"Innocent Categories. Suspicious Narratives"
Archive Rights - Part III

Natasa Biza
Lito Kattou
Yannis Theodoropoulos

March 26 - May 23, 2015
The exhibition extends until Saturday, June 13
Curator: Elpida Karaba


The Contemporary Greek Art Institute iset presents the exhibition Innocent categories. Suspicious narratives   on Thursday, March 26, 2015, third part of the Archive Rights exhibition series. Aim of this exhibition series -curated by art theorist Elpida Karaba- is to utilize iset’s archive in the form of an open platform of contemporary art creation and discourse.  Within the framework of this series, artists are being invited to study iset’s archive. Any artworks, printed or other material emerging from this process, will be deriving from the archival content and will return to it as new material, enriching it and opening it to new thoughts and ideas.
The specific programme endorses the expanded objective of iset’s archive, which is not merely a data receiving structure, but a living entity that produces new documentation material, artworks and research projects.
The third part of the exhibition series Archive Rights presents the work of the artists Natasa Biza, Lito Kattou and Yannis Theodoropoulos.
Natasa Biza isolates one detail from the archive, as she usually does in her works. Her starting point is the 1st International Sculpture Exhibition of 1965, organised by the Hellenic Tourism Organisation and curated by Tony Spiteris. Trying to find information around her chosen event, she comes against a deficiency of the archive. An art archive lacks the information that would set it within its socio-political context. Biza looks for it in other sources, underscoring the necessarily rhizomatic nature of archives. She highlights, invents or constructs details which generate an ‘other’ narrative for the event.
Lito Kattou studied the archive’s digital platform and the ways of navigating through the constructed narrative that every organised structure generates. She responded by organising a different digital environment that rhythmically reproduces the researcher’s awkward feeling before the introversion of the archive, before the controlled reading imposed by the predetermined categories. Kattou creates a different awkwardness: that of the starting point of the research process, the void which users are called upon to bridge.
Yannis Theodoropoulos submits an informal request for inclusion in the archive by presenting catalogues of his work. He leaves it to users and visitors to decide whether his work merits a record in history. At the same time he photographs the physical space of iset’s archive and creates a series of visual stimuli as to the terms of perceiving the incompleteness of every archive, its inevitable and creative partiality — all those points which are meant to be overlooked yet they illuminate in a special way the less obvious aspects of archives.
During the exhibition, iset will organize a discussion involving artists, art theorists and the public as part of its series of “Dialogues”, on the innocent categorisation of the archives and the suspicious narratives they produce. We will discuss about the information hiding behind the safe and neutral categorisations (of art) which are often considered more acceptable and objective. Yet they need to be constantly stirred so as not to obscure issues which could be revealed by the special characteristics of different eras, the socio-political junctures, the special context, the contradictions, the conflicts or the work of an artist.