The Soft Underbelly
One of the Athenian basements. History, secrets, the sediment, remaining memories and things we amass. Fears, garbage, our finest that we want to preserve and the worst that we wish to bury deep in our subconscious. The soft underbelly of Athens. In The Soft Underbelly, curated by Poka-Yio, images, touch, smell and sound makes us participate in a domestic drama, in a basement, in the iconic gallery of Athens.
The Soft Underbelly
We grew up with poetry sprayed on the city walls. Dismembered pavements, bombarded streets, shoved marbles, squeezed bitter oranges, pigeons, dog shit, scruffy cats, and gutted garbage bags. Your peep toed sandals stroll in Kolonaki, up and down the barricades. Your toes are perfectly pedicured, trimmed by a second-generation laborer. Athens exhales her summer breeze, swearing, moaning, breathing garbage stench and fruit stalls. Around there Moralis, Chryssa and Tsarouchis have their exhibitions’ openings. Flashlights, tabloids, mags, socialites. Your sandals slip on the walkways, dresses crawl over cats, going down to the basement where waters stagnate, the petrol boiler lurks, the storage, the boxes of times past. There the roaches do their stuff, humidity droplets and metallic pipes echoing the cries of babies. Athens is dripping at her basements. All the city fluids. Ancient sewers, forgotten laundries, assertive shouts, tire squeaking, swearing, and urban myths of deadly viruses and undermining foreign intelligence. The under-ground gallery. The show case. The depository of the subconscious. The basement. Where the make-up and history are dripping, where the personas of the city flock. Filtering the remnants, the sediment, the distillation. The very finest that we own and the worst that we are. Pressing our ileum we ache. Our protruding anomaly, our artificial rectum. Our base, our bowels, lay somewhere there under her concrete. At her soft underbelly.
Participating artists: Chryssa, Maria Filippa, Angelos Frentzos, Vangelis Gokas, Ilios, Andreas Ragnar Kassapis, George Kazazis, Panagiotis Kefalas, Angelos Merges, Yiannis Moralis, Kyriakos Mortarakos, Poka-Yio, Maria Polyzoidou, Fotini Poulia, Evi Roumani, Theodora Savvalaridi, Antonis Selekos Conceptual Desserts, Katerina Stefanidaki, Sasha Streshna, George Vaviloussakis.
Curated by: Poka Yio