2 April – 20 July 2008
Selective Knowledge

When faced with a library, an archive or simply any large databank, the artist must be clear about his/her purpose before starting the quest for the ultimate documentation or representation. Any enquiry into the nature, focus, and inspiration of research results in as many individual responses as there are respondents. Some artists follow self-imposed methods, others lean on far more emotional and intuitive processes.

Artists sift through historical information with a social, economic, or political content to construct identities and gain understanding while relying on a subjective approach which does not necessarily provide answers; it reveals. It is not concerned with the exact nature of reality or truth but rather with our perception of it.

Artists constantly challenge received knowledge with alternative histories based on personal memory and experience. Artists make choices not according to a certain methodology or by intuition, but following a path with its own inner logic. The next picture has to add to the context of the whole. It is not a random process, it is a guided one that ultimately tries and creates a level of recognition.

If partial knowledge accepts that we need to solve a problem on the basis of facts that are not entirely complete, then selective knowledge talks about the conscious choice to reject, select, and accept on the basis of need, desire, and expectation, until a story unfolds.
Rather than starting from large systems and accepted truths from which political, economic, and social developments are analyzed, the artists in the exhibition adapt the synthesizing character of the curiosity cabinet. Many bits and pieces allow for associations and interpretations.

The extent to which the academic world, more and more intent on drawing in the arts institutions, can respond to this changing and often conflicting approach to knowledge is part of the broader debate around the present state of education.

Participating Artists:
Mark Dion, Apostolos Karastergiou, George Hadjimichalis, Mark O’Kelly, Christian Boltanski, Pietro Roccasalva, Albert Oehlen, Candida Höfer, Nina Fischer & Maroan El Sani, Armin Linke & Peter Hanappe, Henrik Olesen, Allen Ruppersberg, Eirene Efstathiou, Ivan Grubanov, Sam Durant, Vangelis Vlahos

The show makes reference to Alain Resnais “Toute la Memoire du Monde”, besides a display of books and documents by Hans-Peter Feldmann, Mark Dion, Patrick Van Caeckenbergh, Peter Piller, Sarah Seager, George Hadjimihalis, Mariana Castillo Deball, and Mark O’Kelly.

Exhibition Concept and Coordination: Els Hanappe
Exhibition in cooperation with MIET, National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation.


Selective Knowledge

On the occasion of the exhibition ‘Selective Knowledge’, April 2008
Contributions by Els Hanappe, Ivan Grubanov, Mark O’Kelly, Eirene Efstathiou, Doreen Mende, Vangelis Vlahos, Elpida Karamba
Design by Christos Lialios
Published by MIET
ISBN 978-969-250-394-2

The National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation at Eynard Mansion
Agiou Konstantinou 20 & Menandrou Street, 10431 Athens