[….] there are all the folds that come from the Orient­—Greek, Roman, Romanesque, Gothic, classical folds …. But it twists and turns the folds, takes them to infinity, fold upon fold, fold after fold. [….] is the fold that goes on to infini­ty.” Gilles Deleuze, “The Fold,” Yale French Studies 80, Baroque Topographies: Literature/History/Philosophy (1991): 227.

Where Is the Problem? ‘Empathy – Apathy’ is a new group exhibition at Beton7, Athens, curated by Eva Kekou, that sees the participation of Lanfranco Aceti (IT, UK, US) and Willem Jan Smit (NL, DE, ES) together with Eirene Efstathiou, Yiannis Theodoropoulos, Anna Lascari, and Stefania Strouza.   

Lanfranco Aceti and Willem Jan Smit present three new artworks as part of their summer long conversation on the complexity of contemporary artistic practices that reflect upon social and identity issues. The three artworks were produced specifically for Beton7 and one of them was realized in situ as part of the collaborative and community based approach that the two artists wanted to explore over the course of an entire summer.    

Lanfranco Aceti, The Biggr The Bettr, 2017. Hand stitched sequins on silk, 40x60cm.

Willem Jan Smit, NOT TOO BIG, 2017. Reversible sequins fabric and hangers,120x220cm.

Willem Jan Smit and Lanfranco Aceti, Men Smear, 2017. Nails, rubber gloves, and crude oil rub from Piraeus spill on found tarpaulin, 130x170cm.

The three artworks responded to the philosophical framework set by the curator who explained that the chosen titled Where Is the Problem? linked “the local with the world, the special with the general. It refers to sarcasm and humour in order to deal with problems in ‘societies in crisis’ and ‘transition societies’ which remain inactive and passive, often developing a bipolar and ambivalent attitude to the problems they face.”

Aceti and Smit linked philosophical, economic, and gender issues focusing on how we perceive size and construct our relations in terms of size within contemporary globalized societies. By mixing contemporary events, the oil spill on the coastline of Athens, and the individual relationship to the concept of ‘big’, is bigger really better?, the two artists generated a visual conversation between three aesthetically different artworks which fundamentally question the basis of our social engagements.  

The exhibition can be visited from Tuesday 19 September to Friday 13 October, 2017 at Beton7, Athens, Greece. Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 2 PM – 7 PM. Opening: Tuesday September 19th, 8 PM.