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Greek artist Georgia Sagri's first institutional exhibition opens at Kunsthalle Basel
Georgia Sagri, Mona Lisa Effect, installation view. Photo: Courtesy the artist, Anthony Reynolds Gallery (London), Helena Papdopoulos & Andreas Melas (Athens) und/and Lars Friedrich (Berlin). Kunsthalle Basel 2014, Photo: Gina Folly.

BASEL.- The first ever institutional solo exhibition by the Greek artist Georgia Sagri (*1979) opened at Kunsthalle Basel. Born in Athens, Sagri today lives and works in New York. Sagri is always the protagonist of her performances, which she stages in installations and environments specifically created for each venue. She regularly challenges, provokes and at times taxes the viewer with her works, insofar as she explores political and social themes from a critical perspective. While representing social, historical and economic relationships, the artist is interested in the mode whereby today’s society generates, communicates and distributes imagery through media. Sagri, whose practice is rooted in performance, has developed a new performance and installation as well as other individual works for her Kunsthalle show.

The title of the exhibition is the Mona Lisa Effect. The artist is thereby concerned with the repeated viewing of an image, one disseminated via so many channels that it has become, like the portrait of Mona Lisa, a vehicle of mass associations. The exhibition invokes this phenomenon by likewise presenting Sagri’s works via several channels of distribution. What is at stake here is not least the question of reality and its various possible interpretations.

The exhibition itself becomes the place of Sagri’s performances, which are scheduled at irregular intervals. Outside of these performances, it may be understood as a work in its own right. As viewers, we are required to take a fresh look at a political incident known to us through media coverage. While the artist will be present occasionally, a permanent video trailer of her performance questions the idea of recorded and live material and provides visitors with a kind of manual to the show.

Posters providing a taster of some of the gestures and poses that Sagri will be using in her performance have been published in the run-up to the exhibition and are on show in Basel’s urban spaces. They will be documented on the Contemporary Art Daily Internet platform, making them accessible to a broader audience.

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