Talk | Denys Zacharopoulos: Cleaning the House, from Autobiography to Self-Awareness

  • Benaki Museum 138 Pireos Athina, 118 54 Greece
Photo by Tokomburu

Photo by Tokomburu

Denys Zacharopoulos
Cleaning the House, from Autobiography to Self-Awareness

Location: First Floor Workshop Space

Artistic practices and life paths connect me to Marina Abramović for many decades.
A fundamental shift in the work of Abramović is her transition from 1970s style performances, meaning performances as instant events from which only documentation material remained, to the question of how to transmit the experience both of the image as purely visual data, as well as of the experience itself, turning it into a personal experience. This transition was facilitated first by transition objects and later, through her teaching for many years at different art schools, with the Cleaning the House method. These problematics coincided with general questions of that time, which we shared in the road that led to Autobiography (Kassel, 1992) and Self-Awareness that processed methods of transmitting knowledge through experience and became the foundations of the Abramović Method. For many consecutive years, the first seminars and meetings happened at Kerguehennec in Bretagne, where we collaborated at the set-up and organization of the seminars. Especially in 1995, the wider issue of Insomnia and Le Lavoir that was unearthed in the estate at Kerguehennec, allowed for a more complex procedure regarding the position of the other in the transmission of the experience beyond the subject and the information. These are the basic elements that we shared with Marina from Documenta to Kerguehennec, and from Amsterdam, where she used to live at the time while I teached at Rijksakademie, to the establishment of her own Institute.

Denys Zacharopoulos is an art historian and art critic, Artistic Director of the Galleries, Museums and Collections of the Municipality of Athens

Denys Zacharopoulos studied modern literature and aesthetics at the University of Aix-en-Provence, sociology of art and semantics of representational systems at the School of Social Sciences in Paris. From 1986 to 1991 he taught at the Geneva School of Fine Arts; from 1986 to 1993 at "Le Magazin" Graduate School of the National Center of Contemporary Art in Grenoble; from 1992 to 1996 he was elected Professor Emeritus of the Fine Arts Academy of Vienna and director of the Institute of Contemporary Art. He taught as a professor at the Graduate School of Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam, and temporarily at Hochschulle fur Kunst und Gestaltung in Bern. From 2002 he teaches art history and museology at the Cultural Technology and Communication Department of the University of the Aegean in Mytilene. He has served as: director of the Center for Contemporary Art and Culture and Sculpture Park, Domaine de Kerguehennec in Bretagne, France (1992-1999), co-director of Documenta IX in Kassel (1992), commissar of the French pavilion at the 48th Venice Biennale (1999), curator and organizer of numerous exhibitions in museums and art centers in France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Austria, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Montenegro and the USA. He was elected to the position of General Inspector for Fine Arts inspector by the French Ministry of Culture in 1999, from which he resigned in 2000. He has collaborated with many magazines and has published books, catalogues, essays and studies on contemporary art, painting, sculpture, arte povera, murals, space, representation, architecture, landscape, sound, art history, methodology, institutional history, art criticism, and a significant number of monographs on contemporary artists and old masters.


Please note this lecture will be delivered in Greek.