Opening: April 27th 2023
Exhibition duration: April 27 – 25 May 2023
Location: Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, Manoli Andronikou 6, Thessaloniki 546 21, Greece
Curator: Machi Pesmatzoglou
Participating artists: Alexandros Avranas, Andreas Agelidakis, Nikos Alexiou, Artemis Alkalai, Aggelos Andonopoulos, Kostis Velonis, Christos Venetis, Zoe Gaitanidou, Apostolos Georgiou, Steve Giannakos, Paris Giahoustides, Vasso Gaivase, Vaggelis Gokas, Giorgos Gyzis, Giorgos Gyparakis, Daniel (Panagopoulos), Giorgos Zogolopoulos, Lina Theodorou, Eleni Theofilaktou, Nikos Kanarelis, Vlassis Kaniaris, Nikos Kessanlis, Peggy Kliafa, Athina Koubarouli, Giorgos Lappas, Panagiotis Loukas, Tassos Mantzavinos, Nikos Moshos, Eirini Bachlitzanaki, Rania Bellou, Venia Behraki, Emmanouil Bitsakis, Apostolos Delakos, Aggelos Papadimitriou, Maria Papadimitriou, Nikos Papadimitriou, Tassos Pavlopoulos, Aggelos Plessas, Artemis Potamianou, Rania Ragou, Ilias Sipsas, Takis (Vassilakis), Dimitris Tzamouranis, Thanassis Totsikas, Pavlos Tsakonas, Pandelis Handris, Chryssa (Vardea), Lambros Psyrrakis, Alexandros Psychoulis, Mandalina Psoma
Peggy Kliafa participates with the artwork which belongs to the collection:
2020, empty transparent pills’ blisters on clear plastic sheet and MDF with metallic paint, led light, cable, 142 x 88 x 5 cm
The Collection of Polly and Christos Kollialis has become widely known owing to its prominence in the genre of Greek naïve painting. Its formation was initially modeled after the museum classification set forth by Stelios Lydakis in his compendium Greek Naïve Painters. The limits, however, were quickly surpassed thanks to Polly Kolliali, the mastermind behind the collection, whose thrill of the hunt and discerning eye led to the acquisition of works by previously unsung creators, resulting in the completeness and establishment of the collection within and beyond Greek borders.
Yet, if prestige and recognition are essential motivations for collecting activity, according to Susan M. Pearce, then collections reflect the way we structure our world and are an extension of ourselves. The restless and multifaceted personality of Polly Kolliali is therefore even better perceived in another part of the collection, that of contemporary art. Here, setting aside a “politically correct” collecting process, she enjoys absolute freedom. Here, her unconventional character, her subjective look at things and her courageous, beyond ideological anchoring, choices result in a charming, cool body of works centered on young visual artists.
In this exhibition, which is a very limited, indicative but representative subset of the collection, young visual artists mingle with iconic artists who have left their mark. Works from different periods and genres come together in the presentation, shape it and are shaped by it. They comprise a surprisingly interesting, anarchic set, which reflects the collector’s preference for works with thematic focus on the existential question, seen however from its optimistic side.
Although exhibition curation is generally understood as the production and organization of invented narratives, in this exhibition the axis of the curatorial approach is to underline the characteristics of the collection. Thus, following the model of Lucy R. Lippard, the theoretical background, conventionally considered as the basis of the curatorial process, was set aside, and a deliberate assemblage, like an art collage, was adopted. The result is an open exhibition which is offered to the viewer as a field for appropriating visual stimuli, provoking free associations, subjective meaning-making and interpretation, with the aim of compelling him to rely solely on his own ability to engage and evaluate.
Finally, according to Baudrillard, if the collection emerges as a cultural event, its exhibition in the institutional framework of a museum marks its transfer to the category of cultural heritage material. Even more so, since it is hosted in the Archeological Museum of Thessaloniki.
Architect – Museologist
Curator of the exhibition