Nitra welcomes the Thessaloniki International Film Festival with the opening of Theo Prodromidis’s solo exhibition Towards the Bank of the Future. The central work and namesake of the show is a video created by the artist commissioned by the Onassis Cultural Centre/Onassis Foundation as part of the Visual Dialogues Exhibition (2013-2014).
The work, which references C.P. Cavafy’s poem The Bank of the Future, has also been presented at Les Reoncontres International, New Cinema and Contemporary Art in Paris (2014), in Berlin at the Haus der Kulturen de Welt (2015) and participated in Fireflies in the Night, organized by Robert Storr and curated by Barbara London, Calliope Minoudaki and Francesca Pietropaolo at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens.
The work follows the journey and actions of a wanderer/researcher at the National Library, the National Museum, the collection of Islamic Art at the Benaki Museum finally ends in a research room at the Numismatic Museum. During one of his breaks a conversation takes place in which verses from the poems Hidden and The Bank of the Future are heard, questioning the consistency between thought, reason, and, by extension, action. Playing with these two poems, Prodromidis brings the value of the act into dialogue with its content, thus emphasizing the act over the expectations contained within it.
The act contains an inherent political dimension which informs the experience of the exhibition, through the fabrics included in accordance with the term panneau; Panneau as a surface of information as defined by the French language, and, inevitably, as the banners linked to Greek culture in its political manifestation.
The concept of historicity and the role of the artist in relation to his specific historical and social context are both important elements of the video, transposing the conversation to an existential level. Prodromidis puts forward the concepts of future, value, bank, and history in a dialectic relationship – repositioning the artist in relation to them and his work in relation to society.
Each of these elements – the artist, History and society – protagonists of this visual work, are transferred from screen to space and manifest themselves as two independent works, To Appear and Act Freely (aluminum) and Later (neon). In these works, which use language and text as their own codification, questions related to their function, meaning and interpretation emerge.
Prodromidis’s investigation unfolds four-fold into the exhibition space by different means: video, neon, aluminum and fabric, creating a wholly new framework, inviting the visitor on a new journey and experience within the space to understand the works.