Dio Horia welcomes the "Heartburner"; the first solo exhibition of Greek artist, Malvina Panagiotidi. The artist dives deep into yesteryear to source long-forgotten, local, old stories. She works on the crossing point of history and fiction, fact and myth, through revisiting the folklore and associated superstitions and their evolution in the contemporary sociopolitical context.
In “Heartburner”, her body of works take form through a poetic research in stories of the Myconian uncanny, constantly renewing and revising their content and meaning. She turns her focus on the legacy of acts that now seem beyond the limits of the imaginable.
In the winter of 1701, French botanist and traveller Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, while on the island of Mykonos, witnessed the exhumation of a suspected vampire (vrikolakas) by the locals; once the heart of the corpse was extracted, the body was burned so as to be purified. The act, recorded by Pitton, was later published in his work “Relation d’ un voyage du Levant”.
By revisiting the island's past and through the descriptions of these Myconian rituals in Pitton’s book, the artist creates a series of wax sculptures that form a link with the primordial superstitions of the local community.
Digging up and reintroducing this old legend, works almost like a memory resurrection, drawing forth the complex connection between past and present. Legends and their sculptural sediments are nothing else but faint shadowy traces of a past still here. In this regard, wax’s materiality operates as a fragile remembrance of something that can be worked up, elaborated and recomposed but also as a fuel of a memory ready to be burned again.
MALVINA PANAGIOTIDI (b.1985, Αthens) has studied Architecture at the University of Thessaly and has received an MA from the Universität der Künste, Berlin. She has presented her work in group shows, at art spaces and museums in Greece and abroad, including the Benaki Museum (2016, Athens) -in collaboration with DESTE Foundation and New Museum, New York-, Onassis Cultural Center (2016, Athens), Chalet Society (2015, Paris) HKW (2015, Berlin) Dio Horia (2015, Mykonos). She is also a member of the art/research group Saprophytes.