Remains of a Summer Bliss - Curated by Lanfranco Aceti
15 September - 15 October 2016
In his second solo exhibition at Kalfayan Galleries, Bill Balaskas will present a new body of work that will invite the audience to experience the end of summer as a metaphor for the present. Remaining faithful to his ideologically charged, yet playful artistic language, which has received wide international acclaim in recent years, Balaskas interrogates what might constitute "bliss" in the current historical conjuncture.
Using a variety of media, including neon, photography, sound and fabric, the artist will investigate what remains from an old world that appears to be dying, and what remains to be done in order to build a new one. Like items abandoned on a beach by holidaymakers, the works in the exhibition will be testaments to this complex, or even contradictory amalgamation. Together they will signal the enduring volatility of a globalized environment in which any direction taken cannot guarantee the reaching of the desired destination anymore. In contradistinction to the dominant apolitical culture which proclaims that "ignorance is bliss", Balaskas's works make us confront reality in order to reflect on the origins of the uncertainty that we experience.
The curator of the exhibition, Lanfranco Aceti, notes: "Balaskas is one of the most exciting politically and socially engaged artists working in Europe today. Behind the humorous surface of many of his works, we can locate multiple references and layers of meaning. Those references reveal the violence exerted on our societies by the crisis of the political and economic systems that we have created, or perverted. Balaskas looks for the constituent elements of this crisis, in order to produce a space for civic introspection - a condition that we so urgently need in Europe and around the world."
Concurrently with his solo exhibition at Kalfayan Galleries, works by Bill Balaskas can also be viewed at MACBA, Barcelona, where the artist presents a new installation commissioned by the museum, titled "Anarchy Near the UK" (exhibition: "PUNK. Its traces in contemporary art"); Fundacio Palma Espai d'Art-Casal Solleric, Palma de Mallorca (exhibition: "De regreso a la isla"); A Plus A Gallery, Venice (exhibition: "Good Night, And Good Luck"); and in Boston, where Balaskas will stage a large-scale public performance in collaboration with Boston University, on 30 September (ArtWeek Boston 2016). The performance will feature Balaskas's widely publicized installation "The market will save us" (2013), and it is curated by Lanfranco Aceti.
The exhibition is kindly supported by the University for the Creative Arts.