Eirene Efstathiou explores past events to revive them in a new context and question their hidden narratives. Her work extensively studies the way in which history is constantly translated, distorted, manipulated and rewritten. By juxtaposing official documents and personal memories, she creates a space on the margins of dominant discourse, which confronts erasures and structure violence of the past, but also people’s resilience in the face of ruin and loss.
Having studied both at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (US) and at the Athens School of Fine Arts (GR), Eirene Efstathiou was awarded the Deste Prize in 2009. Her work has been exhibited at Documenta 14 in Kassel (DE), the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (US), the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki (GR), and BOZAR (BE), among others. She is part of numerous international collections such as the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens (GR), or the Dakis Joannou Collection (GR).
Eirene Efstathiou reminds us of “How things are made” with a series of unique prints composed of several layers. Beginning with handmade composites of newspaper clippings from 2012 and 2013, primarily of incidental events, she proceeds to lithographs of terraced landscapes and screen prints of schematic drawings of mechanical looms. These works are meditations on the labor and economy of making; of making both consent and resistance, of making topos and goods, and the attending technologies of this making.
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In the series « Kiafa Revisited », Eirene Efstathiou explores a crucial part of Greek history that has almost been erased from the archives and memory of her country: the last stand of the communist insurgents during the Greek Civil War, in 1949. Linking past and present, the work combines silk-screens based on archival documents with lithographs made from present-day photographs taken on the site of the civil war’s final battle.
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By juxtaposing Greek historical and media images from December 1944 and 2008, Eirene Efstathiou reflects on the politically charged events of these two Decembers. The result is a semantic blur caused by a loss of context that would allow an interpretation of facts. These representations leave room for visions of ruins and absence.
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