After visiting Athens in 2017 for Documenta 14, Gunda and Peter Niemann decided that they too wanted to contribute something back to the historic city.
It wasn’t until they met with artist Tjorg Beer for dinner one evening, who also brought along artist and now curator of the space, Amalia Vekri, that they decided to bring the Haus N Collection to Athens. Realising quickly that to contribute to the city they were going to need a space, the Niemann’s worked together with both Beer and Vekri to find a suitable space that could not only house elements of the collection but to also create a place where they could, as a collective, “do what they like”. After a short search, they decided to purchase a space in the same building as the architectural firm of Alexandros Gerousis, and so, the new Haus N Athens was born.
The Haus N Athens space itself is located in an old clothing manufacturing building right in the historic centre of the city, and with its 230 square-meter exhibition space the Niemann’s certainly have the room to “do what they like”.
Here, we present installation and artwork views from the inaugural exhibition “Gold und Liebe, Liebe für Gold” as well as the accompanying text written by Amalia Vekri.
“It’s a Saturday night and I am at a basement club in Athens dancing to Liebe Auf Den Ersten Blick by the German band D. A. F. Everything is so smoky and dark. The dance floor is so crowded that everybody is pushing you around. I try to move but the smoke is so deep that I loose my sense of place. As I try to come out of the smoke I turn around and I see a man with a golden head. I move closer and I see an old inscription on his forehead: ‘You are excrement. You can change yourself into gold’ (from Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Holy Mountain).
According to alchemical thinking body and soul should reach unison. Through gnosis gold finds a canal to a higher state, symbolically creating the philosophers stone. Gold the most precious of materials, its benevolence abide materiality and wealth. Its capital evokes the pursuit of happiness and satisfaction through possession. Love a feeling of lust simulating a higher goal in life, one that in accordance can lead to true happiness or denial. Life without love. Can one go on without it? To love and feel loved is a step closer to spirituality and perfection. Can love exist without gold? Do they feed each other or do they devour each other?
Participating artists include Margarita Bofiliou, The Callas / Lakis & Aris Ionas, Arbit City, Dora Economou, Socrates Fatouros, Hypercomf, Stelios Karamanolis, Charalambos Kourkoulis, Manolis D. Lemos, Panos Papadopoulos, Ilias Papailiakis, Sofia Stevi, Iris Touliatou.”