andreas angelidakiS Exhibition with Audemars Piguet
Greek architect and artist Andreas Angelidakis transforms the interior dome of the French heritage monument Espace Niemeyer, designed by the late Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, into an immersive exhibition that evokes his study of Greek ancient ruins and history. Commissioned by Audemars Piguet Contemporary, the first exhibition of Andreas Angelidakis in Paris titled Center for the Critical Appreciation of Antiquity (2022) resembles an excavation site of ruins and a palatial space dedicated to antiquity in a modern city. The exhibition design and sculptures stand the test of time as Andreas packs the heritage dome with monumental columns, blocks, bricks, and scaffolding, all bathed in techno-inspired and nightclub-ambient lighting. The exhibition opens today, October 11th, and will be on view until October 30th with free admission.
Athens-native Andreas sees Center for the Critical Appreciation of Antiquity as a metaphorical excavation into the history of his birth city and a peer into his being as an artist. The exhibition is the largest work he has created, and the artist has devised his sculptures as immersive to encourage the visitors to interact with the space and his creations, all while learning more about the history of Athens and Greek ancient ruins. He imagines the exhibition as a mirror of how spread out and widely consumed Greek culture is these days. The contemporary and traditional architecture and archaeology in Greece brush against its ever-changing pop culture, bustling nightlife, and mass tourism, and Andreas cover these themes in his exhibition while infusing his own experiences living in the city.
images courtesy of Andreas Angelidakis & Audemars Piguet
Center for the Critical Appreciation of Antiquity (2022)
Andreas Agelidakis, in collaboration with Audemars Piguet Contemporary, maps out the beginning of the exhibition from the Greek Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens. The towering and life-sized sculptures in the exhibition echo the current remains of the temple as Andreas surrounds the dome with Greek columns from printed fabric on foam blocks. His central column – a giant Ionic column hanging on scaffolding – bears an image of a container as a reference to the column dwelling allegedly used by monks. Based on Andreas’ research, they lived in isolation in a ‘hut’ (kaliva) at the top of the column at the Temple of Olympian Zeus during the 19th century in hopes of being closer to a higher being.
The yellow construction chutes that drip from the spine of the column remark the proliferation of touristic rentals in Athens that has contributed to its fast-changing landscape. A modern-day shipping container made of wood and printed fabrics, filled with 3D-printed sculptures, reveals an exhibition within an exhibition and underlines souvenir shops at archaeological sites. Enveloping the central column and container to complete the Center for the Critical Appreciation of Antiquity’s study center forms a home for sculpture, furniture, and life-size books, all of which can be touched, moved, and interacted with. The books’ pages can be turned and used as a chaise lounge by visitors, and the armchairs looking like columns can be sat on or stacked. The commission builds on the artist’s practice of soft ruins which he has been exploring since 2003.
Andreas Angelidakis, Center for the Critical Appreciation of Antiquity, 2022
Mystical ambiance and nightclub atmosphere
Andreas’ penchant for mystical ambiance comes through a series of videos that project a design of repeated Stylite figures and Ionic columns set on stage, accompanied by soundscapes referencing Athenian nightlife. The vibe of the nightclub permeates as Andreas reduces the lighting of the space to colored beams and occasional spotlights shining on the column as his means of deconstructing contemporary art practices and the traditional display of artworks within a brightly lit white cube. Critical Appreciation of Antiquity (2022) offers Andreas another playground to install and display his updated findings and desire to amalgamate what former generations saw of his country and what the present inhabitants often see on social media and experience while in Greece.
Andreas, who was part of the design curator/design critic category of THE DESIGN PRIZE, has always practiced examining the idea of ancient and contemporary ruins in societies. Denis Pernet, the art curator of Audemars Piguet Contemporary, says it has been an honor to collaborate with the Greek architect and artist that reflects the culmination of his years-long research. ‘The commission has transformed the Espace Niemeyer in a way we have never seen before, and we hope that the public enjoys this unique immersive experience,’ he adds. Center for the Critical Appreciation of Antiquity (2022) coincides with Audemars Piguet Contemporary’s 10th anniversary year.
Andreas Angelidakis transforms the interior dome of the french heritage monument Espace Niemeyer
the immersive exhibition evokes the study of greek ancient ruins and history
the exhibition is commissioned by Audemars Piguet Contemporary