Museums are recognized as “sites of memory”, places where memory is being crystallized because there are no longer living environments. In an era where memory is not threatened by the lack of information but by overabundance, the museums are re-defining their role and seek to give step to alternative ways of viewing their collections. In these cases, the museum visit is not a passive process that arranges the standard exhibition “Creative Order’ (Greek Logos), by contrast, it is a strongly felt personal and participatory experience for visitors.
The Jewish Museum of Greece is one of the prototype museums with narrative of so called ‘difficult heritage’. The presence of Christina Mitrentse is the first exhibition of contemporary art in this museum and can be seen as a “study”, a pictorial review-look into history, the religious tolerance, the education, the museum as a place, as a concept and as a role. The London-based, Greek artist constructs her own “Language”. It is a poetic ensemble composed by multiple materials and expressive means. ‘Wounded Books’, papyrus, leather, screen prints, weave their web around the museological design. Her works are carved with vintage techniques and are clearly influenced by European contemporary art movements. The series of sculptures and the living presence of an in-situ, participatory and performative installation entitled ‘Metalibrary’ aim to create a new,intense, experiential display.
Christina Mitrentse is accustomed to responding to collections as conceptual and theoretical mode of contemporary curatorial and artistic practice throughout her career. She Re-creates, Re-discovers, Re-sponds, extends, and keeps the dialogue open and alive. Mitrentse does not try to alter or to rank the works and to present them in a systematic way, such as by separating the sectors continued to dominate the academic community.
The archive converses with the new artworks produced as clear but idiosyncratic contemporary response, creating new poetic ‘communities’ and exchanges. The exhibition seeks to explore the ways in which a collection may exist as an entity. Incorporating various readings, and using different techniques, Christina Mitrentse negotiates the concept of the collection and the dialectical relationship between contemporary art and art production.
JEWISH MUSEUM OF GREECE
Nikis 39, Athens, 105 57