By Katerina Panagiotopoulou

Photo: Kappatos Gallery

The first solo show by Peggy Kliafa, entitled “Pharmakon” is on view at Kappatos Gallery. This is an exhibition of works from 2008 to date. The exhibition title epitomizes the concept, the theme, as well as the main medium used in these works. Aesthetically and semantically, this exhibition revolves around the medicine. The works fall into three conceptual entities: “Religion-Metaphysics”, “Nature” and “Science-Chemistry”. Using only pills of various colours and shapes, and packaging, the artist has produced unique works. The pill, the packaging, the blister and foil of pill packaging, all become media for the artist to draw, paint, compose, carve and author her works. All art genres are brought together under one roof in this exhibition. Wall papers of medicines, pharmaceutical bottles, made in tempera on paper, stained glass from transparent pill wraps, portraits of pills, mosaics of (multicolour) pills, assemblages of pill wraps, reminiscent of architectural floor plans, as well as collages of pill packaging foil, evoking images of bacteria magnified by microscope, sculptures of pill packaging, as well as a sculpture of a human figure made of effervescent pills and a video showing how it dissolves in water. All art genres brought together in a conceptual scale. The exhibition encompasses genres from the simplest, such as drawing and painting, to installations and videos, reflecting the evolution, not only of art but also of medicine, and consequently humanity. Medicines are inextricably related to human life, as they have contributed to the reduction of the mortality rate. Such a familiar, everyday object, associated with healing as well as with death, becomes part of art. The notion of medicine has been linked to art since antiquity. The Hippocratic oath, dating back to the 4th c. BC, mentions practising medicine as a form of art. Art is a means to convey ideas, ideologies, and socio-political views; it is also a tool for propaganda and influence. It may awaken the spirit and the soul but it can damage them, too, just like medicine can prevent, but also contribute to physical death. Concepts and symbolisms evoke images, works, concerns and associations for life and humans. Aspects of life, art and medicine are juxtaposed with the issues of the ephemeral, the perishable.


Kappatos Gallery, Athinas 12, Monastiraki

Duration: 28/11/13 – 11/1/14