May, 2023

202326May(May 26)18:0028Jun(Jun 28)21:00“A Scattering of Salts” Exhibition at the ACG Art Gallery18:00 - (June 28) 21:00

Event Details


Opening: May 26, 18:00-22:00

Duration: May 27 – June 28

Opening hours: Tuesday-Friday 14:00-18:00 Saturday 12:00-16:00

Where: ACG Gallery, Deree – The American College of Greece, 6 Gravias Street, 15342, Aghia Paraskevi, Athens

Organized by: Frances Rich School of Fine and Performing Arts as part of the Deree Arts Festival 2023

Supported by: The Art History, Graphic Design and Visual Arts programs and ACG Art Collection

Special thanks to the Dance Area for their contribution and collaboration.


About the exhibition

“A Scattering of Salts”
Curated by Panos Giannikopoulos

 The exhibition “A Scattering of Salts”, opening on May 26, 2023, presents works of painting, sculpture, video, performance, and dance at Deree – The American College of Greece. It brings the art collection of The American College of Greece into dialogue with contemporary artists from Greece and abroad.

The narrative thread traversing the exhibition stems from a photograph which is part of the art collection. The acclaimed American Poet James Merrill looks at the life mask of fellow poet Kimon Friar. Multiple references emerge from the petrified gaze. Projections of desire, the form of the Medusa, citations and comparisons, sedimentation, the nexus of life and death.

Merrill’s last poetry collection[1] of the same name lends the exhibition its title, imposing its underlying leitmotifs. The scattering of salts is a poetic invocation, binding and situating at the same time, a magic circle, a spell. The scattering of salts serves as a metaphor for the scattering of memories and the accumulation of time. Merrill’s séance is proposed in “A Scattering of Salts” as an exhibition-making tool. The occult, spiritual communications the poet anecdotally held are playfully converted into a way of engaging with art history and reconstructing historical works. These uncanny conversations become a source of both poetic and spatial inspiration.

The invocation of magic helps us become aware of our preexisting metaphysical assumptions. As the range of the possible keeps shrinking, contemporary rituals try to move beyond prescribed rules and reach out to what cannot be captured in descriptive language. They reveal the relationship between artistic practice and the transcendental through the counter reflection of the “technical”[2]. Historical works surface alongside contemporary artists and erratic dance performances and occupy unexpected spaces, while lost works are re-animated or developed further, creating scattered connections.

Privileging scattering over organization, dispersion rather than systematic arrangement, the exhibition presents fragments of imagination dissolving into something else. Salts become a lens through which to contemplate the present and scattering emerges as a methodology, thus creating the illusion of symmetrical, kaleidoscopic patterns.
Minerals and parts of our tissues facilitate the transmission of nerve impulses across the human body, crystallizing into precious materials, a process of becoming and unbecoming—prisms in a contingent flux which enable us to contemplate the past and the future.

Salts crystallize and dissolve; layers of calcium carbonate accrete to form a pearl, which in time is dropped back into the sea; molecules under heat and pressure are rearranged to form gemstones, and the same forces decrystallize marble to chalk[3].

Participating artists: Yannis Bouteas, James Bridle, Eleni Christodoulou, Jimmie Durham, Nicole Economides, Kimon Friar, Evangelia Fouseki, Ioanna Gouma, Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Gkikas, Rowena Hughes, Theo Hios, Astrid Kokka, Bety Krňanská, Jack Mcconville, Michael Michaelides, Irini Miga, Raffaela Naldi Rossano, Kosmas Nikolaou, Pavlos Nikolakopoulos, Aemilia Papaphilippou, Malvina Panagiotidi, Rallou Panagiotou, Cezary Poniatowski, Chrysanne Stathacos, Takis, Lina Zedig

Performances by: Ermira Goro, Konstantina Barkouli

Architectural design: Anastasis Papadakis

Exhibition and ACG Art Collection Senior Manager: Ioanna Papapavlou
Curatorial assistants:  Clio Georgiadis, Maria Kollia, Athina Lasithiotaki, Katerina Milesi, Elena Pitsilka (Deree Art History Program students)
Graphic design: Athina Lasithiotaki, Katerina Milesi
Graphic Design Supervision: Marios Stamatis

Special thanks to Dean Katerina Thomas, Niki Kladakis, Dr. Daphne Mourelou of the Dance Area for the contribution and collaboration and Dr. Demetra Papaconstantinou for the archival material.

Thank you also to Marinos Klouras, George Papastogiannoudis, Nasia Ntinopoulou, for the promotion of the exhibition and Antonis Kontopoulos, Georgia Dassyra, Michalis Orontis, Ioannis Poulakis, George Kyrodimos, Dimitris Fakinos, Stavros Theofilou, Vassilis Palaiogiannis, Stavros Karadimitriou, and the rest of the technical services for their assistance and support.

[1] Merrill, James. A Scattering of Salts. Alfred A. Knopf, 1995.
[2] Campagna, Federico. Technic and Magic: The Reconstruction of Reality. Bloomsbury Academic, 2019.
[3] “A Scattering of Salts: Kaleidoscopic Innocence.” James Merrill: Knowing Innocence, Routledge, New York, 2007, p. 158.