An Urban Gallery

Theano Giannezi

About the Project

At the beginning of pandemic, people were experiencing daily emotions of fear, agony and stress that made their bodies and minds vulnerable. They were searching ways to escape from the reality, and one was through artistic practices. But this pandemic had a strong affect to the world of Art, not only economically, but also socially; the concept of event spaces (galleries) stopped existing physically. The connection with the viewer was totally lost and the physical interaction was almost prohibited. The positive in all this was that a lot of art institutes and galleries gave opportunities to the active artists and supported their work through online exhibitions. But was that enough to fulfill the missing connections?

My personal need to find again these lost connections, led me to new ways of interaction and one of my solutions was to exhibit my artworks in the streets. My thought was to reconstruct part of my artworks that I had created during the months of isolation (but didn’t have the opportunity to exhibit somewhere) and recreate them with a new medium, the technique of paste-up/ street-art.

The walls suddenly became my personal “urban gallery” where people could interact freely with my artwork, without any physical meeting between them, just by stopping on the side of the road where every artwork was displayed. In addition, I started documenting the process and the result of my work and by exposing it in my social media platforms I created new engagements and virtual connections with the appreciators of my art. I saw that people started noticing the public spaces as the perfect places for exposing art. Streets reclaimed and started treating as art spaces, this created a feeling of freedom and solidarity, something that was missing long time from the art scene.

For this art project I want to show and explore further the transformation of my artworks, from three-dimensional paper artworks, into paste-up artworks exposed in public walls, creating an “Urban Gallery” and further to the virtual world with a variety of options and new forms.

Some of the questions that I want to answer are: How to make the art world see the Public spaces as Gallery spaces. How to adjust an urban art environment in the virtual world and with what form (photo, video, 360 cameras). How is possible to bring the artworks back to the gallery space and to a virtual reality space. These are some of the questions that are part of the research I am planning to do.

I came up with this idea after the creation of my art series Symbiosis. A series I created during the months of lockdown due to Covid-19 as an attempt to illustrate part of the cultural heritage and the lifestyle in Indonesia as I experienced it, as well as to depict my adaptation to the daily life until today.

The word “Symbiosis” comes from the Greek word "συμβιόω" (συν + βίος that means “living together”) and is any type of a close and long-term biological interaction between two different organisms. These types of interaction can be Mutualistic, Commensalistic or Parasitic. The art series Symbiosis represents these connections and explores the similarities in human relationships.

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Artist's Profile

Theano Giannezi was born in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1991. She got her Bachelor & Master Degree in Fine Arts, at the department of Visual and Applied Arts of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (2016) and completed music studies at Music school of Thessaloniki (2009). In 2019 she won the Darmasiswa Indonesian Scholarship.

Theano is a multidisciplinary artist working mostly in paper installations and the creation of three-dimensional forms where she incorporates elements of nature by engaging subjects as the pursuit of the meaning of human existence, with the intention to idealize it and explore its connection to the natural environment and the urban lifestyle. She creates repetitive paper patterns that manage to extend beyond their surface, as three-dimensional forms that the viewer can immerse himself into, and by interacting and moving among the conceptually layered paper installation he discovers an endless and complex universe. These visual art pieces express a symbolic spatial liberty where the viewer is invited to attain a higher consciousness through spiritual disciplines. Her artworks have been presented in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and cultural institutes in Greece and abroad and she has participated in art seminars and residency programs as well.