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    Summer of Love

    A dark red projection room with two people sitting and watching the projected video-work by Melanie Bonajo
    Melanie Bonajo Night Soil – Economy of Love, 2015 (installation view) Photo: George Moraitis
    03.08 — 15.10.2017
    Art Space Pythagorion, Pythagorion, Samos

    Participation Artists

    Melanie Bonajo
    Johan Grimonprez
    International Institute of Social History (IISH)
    Tomomi Itakura
    Marko Mäetamm
    Mikhail Karikis
    Nicolas Kozakis & Raoul Vaneigem
    Uriel Orlow
    Marge Monko

    Curator

    Katerina Gregos

    1967/2017: THEN/NOW
    Text by Katerina Gregos

    Summer of Love, the 2017 exhibition at Art Space Pythagorion, borrows its title from the sociocultural phenomenon that took place fifty years ago in the summer of 1967.2 While in Europe the year 1968 might have more of a legendary status due to the student uprisings in Paris and the Prague Spring, 1967 was in many ways a more significant year in terms of geopolitical, cultural and intel­lectual developments. It was the year of the Six­-Day War, which irrevocably changed the landscape of the Middle East; the effects of this are still being felt today. In Greece, it was the year that marked the beginning of the seven-­year military dictatorship. Ironically, it was also the year that the U.K. applied for EEC membership. In the U.S. and all over the world, 1967 also saw the first major political protests by young people against the war in Vietnam. At the same time, the outburst of new popular and subcultural music was one of the defining features of the ‘Summer of Love’.1

    1

    Musically, 1967 was very fruitful, seeing the release of albums such as The Velvet Underground’s ground-breaking first album, “The Velvet Underground & Nico,” and The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s debut album, “Are You Experienced,” while the Beatles released “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” which was number one on the albums charts throughout the summer.

    2

    During the Summer of Love, 100,000 hippies and young people converged on the streets of San Francisco, in the Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood. What united them was a set of anti-authoritarian values: They were suspicious of government, rejected consumerism and opposed the Vietnam War. Some were interested in politics, others in art and alternative lifestyles. The Summer of Love ushered in a wave of liberations and awakenings that changed the way people live.

    It was also a year of significant intellectual produc­tion. Critical theorist Guy Debord published his Society of the Spectacle, while the Belgian philosopher and key Situationist International member Raoul Vaneigem — who features in this exhibition – published The Revolution of Everyday Life. While Debord’s Society of the Spectacle was concerned with how the mechanisms of capital
    and consumption generate alienation, Vaneigem’s book proposed the possibility of revolutionary changes in everyday life. He imagined a new society that “promotes the participation of everyone in the self-­realisation of everyone else,” based on “creativity, love and play.”3 In today’s regressive climate of fear and xenophobia, Vaneigem’s thesis seems ever more pertinent.

    3

    Raoul Vaneigem (1967), “Chapter 23: The Unitary Triad: Self-Realisation, Communication and Participation.” In The Revolution of Everyday Life (1967), http://library.nothingness.org/articles/SI/en/display/212.

    The exhibition Summer of Love reflects on this seminal year on its fiftieth anniversary, drawing attention to an era when both the concept of politics and love possessed a real sense of urgency. The “Summer of Love” was one of the many expressions of the counterculture of the 1960s and early 1970s. It was an era of civil disobe­dience, of anti­authoritarianism, of political protest and ‘flower power’. Political activism translated into socio­ cultural activism, alternative lifestyles (sexual freedom, communes, shared property). Many young people at the time had grown up in modest post­-war circumstances and didn’t care much about money, property or financial success. Young people were politicised. There was hope for a new and different world, filled with love and mutual under­ standing, which in retrospect might appear idealistic and naive. Yet, there is perhaps something to be learned if we reflect on this period and compare it to the staunchly individualistic, cutthroat, competitive era of today, where we are all “atomised.” It is no coincidence that many people who have memories of this era mostly prefer the naive idealism of then to the heartless cynicism of today.

    The exhibition Summer of Love will reflect on the unlikely liaison of love and politics, connecting the summer of 1967 to the world in 2017, where the idea of love in intellectual and political circles is dismissed as simplistic and sentimental. Actually, love is one of the most potent and complex forces of human life. Perhaps the most interesting recent ideas advocating a different under­ standing of love come from literary theorist and political philosopher Michael Hardt (b. 1960) who advocates a political idea of love.5 Hardt argues that love has to be expanded beyond the limits of the couple, the nuclear family and the psychoanalytic limits of coupling as a force that also contributes to the constitution of community.
    He credits love for the "collective transformation” that one experiences in certain kinds of political action. Hardt advocates a form of love that does not originate in identification with someone or something that is the same as you/us, but a love “that functions through the play of differences, rather than the insistence on the same.” Criticising the idea of love as a “merging into one,” Hardt advocates love “as a proliferation of differences, not the destruction of differences. Not merging into unity, but a constructing of constellations among differences, among social differences.”4 As he wrote together with Antonio Negri, in the book Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire: “People today seem unable to understand love as a political concept, but a concept of love is just what we need to grasp the constituent power of the multitude. The modern concept of love is almost exclusively limited to the bourgeois couple and the claustrophobic confines of the nuclear family. Love has become a strictly private affair. We need a more generous and more unrestrained conception of love.”6

    4

    Ibid.

    5

    Leonard Schwartz (2008/2009), “A Conversation with Michael Hardt on the Politics of Love,” Interval(le)s II.2-III.1 (Fall/Winter).

    6

    Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri, Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (New York/London: Penguin Books, 2004), p. 351.

    • Friday, August 4

      Film Screening Shadow World (2016) by Johan Grimonprez

      • Johan GrimonprezArtist
    a narrow open-air cinema with seats place in between tall plants of basil and other flora. A large projection screen is at the back.
    ↑ Cine Rex in Mytilinioi, Samos

    Curatorial Residency Program

    The art curatorial residency program is a Schwarz Foundation initiative aiming to bring together young professionals from different fields of science and art. Participants acquire professional experience by actively working together with internationally acclaimed art curators. In the inspiring ambiance of a historic and cultural area of high geographic importance, residents work at a freshhold between West and East. Residents meet, interact and develop ideas and references to an extensive community. The residents actively participate in the curating and production of the Art Space Pythagorion exhibition under the curator’s guidance. The production of complementary side-events, such as opening activities, lectures, workshops, educational programmes for children and screenings also fall in their line of work.

    • Resident Curators
      • Isabel Van BosResident Curator
      • Ane Agirre LoinazResident Curator
      • Christina PantelatouResident Curator
      • Aneta Rostkowska Resident Curator
      • Denise AraouzouResident Curator
      • Evgenia GiannopoulouResident Curator
      • Rania MavrikiResident Curator

    Educational Program

    Culture education is one of the main goals of the Schwarz Foundation, since its inception. Each exhibition features a specially conceived education program. As an integral part of the exhibition Summer of Love, Art Space Pythagorion invites high school students to discover the works of the participating artists and discuss about Love in all its meanings. About love for others, for our community, for our place and its different people, for music and books, for the moments in life when something changes around us and the right to make our revolution through love. We talk about the "Flower Children" in 1967 and get to know events that changed the world as described by the artists in the exhibition. Photos, videos, posters of the time, comics, books, and records become additional occasions for discussion. They are asked to create a poster, a personal timeline with illustrations as an imprint for the time in which they grow up.

    At the same time, two series of lectures are organised for their teachers and aim to initiate a discussion about the awareness of young people on issues of our time. Politics, love, unexpected interactions with different people, archives from different eras and the ways in which contemporary artists talk about these.

    Curator of education

    Katerina Zacharopoulou

    With the support of

    Press

    Download

    • Summer of Love Booklet

    Credits

    • Curatorial Assistant: Sarita Patnaik; Production-Installation: Yorgos Efstathoulidis (Constructivist); Audiovisual Equipment: M-SPIRIT – Kostas Perifanos; Media Relations (Germany): Kathrin Luz Communications, Cologne Media Relations (Greece): Zuma Communications, Athens; Educational Programme: Katerina Zacharopoulou; Curatorial Fellows: Ane Agirre Loinaz, Isabel van Bos, Aneta Rostkowska, Christina Pantelatou BROCHURE Editor: Katerina Gregos; Graphic Design: Daniel Schnitterbaum, Manuel Birnbacher; Production: Graphics Studio, Athens; Texts: Katerina Gregos, Sarita Patnaik; Copy-editing: Colin Perry (English), Dimitris Saltabassis (English/Greek); Translation into Greek: Dimitris Saltabassis; Proofreading: Dimitris Saltabassis

    Brichure

    • Editor: Katerina Gregos; Graphic Design: Daniel Schnitterbaum, Manuel Birnbacher; Production: Graphics Studio, Athens; Texts: Katerina Gregos, Sarita Patnaik; Copy-editing: Colin Perry (English), Dimitris Saltabassis (English/Greek); Translation into Greek: Dimitris Saltabassis; Proofreading: Dimitris Saltabassis

    Special Thanks to

    • The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco for kindly loaning the work by Tomomi Itakura.
    • The Estonian Cultural Endowment for their generous support of Marko Mäetamm and Marge Monko’s work.
    • The Municipality of Samos, Municipal Harbour Fund of Samos, Port Authority of Pythagorion.

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    The Schwarz Foundation is a private non-profit foundation whose mission is to promote the exchange between various cultures.About the Foundation Art Space PythagorionSamos Young Artists FestivalGet in contact
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