Since the early 1970s, the district of Exarcheia in Athens has been an important site for public actions, student demonstrations, rallies, housing anarchists, environmentalists, feminist groups, human rights activists, and many other politically oriented groups. In A Jagged Line Through Space, Efstathiou brings together her photographic archives with collective experiences, and offers an unconventional journey through the neighborhood, asking the question: Is Exarcheia an island?
Efstathiou’s A Jagged Line Through Space is a speculative commentary on placemaking. The works probe the complex roles of societal actors and how they are negotiated in public spaces, while, at the same time, revealing the political divisiveness of the subject of Exarcheia. Indeed, the neighborhood elicits a particularly wide range of positions and opinions on what it represents today. The “Razzle Dazzle” series explores the perimeters and the thoroughfares of this neighborhood. Mapped by six different constituents of Exarcheia and intervened on by the artist, these pseudo-cartographic images reveal how the boundaries of the district are imagined differently based on everyday activities, collective spaces, and personal recollections. Set of twelve paintings as well as the series titled A Jagged Line Through Space 1-10, composed of a group of etchings, capture the perpetual dynamism—and the changing connotations—of the neighborhood without direct representations. Through a variety of techniques, Efstathiou purposefully abandons denotational references and questions the space of collective action steeped in individual memories and positions.
Eirene Efstathiou’s participation forms part of Little did they know, the Guest Programme of the 39th EVA International, curated by Merve Elveren.
Eirene Efstathiou is a visual artist working in a variety of different media from painting and printmaking to performance and small scale installations in Athens, Greece. Efstathiou holds an MFA from the Athens School of Fine Arts (2010) and a Studio Art Diploma and BFA from SMFA at Tufts University, Boston (2003). Efstathiou received a residency fellowship at Zea Mays Printmaking in Northampton, MA (2017), and is currently a PhD candidate at the Athens School of Fine Art. Her solo exhibitions include: A Jagged Line Through Space, Eleni Koroneou Gallery, Athens (2020); Regarding the Continuity of Disrupted Images, Irene Laub Gallery, Brussels (2017). Her most recent group exhibitions include: When the Present is History, Depo, Istanbul (2020); Anatomy of Political Melancholy, Athens Conservatory, Shwarz Foundation, Athens (2019); Truth Is Always Something Else: A dialogue between two Collections, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome (2018); ANTIDORON. Works from the EMST Collection, documenta 14, Kassel (2017). Efstathiou’s work is represented in public and private collections in Europe and the USA. In 2009, she was the recipient of the DESTE Prize, Athens.