Faces of Mankind
An exhibition of paintings, graphics, sculptures & 3-dimensional objects
Gallery Delta, in true Greek form, has undertaken a herculean task: to transform the concepts and material of tragedy and comedy from the performing to the figurative arts. Over a long period of time, Gallery Delta has inextricably combined the face of Africa with the face of Europe to promote their common points, thus offering a very satisfying experience to its visitors.
This linking proves how our world has shrunk. Besides, artistic ideas have always ignored borders and geographical coordinates. They belong to mankind as a whole. It also reminds us of the obvious: professional diplomats are no longer the best representatives of their culture, having been replaced in this role by intellectuals and artists who opt for the more direct, sincere and enduring channels of communication.
As someone has remarked, our world is a tragedy to those who feel and a comedy to those who think. I believe we can all agree that there is only a thin line that separates comedy and tragedy, laughter and pain, which are often the two sides of our complex lives. It is up to the artist, therefore, in imitating life, to decide how he/she isolates, magnifies and projects its tragic and comic aspects. It is up to the spectator, to interpret these intensely exaggerated features in a cathartic way.
In an ever changing world, where people have lost, to a great extent, their faith in ideals, civilizations need to know, remember, review, connect ideas, in order to restore balance and survive, morally and socially.
Art basically questions human nature. It is useful, because it liberates us from the tyranny of our everyday lives, and vitally important, because it helps us maintain the power of the symbols we have invented. The pieces of art exhibited can tell us who we were, what is wrong today, to which direction we could turn. The historical conjuncture that gave birth to tragedy and comedy as forms of art was neither simple, nor accidental.
Human beings are not solely good, nor evil, neither purely beneficent, nor destructive. But they can freeze time, change the course of history, secure better conditions for their future, strike a balance between opposite forces that dominate the world and ourselves. We can thus offer ourselves and our children the certainty of better days to come, in a wiser, more fair and harmonious way.
I wish to express our gratitude to the Swiss Embassy for its support that allowed the original idea of Gallery Delta, to combine the topical with the universal and the ephemeral with the eternal, to materialize. Such idealism is urgently needed in a world dominated by the marketplace.
Leonidas B. Contovounesios
Ambassador of Greece