Konstantin Kakanias

Split (lower and lower)

8 November - 8 December, 2007

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Split (lower and lower) – Athens
The new solo exhibitions of Konstantin Kakanias will be "split" between the two spaces of Kalfayan Galleries in Athens and Thessaloniki.
The two exhibitions will present an artistic analysis of the "split personality" phenomenon which modern psychology considers a "mental condition". Kakanias studies this state of mind as he himself seriously "suffers" from this condition.  His analysis however, is not presented in a theoretically "bad" or "good" manner, as Stevenson has done in his creepy, classic, short novel "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde".
The two exhibitions express two different personalities that co-exist in the same mind, two versions on the same theme of desperation and mental destruction. The "higher and higher" show deals with the tragic, existential emptiness of our times while the "lower and lower" show refers to the deep eternal problems of early childhood and the fake morality of our society that creates already diseased grown-ups. How low can one go? This split personality also is manifested aesthetically, as the works in the two shows are radically different. Which of the two personas is closer to the artist?  The superficial, star-obsessed, and self-centered Mrs. Tependris, or the eternal inner child, mentally raped by the laws of society?  Both, or maybe none of the above?
The Athens show will consist of new large-scale pencil drawings, a book (in gouache and ink), inspired by a prose poem by Cavafy "To syntagma tis hidonis" as well as a new sculpture. This new work is reminiscent of Kakanias' early work, in a painting style that has many references to the past, from Goya and Paul McCarthy, to the heroes of Walt Disney and the heroines of outsider artist Henry Dager.
The Thessaloniki show will consist of an installation of collected memories, of objects and mementos (mostly drawings) of the recent adventures of the mythical Mrs. Tependris, of her experiences with people such as Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton.  With his characteristic sharp humor Kakanias presents us with a more human side of his heroine as she faces depression, drugs, the world of gigolos and Hollywood.
At the same time, as part of the Film Festival of Thessaloniki, the artist will present his oversized outdoor inflatable sculpture of Mrs. Tependris which will be shown in a public space in the city.