This photo exhibition, curated by Penelope Petsini, at the Municipal Art Gallery, 98-102 Chalidon,
Chania, is open from Monday to Saturday, 10:00-14:00 and 18:00-22:00
Photographers: Nikos Panayotopoulos, Penelope Petsini
The exhibition is carried out in collaboration with the Goethe-Zentrum, Chania.
The exhibition focuses on places of remembrance related to the Cold War period in Europe. The elaboration of the past [Aufarbeitung der Vergangenheit], on ‘restricted areas’, the Berlin Wall twenty years after its collapse, when it was transformed into a place of remembrance with multiple – primarily political – functions, acquiring international symbolic dimensions.
The series “Restricted Areas” presents places once secret and inaccessible that have now been turned into official or unofficial monuments. STASI and KGB prisons, military anti-nuclear shelters and facilities, the National Security Service headquarters, the Soviet Army underground headquarters in the LDG: Premises that became symbolic fields of memory, thus playing a key role in the process. production of that dynamic process that modern historians call “cultural memory.” The two sections are part of a larger work, entitled “Palimpsest” (2009 – 2019), which focuses on places of remembrance related to the Cold War period in Europe. The elaboration of the past [Aufarbeitung der Vergangenheit], a phrase-phrase of the famous “historians’ dispute” we owe to Adorno, describes the re-examination of historical events through the management of often controversial material that causes much embarrassment and conflict. they call it a “battle of memory.”
In “Palimpset”, Petsini and Panayotopoulos are tireless visual investigators of the dialectic between History and oblivion. They provide a minutely detailed visual document of the processes through which history is being written; a record of the city’s attempts to produce a single cohesive narrative, a single timeline, a unified history. Their record testifies that elements regarded as excessive, which do not fit, or which point to multiplicity and deconstruct any attempt at a cohesive singularity, are being pushed towards erasure in a myriad ways: by means of disposal, demolition and re-signification, as well as through being placed in museum selves and souvenir shops. This exhibition is a documentation not just of History or of a history, but of the processes by which history is being made – of how it is being written and of how it is erased. As Nadia Seremetakis once put it, “We live in the era of earthquakes… The future is certain. That which is unpredictable is the past”.
(Christos Varvantakis, Nov. 2020)
Source: Municipal Art Gallery Chania