Benaki Museum, Athens

1 Koumpari St. & Vasilissis Sofias Ave.
GR-106 74 Athens

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artist / participant

press release

16.06.2018 - 29.07.2018
Opening: Friday, June 15.06.2018 20:00

The DESTE Foundation, in collaboration with the Benaki Museum and Point Centre for Contemporary Art, present Lito Kattou’s exhibition "Days of San" within the permanent collections of the Benaki Museum of Greek Culture. The exhibition includes the real-time video projection Red Lake as well as six new sculptures made especially for the occasionthat are perceived as embodiments of the fictional character San.

The works are creating pathways within the different levels of the permanent collection of the Benaki Museum, concluding on the 3rd floor with the real-time projection. San, a liquid ungendered being between a human, a machine, a god and an animal,wasconceived as an Artificial Intelligence. It reflects and negotiates the presence of creatures, guardians, and non-human entities in mythological traditions, artifacts and histories spanning from the long past until today. Skins and feathers from the creature’s epidermis are extruded from its body and cohabit the space as sculptural forms coming together in dialogue with ancient traces and archeological depictions of subjectivities found throughout the Benaki Museum.

In reverse, the exhibits of the permanent collection witness San’s constant trial of success and failure, its activity within a 3D simulated environment. The entity adapts and evolves through the algorithm that directs its everyday Sisyphean fate of patrolling the Red Lake, the remnant of an ancient copper mine close to Nicosia, Cyprus, active from the Chalcolithic period until the late 60’s. The mine’s landscape is highly affected by the climatic change and the ecological destruction which is developing dramatically in the South Eastern Mediterranean. The creature’s brain is designed to collectreal-time climatic data from the geographical spot of the lake. San,as an AI being and through its sculptural manifestations, incarnates new forms of adaptive intelligence reacting to violent changes, materializing current ecological concerns, and raising questions on the complexity of the nature-technology relationship.

Days of San is the second part of the exhibition San by Lito Kattou presented at Point Centre for Contemporary Art in Nicosia, Cyprus (19th May -20th June).

Lito Kattou was born in Nicosia, Cyprus in 1990. She lives and works in London and Athens. She is a graduate of the Athens School of Fine Arts and the Royal College of Art in London with an MA in Sculpture. Kattou is the recipient of the New Positions Award for Art Cologne 2018 and was the invited artist for the 89 plus Google Residency curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Simon Castets at the Google Cultural Institute in Parisin2017. Kattou’s works are included in private collections, in the collection of the National Bank of Greece, and the collection of Deutsche Telekom.

Special thanks to: Hans Ulrich Obrist, Simon Castets, and Julie Boukobza for supporting the realization of the work Red Lake at the 89plus Google Residency; Jonathan Tanant and Clifford Sage for the technical support during the production of the work Red Lake;Nasos Ktorides, Lia Mori, Charalampos Ioannou, and Petros Moris for their invaluable help.