The distinguished Greek artist Lisa Pentheroudaki held an exclusive exhibition at the Penthouse Suite of King George, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Athens on Monday, May 14th 2018.
A prologue by the professor, Art historian and exhibition’s editor, Mr. Manos Stefanidis:
”It’s me, it’s me, fleet-footed Evzonaki” sang the Kalouta sisters in 1940 with their characteristic pride and youthful sassiness. The same Evzones worked wonders earlier in 1912-13 and then shed their blood in dramatic fashion in 1922. Hence, the Evzones, the ”well-girt” soldiers with their fustanella kits from 1821 and tassel clogs (tsarouchia) of the klephts and brigand warriors, remain an enduring symbol not onlyof patriotism but also of innocent longing and nostalgia for all that is fading into obscurity, is threatened or risks being lost. They are now part of a tradition that refuses to die.
For some time now, the artist Lisa Pentheroudaki has been engaged and absorbed by this captivating subject, bringing to her wooden constructions and paintings the familiar naïveté and ”innocent touch” of her personal aesthetic-of her own genuine emotions. This exhibition approaches our history and national memory-alternately painful and hilarious-like a fairy tale and also as a kind of consolaton, offering visitors a chance to be children again, lost in the charm of this unique display.
The best and most wonderful things are usually also the most simple and familiar. What we often overlook at first glance we truly discover the second time around, with fresh eyes and a new appraisal-and then we are won over. This is the kind of art which doesn’t strut and brag but whose innocence is authentically precious. This is the kinf of tradition which stands its ground, neer becoming folkloric, quaint or kitsch; it respects thw viewer’s emotions and leaes them whole.
Lisa Pentheroudaki’s vision takes its true dramatic substance, and is fulfilled on both an aesthetic and ideological level, here in the specific space where this unique exhibition-installation unfolds. Here, next to Parliament, guarded day and night by these very Evzones-and across from the holy rock of the Acropolis, with all of its historical and emotional connotations. Symbols and ideas, images and references…weapons of self-knowledge against the evil which always lurksand lies in wait. These are the weapons, tools and treasures which visitors to this pioneering exhibition must bring away to them in order to take the artist’s storiesa step further, in order to carry them forward ourselves…