Beauty is the Method, DEREE_Athens_2015




Sotirios Bahtsetzis note on Eleanna Martinou’s work:

"Everything is rythm, the entire destiny of man is one heavinly rhythm, just as every work of art is one rythm, and everything swings from the poetizing lips of the god."According to Giorgio Agamben this statement by Germanromantic poet Friedrich Holderlin derives from a period of his life, 1807-43, that philologists usually define as the years of the poet's insanity. However Agamben finds in this one fragment of the poet's "incoherent speech" the "power that grants the work of art its original space". How is this so? Agamben explains:"Yet rhythm -as we commonly understand it- appears to introduce into this eternal flow a split and a stop. Thus in a musical piece, although it is somehow in time, we perceive rhythm as something that escapes the incessant flight of instants and appears almost as the presence of an atemporal dimension in time. In the same way, when we are before a work of art or a landscape bathed in the light of it's own presence, we perceive a stop in time, as though we were suddenly thrown into a more original time." The philosopher's meditation allows for a distinction between time understood as an infinite numerical succession and time as a momentous presence. The first can be symbolised by our chronometers and the second by the metronome, the device which, while producing regular, metrical ticks, helps musicians to internalize a clear sense of timing and tempo. This double figure of the chronometer versus the metronome can help us to umderstand the semiotic operations in Eleanna Martinou's painting.


The visual artist, a studied musician, often refers to the notion of rhythm as the underlying conceptual principle of her paintings. This is already visible in a 2005 series of paintings which constitute endess chromatic variations of an archaic Kouros, or in a 2008 series of mainly black and white portraits, which were conceived in accordance to the black and white keys of a piano. Martinou's paintings are visual equivalents of a perpetual dialectic of junction and disjunction or of relation and scission that incribes the body in a continuum of space and time. Manual dexterity and the meticulous application characterize Martinou's body of work. However we wouldn't describe these paintings as grids, a term which resonates rather with the architectural concept of a structure or a scheme. They are rather kind of a maze, or a spiral, which confronts the viewer with the endless occupation of the artist's body with her chosen material. This endless handcrafting, in which the artist seems to translate labour that affects the sences into thinking and vice versa, epitomises the notion of the work of art as rythm. Martinou's work is closer less to a language of architecture than to the language of nature, which according to Aristotelian physics, is rhythm that is, as the original principle of presence. This is probably the reason why we experience these "stops in time" as a more original time, something like the time, which occurs in meditation, or the recursive time of psychoanalysis, or, even better, the impossible time of being in love - probably the ultimate expression of life's rhythm.

(Sotirios Bahtsetzis)


Curated by: Sotirios Bahtsetzis

Sotirios Bahtsetzis is a writer, curator and lecturer. He is currently Adjunct Professor in History of Art at the Frances Rich School of Fine and Performing Arts of the Deree - The American College of Greece, Athens


Opening of the exhibition at the Art Gallery of DEREE - The American College of Greece on 6 Gravias Street in Aghia Paraskevi.

The Frances Rich School of Fine and Performing Arts at DEREE – The American College of Greece is pleased to present Beauty is the Method, a group exhibition curated by Sotirios Bahtsetzis at the ACG Art Gallery, which commences the DEREE Arts Festival this year.

Please join us on Friday March 13, 2015, from 7-10 p.m., for the exhibition opening and to meet the artists.

On view at ACG Art Gallery from March 13, 2015 to April 30, 2015 will be works by artists who explore the “beauty” of abstraction. The exhibition presents selected works from the ACG Art Collection in juxtaposition to contemporary artistic perspectives.

Essential part of the exhibition is a series of lecture performances to be held in the gallery space. Artists and theoreticians have been invited to critically expound on the curatorial proposal, while commenting on an exhibited work of their choice. The focus is on innovative content and experimental delivery. Both the works and the lecture-performances become the medium for investigating the production and sharing of knowledge. Lecture performances will be held on: Wednesday, March 18, Wednesday, April 1, Friday, April 3, Wednesday,
April 22, Friday, April 24 and Wednesday, April 29 (times to be announced).

The exhibition presents works by Nikos Alexiou, Athanasios Argianas, Dimitris Baboulis, Dionisis Christofilogiannis, Chryssa, Vasso Gavaisse, Vassilis Gerodimos, Nick Ervinck, Dimitris Foutris, Chris Gianakos, Zoe Keramea, Kornelios Grammenos, Rowena Hughes,
Hope, James Lane, Hiroshi MacDonald Mori, Giorgos Maraziotis, Eleanna Martinou, Dimitris Merantzas, Michael Michaeledes, Nina Papaconstantinou, Nikos Papadopoulos, Aemilia Papaphilippou, Joulia Strauss, Stefania Strouza, Thanassis Totsikas, Kostis Velonis.

Curated by: Sotirios Bahtsetzis

The ACG Art Gallery is located on the campus of DEREE – The American College of Greece: 6 Gravias Street in Aghia Paraskevi. To schedule an appointment, or for more
information and press photographs please contact: Ms. Niki Kladakis from 9:00 to 16:00 at 210 6009800, ext.1456,

Duration: March 13 – April 30, 2015
Visiting hours: Monday – Wednesday – Friday: 13:15 – 17:00; Tuesday-Thursday 13:30 – 15:00; Saturday 11:00 -14:00 or by appointment. The gallery will not be open during Easter recess April 3 – 19.