPORTS NEVER CROSS THE SAME RIVER TWICE
VIDEO EXHIBITION AT SPACE52
PCAI supports Never Cross the Same River Twice exhibition, curated by French-Togolese independent curator Kisito Assangni and Greek-British curator Ariana Kalliga at Space52, with works from its collection.
The exhibition is a time-shifting survey of performances converging between video, film and installation. Initiated as a travelling research project in 2020, the exhibition connects two borders that unfold in tandem, tracing the recent video practices of 11 international artists selected by Assangni and 6 Greek artists invited into dialogue by space52, Athens. The exhibition embraces expansive videographies that aim to foster new forms of transnational and collective assembly.
The selected video works act as sites of visual contestation; cinematic aesthetics with narratives that re-remember; they reclaim histories and ancestries; decolonize both the mind and the imagination. Referencing Heraclitus’ river, which conceived identity as an ever-evolving and fluctuating entity, the title of the exhibition is a call to invent new grounds in place of entrenched environmental, political, and regulatory systems.
Exploring the limits of film as activism, several of the participating works reflect what Argentine scholar, Walter D. Mignolo, termed the ‘epistemic disobedience and decolonial freedom’ needed to rebuild just and non-colonial futures.
From a ‘coming community’ to a planetary escape, the exhibition opens up uncanny spectral exits to new geopolitical imaginaries. Accompanied by a parallel series of bi-weekly screenings and talks, including a night organized by the Athens School of Fine Arts (LAB12), Never Cross the Same River Twice aims to expand and densify the interconnected motifs weaved through the exhibition program; history, ancestry, ethnography, spirituality, memory, colonization, Afrofuturism, feminism, diaspora, identity, globalization, consumerism, myth.
Works from the PCAI collection on view: George Drivas, Kepler (2014), Ariana Papademetropoulos, Baby Alone in Babylon (2019), Eva Papamargariti, Factitious Imprints (2016)
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