Kalliopi Lemos
All is to Be Dared

Gazelli Art House, London / United Kingdom

March 16–April 29, 2018
March 26, 2018
Tuesday Talks: Rules and the Disruptive Power of Desires: April 10, 6–8pm, With Kalliopi Lemos and curator Christian Oxenius

Gazelli Art House
39 Dover Street
London W1S 4NN
United Kingdom

T +44 20 7491 8816
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Gazelli Art House is delighted to announce Kalliopi Lemos’ second solo show, All is to Be Dared. Featuring an unseen body of work, Lemos continues to approach women’s issues with an acute sensitivity, opening up an important contemporary discourse about the role of femininity—both historically and in today’s world.

Curated by Christian Oxenius, the Greek born, London-based sculptor, painter and installation artist unveils a new series of work investigating the essence of desire and pain. Filtered through verses of the ancient Greek poetess Sappho, Kalliopi Lemos, with All is to Be Dared, explores our most intimate obsessions, our objects of desire. Lemos presents us with an intimate juxtaposition of sensuality and pain, desire and constraint, love and death, rendered universal and timeless through the inspiration of Sappho and her capacity to capture the human psyche in all its facets, in all its complexities. A space that Lemos questions in all its complexity, Oxenius explains, leading us from a soft and tender embrace to its sharpest and most darkest edges; a space in which we find our psyche cut open by the burning arrows delivering their erotic drive.

Lemos elaborates, “At this very interesting and important time in history, with women celebrating 100 years of having the right to vote in the UK, while having summoned the courage to talk about abuse and seek justice, I use my new body of work to introduce the magnificent verses of Sappho, the celebrated ancient Greek poetess. Her immediacy, sincerity and eloquence have established her as the symbol of feminine discourse for almost 3,000 years and I find the surviving fragments of her poems extremely powerful and poignant. Her humanity, her love for life, as well as the passion and frustration when desire is not reciprocated, makes one feel very close to her.”

Interlaced with fragments of Sappho’s poetic verses, the linen bandages woven throughout the show present the viewer with a repelling force: a material used as an apparent healing for the wounded body and psyche, quickly turns into suffocating constrains delivering the harshness of those inner borders we are unable to overcome. In this exhilarating juxtaposition, Lemos unearths an openness that is complicated, violent and ambiguous. 

Professor of philosophy Simon Critchley reflects, “I find Kalliopi’s work intensely erotic, fiercely and strangely erotic, where erosis understood as a deep, subterranean—indeed terrifying—force that moves behind and beyond puny human forms, something that is human and more than human at once...Kalliopi points us towards a core in her work, the molten core at the centre of the world that burns and flickers through in the life of desire, the eros that makes us shake and sweat. This is the core of our aliveness, which is the only thing, in my view, which art should serve.”

All is to Be Dared contributes to a significant visual sphere of knowledge, perception and awareness into a global narrative. Lemos’ exploration of femininity explores notions of strength and resilience underlined by feminine iconography.