PCAI partners with PCAI collection artist Danae Stratou on the occasion of her new solo exhibition Βurning Issues – Merimbula, organised by the City of Athens Culture, Sports and Youth Organisation (OPANDA) and the Municipality of Athens. The exhibition consists of two installations that dramatically transform the Arts Centre. Stratou constructs an immersive environment, highlighting fire, its symbolism and destructive consequences. Visitors enter a space of spiritual awakening, cleansing and purification. This exhibition by Stratou, an internationally renowned artist for her sophisticated large-scale installations, speaks to pressing issues of our time and the urgency of developing environmental awareness and strengthening environmental responsibility.
The two key features in Danae Stratou’s exhibition are a healthy forest, in one installation, and a video of a sheet of paper burning incessantly at a very slow pace in the other. Australia’s forests engender a rich symbolism related to the contradictions of modern human society. The Merimbula Forest is a coastal area in south-eastern New South Wales that in 2019 was destroyed by unprecedented forest fires, sparking a heated debate about climate change among communities that had previously refused it. The photographs featured in the installation were taken by the artist in 2010, along with recordings of Australian bell magpies, which have now turned silent.
Danae Stratou was born in Athens, Greece. She studied Fine Arts and specialised in sculpture and installation at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London (1983–1988). She taught as Adjunct Professor at the Post-Graduate Programme of the Athens School of Fine Arts (2007–2013). Her work consists of large-scale site-specific art installations and audio-visual environments. She uses a variety of media, ranging from digital and audio technology, video, photography to metal and natural materials and elements. Stratou uses a minimal, geometric visual language and engages in contemporary issues such as the climate crisis, migration, life in contemporary cities, population growth, our relation to the environment, as well as political and social tensions worldwide. From 1997 on, she has been featured regularly in major solo and group exhibitions internationally.
In 2010 she initiated and co-founded the non-profit organisation Vital Space, a global interdisciplinary, cross-media art platform addressing the pressing issues of our time. Since 2016 she has been active in DiEM25 and has played a central role in the implementation of DiEM Voice, the movement’s artistic platform, which aims to strengthen the dialogue between art and politics at a broader level. She is Chair of mέta Centre for Post-Capitalist Civilisation, which works towards breaking with a dystopic present so as to imagine the world anew through art and research.
The exhibition Βurning Issues – Merimbula is held at OPANDA from 25th May – 10th July 2022.
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Photo: © Danae Stratou