“ENDYMION / Chapter 1: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse” at B & M Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts and Music
Valinia Svoronou's new work "ENDYMION / Chapter 1: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse" is the first narrative chapter of the artist's augmented reality application. The work is an astronomy-stargazing application that reveals a story alongside new year'scelestial events beginning with the penumbral lunar eclipse on January 10, 2020. The app is informed by various mythssurrounding the zodiac constellations, as well as their use as a means of navigation across the centuries.The underlying narrative of the app takes the ancient Greek myth of Endymion as a point of departure to explore romantic ideasaround historical exchanges between East and West in relation to the contemporary world. Endymion's myth assimilates theplot twists of Roman times, its romantic readings, and appropriations in pop culture.Svoronou uses the tools of astronomy to create a node where mythologies across time and geographical boundaries convergewith scientific observation. The work, in addition to the app, exists as sculptural installation and a series of prints. As aporous membrane between the material, the digital, and the corporeal, the work allows for various stories to interweave,exploring their individual boundaries and allowing for them to resolve variously. Zodiac myths are understood here as escapeplans, distractions, detours and wanderings. Svoronou brings together seemingly contradictory content to create something new,suggesting a kind of intuitive navigation-reading. She raises a series of questions about positivist readings of science, historyand the art world. Through the mythological connection of Endymion and the Moon, she focuses on the power relations of theobserver and the observed, subject and object, on the gendered dimension of the gaze to negotiate the concrete nature of thelatter.Svoronou seeks to rethink the political possibilities of appropriation in art within the museum. Language, representation, and thespace of action become tools and targets of critique - a means of reflection on the way stories are constructed, exhibited andconsumed.