Mathias & Mathias “Fine and Dandy Symposion” at Peter Amby Gallery (off space apartment), Copenhagen
Away from the public extensibility and the narrative rigidity into the conscious inertia and free syntax – the light art idealism that denotes the balance of the estheticians of our time, bids us welcome into a room for frivolous moderation and without seasons. What could secure this balance better than a symposium with a pressure relief valve in brilliant crystal? Who can inhabit and maintain such an environment other than the dandy? Who, who else can so rapidly gather and squander and live in spiritual and superficial equilibrium with oneself.
Symposium is a drinking party of ancient Greek custom, intoxication in a civilized and orderly environment, a place where the aristocracy and the cultural elite can mingle, discuss and enjoy each other. According to the ancient custom the tempo and the intoxication is determined by a symposiarch. In most cases the symposiarch will also be the host and center of the event. In firm time with moderate virtue the symposiarch will at “Fine and Dandy Symposium” secure that a balanced squandering of this is maintained by amethyst and myrra shards in the glass. As a symposist all you have to do is indulge in moderate intoxication, where you can get re-filled whilst keeping sober.
The amethyst, that stands for sobriety and works as a strong antidote against intoxication, gets its color from the wine that the wine god Dionysos cried when his beloved, in the moment that he approached her, was transformed into crystal.
The myth tells us about the beautiful maiden Amethyst, who is hunted by Dionysos. She prays fervently to the virgin goddess Artemis to preserve her chastity. Artemis feels compassion with Amethyst and transforms her into a white crystal with a black stony cape so that she can protect herself against the wine god’s abuse. Overwhelmed by the humble and virtuous deed, the otherwise horny Dionysos, breaks into tears and soaks the white crystal in violet tears. In other contexts it is said that the crystal’s color comes from the tears of wine that Dionysos wept over its immediate beauty.
“Fine and Dandy Symposium” is at the same time an installation and an event, incorporating both the group and the party’s vibe as a mannered mass ornament, the culture’s birth and the aristocracy’s boundlessness. A symposium that both before and after is presented in a private home wrapped in an amethyst cave with a plaster ornamentation running along the walls. The amethyst allows for a postponement of judgment and a continuous stay in the upward, a party that doesn’t necessarily end. It combines moderation with boundless hedonism, it makes a virtue of the combination of knowledge and pleasure.
“Fine and Dandy Symposium” is to retreat to the others, to withdraw into the home where the norms are regulated locally and where intoxication is a foothold. It dissolves the natural states of comedy and tragedy to parody, the masks idiomatic features becomes tragicomic and smartass alike, wrinkles are just a groove yet another manifestation.
Like the mystical properties of the amethyst, the codes and movements in the ornamentation of “Fine and Dandy Symposium” exists in both around and parallel with the common and the pre-existing.
“Fine and Dandy Symposium” is a project made by Mathias & Mathias specifically for Peter Amby’s apartment that will function as the exhibition room for the project. The project consists of 25 meters of plaster panels, wall painting in various rooms, handmade stucco, special drinks with amethyst, a doorwoman with a dog etc.
The purpose of showing it in a private home, rather than in the actual gallery, is that the work of art, in spite of its extent, can be applied to existing rooms, notwithstanding that the walls and so on, already are occupied by other art.
until 22 February 2014
Mathias & Mathias “Fine and Dandy Symposion” installation views at Peter Amby Gallery (off space apartment), Copenhagen, 2014
Courtesy: the artists; Peter Amby Gallery, Copenhagen.