Critics’ Picks

View of “Maria Loizidou,” 2015.


Maria Loizidou

Kerameikos Archaeological Museum
Ermou 148
September 9–October 31

The ancient burial grounds of Kerameikos are one of the most fascinating places in all of Athens. The trees there have known so much in their time that they’re like God. It’s not just ruins; this old cemetery is very much alive. Thousands of colonies of ants swarm on the ground, feasting on the fertile soil of dead centuries. Even an old turtle I watched moving intently across a path was following the daily route of the cynic philosopher Diogenes.

But there’s nothing cynical about Maria Loizidou’s project “A Transfer,” 2015, elements of which one finds scattered throughout the museum and cemetery grounds, sending the wanderer on a sort of poetic treasure hunt. Stainless-steel threads are employed for this installation, which was commissioned and is presented by NEON, for less of an intervention than a complement to this mysterious place and its honoring of Time. A conical blanket, densely woven, is erected like a burial cloth over a rocky fragment of a ruin. Inside the museum, another metallic weaving seems to depict the journey to Hades. Back outside and hanging from a tree is a threaded mesh piece somewhat reminiscent of Ruth Asawa’s weavings, evoking the shape of a funerary vase. What will you take with you when you go?

Oh, why can’t we bring back the old gods? Monotheism is no fun. All these wars, and what for? Some unattainable ideal? Fuck Hegel, fuck God, too. Fuck death, for that matter. Here’s to the fervent multiplication of ceaseless journeying, to walks that take us through the nowhere of history, to all those forces that secretly control our wanderings, whether or not they have proper names.