Potential Project

Enthymio | 07.06 – 17.06.2023


ENTHYMIO is a collective art project about the idea of the work of art. It explores those artworks that are never created and exist only as ideas: the unrealized, the unfinished, the unfulfilled and the invisible. Some are not realized because they are too ambitious or too trivial, some were never meant to manifest in material form and exist only to leave us daydreaming, some are secret, some are simply interrupted or forgotten. What is the nature of these projects? Could we say they still exist somewhere? Do they perhaps belong in that non-space that Hans Ulrich Obrist calls “a reservoir of ideas”? When we stop thinking or talking about them, where do they go? Potential Project, interested in the infinite possibilities of the unrealized since its inception, seeks this self contained state of multiple scenarios, restoring the idea as a pivotal moment and a mental place where everything already exists, while simultaneously not yet existing.

The exhibition ENTHYMIO is an attempt to free the imagination of artists through the creation of a repetitive object, which contains within it a possible work of art, an idea that can be realized or remain exclusively in the realm of the possible. It is like a ballot box, which instead of votes only accepts ideas. A white box of possible projects, hermetically sealed, that ignites the imagination and preserves what it contains.

The presented work is collective and is carried out with the participation of the artists, architects and theorists who have taken part in the discussion table of Potential Project since its inception in 2019 until today. Each participant approaches the box at will, placing and sealing inside of it a project, a note or a draft, an idea in any form they wish and find interesting. The process is repeated until a large number of identical boxes are created which, while containing a wealth of ideas for potential projects, do not reveal their contents to the viewer unless they are destroyed. They thus look like containers, without any particular external characteristics, which, however, keep inside the precious moments of creative thought.

The enigmatic nature of ENTHYMIO feeds the imagination of the observer while keeping its content hidden. Its value lies in the mystery it carries. Staying in the realm of the imaginary, we can think of it as Schrödinger’s box; looking at it, all possibilities are simultaneously real. It converses indirectly with Marcel Duchamp’s iconic work La Boite-en-Valise (1935-1966), a suitcase of drafts and ideas and is inspired by Milan Kundera’s Slowness (1995), where the author compares the deafness of an ostentatious joy of achievement that obeys the laws of the spectacle, with the exuberance of a joy that does not need to be drummed up in order to be complete.

The challenge of exhibiting such an endeavor is inevitably linked to its genealogy. The boxed works of art are the result and product of a dialogic process that began as an initiative of a group of artists and theorists to investigate through discussions the contingency of art in the manifestations of the reality that surrounds us. Thus, in the exhibition space, along with the boxes displayed disorderly on the floor, there is also the symbol of the process that gave birth to them: a large table, specifically the one where the established weekly discussions of the Potential Project team took place. The table is now empty but hidden speakers underneath continuously play the recordings made during the meetings, creating an audio representation of the resulting dialogue. Visitors are thus able to tune in to the laboratory nature of idea production, the value of meeting and dialogue, but also the power that thought has when it is freed from the limitations of materialization.

The aim of the project is to give space and time to reflect on the idea as the main force of the creative process. In the age of speed and distraction, the exhibition ENTHYMIO prefers the ambivalence of the unrealized to the attainment of realization by all means. It chooses the power of thought and desire over the dry processual pursuit of achievement. Finally, it chooses the sweetness of the memory of the unfulfilled and the fragility of the idea when it is exposed to the light.

Secondly, ENTHYMIO is an artistic experiment that explores the possibility of conceptual art becoming part of our everyday life. The memento boxes, seemingly identical repeated objects, are ambiguous symbols of the adventure of thought. The box-object thus becomes a MEMORY of an idea, a process and a statement that art has the ability to feed our thought and desire. The viewer, holding the ENTHYMIO in their hands, does not know what the idea is that it contains, nor which of all the artists produced it and thus comes into contact with the absolute contingency and therefore the infinite possibilities of art. The bet is to never open the box because closed like this it will continue to act as an accelerator of imagination. However, the management of curiosity will ultimately be the responsibility of the respective owner.

The themes explored by ENTHYMIO create the perfect occasion to organize a dialogue platform and explore issues related to the unrealized artwork and its importance. For this reason art historian and curator Marco Scotti, co-founder of MoRe Museum of Refused and Unrealised art projects, curator Nadja Argyropoulou and curator Xenia Kalpaktsoglou are invited for a public talk with the title UNREALIZED to present their unique takes on the subject.

ENTHYMIO is based on an idea by Dimitris Georgakopoulos and Karolina Aliferopoulou and will be presented at Potential Project 7-17 June 2023.

The participating artists, architects and art theorists who will co-create ENTHYMIO are: Karolina Aleiferopoulou, Tzeni Argiriou, Augustus Veinoglou, Nikos Veliotis, Thanos Vovolis, Vassilis Gerodimos, Dimitris Georgakopoulos, Yannis Grigoriadis, Giorgos Zampoulakis, Yannis Isidorou, Anna Laskari, Theodora Malamou, Elias Marmaras, Christophoros Marinow, Zoe Moutsokou, Kostas Bassanos, Olga Brouma, Giorgos Papadatos, Nina Papaconstantinou, Nina Pappa, Vangelis Savvas, Yiannis Sinioroglou, Dimitris Chalatsis, Dimitris Charitos, Coti k, Stewart Ziff.

ENTHYMIO is realized with the support of NEON Organization for Culture and Development.