Chrysanthi Koumianaki at Netwerk Aalst / Aalst, Belgium

Chrysanthi Koumianaki / They Keep Chewing Walls

03 February – 29 April 2018

Netwerk Aalst
Hootkaai 15
9300 Aalst, Belgium

Attractive architectural masterplans visualising harmonious public spaces, new housing complexes, and carefully restored heritage sites portray a city yet to come. The real-life counterpart of this image, however, is a city under constant construction. What, then, do progress and change actually look like?

Chrysanthi Koumianaki plans, renders, draws and compiles mood boards, much like urban planners and architects do. Rather than projecting into the future, however, she works with the urban architecture we encounter, use and even co-produce in our real-time city.

The artist designs a stage where traffic signs, roadblocks, graffiti tags, gum, and stickers gradually turn into props, or abstract elements of a drawing of a developing city. Construction workers in orange outfits, skaters and strollers become actors in a play we all take part in, rehearsing the future of our urban environment.

30 March 2018 

Line up the Cooks, Read my Lips, Eat the Triangle – Bureau d’Alimentation

Chrysanthi Koumianaki’s work comes alive during a three-course meal where art turns culinary excellence. During the meal, you’ll be part of an interactive performance. Chrysanthi collaborates with Athens-based chef Fahd Alexander Hassan-Kassem, who will compose a surprise three-course menu based on Chrysanthi’s drawings and instructions. Each dish on the menu corresponds to a visual element and requires a different consumption procedure, with varying levels of interaction.

Dining together in this way can be considered a form of communication; or, more precisely, a translation from visual language into a multi-sensory culinary experience. From the unconventional seating to the opportunity for the creative input of the diners, everything has to do with the idea that, even though all guests attend the same dinner, each of them will ultimately enjoy a unique, distinctive experience.

About Bureau d’Alimentation

Every last Friday of the month, Bureau d’Alimentation will take over the kitchen of Netwerk Aalst. The doors are open to anyone who’s in for some food for thought.

The kitchen is considered the beating heart of the domestic environment. In this place, where reproductive work takes place; where the harvest of the fields and plantations is processed to feed the mouths of workers, children, fellow residents and guests.

The kitchen is like a cultural barrel full of traditions, norms, values, rights and obligations whereas traditions and values are passed on through the cultivation of natural resources from generation to generation.
In a changing society, however, the kitchen is also the place through which the new society enters the house in a literal way by means of multicultural cuisines that reaches our plates.

In addition to the economic status that the modern kitchen represents, it is often the omniscient room that preserves the deepest secrets and intrigues of a family or community. 

Chrysanthi Koumianaki (b. 1985, Heraklion, Greece) lives in Athens. Her practice investigates the idea of translation, creating symbolic systems, ciphers and alphabets focusing on non-verbal communication. She reconsiders and manipulates rules and methods of a global visual language, creating new narratives which reflect upon different times. Her main body of work are installations combining different media like prints, ephemeral drawings, video, sound and metal constructions.

Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in institutions, museums and galleries which among them include: Kadist, Paris (2017); Danske Grafikeres Hus, Copenhagen (2017); Benaki Museum, Athens (2016); DESTE Foundation, (2016); State of Concept, Athens (2016); Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art (2015); Athens Biennale, (2013); EMST, Athens (2013). Since 2012, along with Kosmas Nikolaou and Paky Vlassopoulou, she is one of the co-founders of 3 137 artist-run space.


Works on show

I met you more than ten times, 2017
15 metal cirles,variable dimentions (aprox.  44X44x4cm each), powder coating

Some yellow lines having a small talk, 2017
20 metal tubes, variable dimentions (aprox. 80X5x3 cm each), powder coating

I have a red sticker that looks like your signature, 2018
10 metal tubes, 220×5 cm each, powder coating

How to watch lines and read texts, 2018
17 fabric curtains, 150×320 cm each

Workers united, 2017
ribbon 10×150 each, 15 metal objects
5 objects: steel, 120x19x1 cm,  powder coating
5 objects: steel, 110x16x1 cm,  powder coating
5 objects: steel, 100x13x1 cm,  powder coating

Stimorol, 2017
23 tiles, 40x40x2 cm each, marble, tile seaming plaster

© All pictures by Tom Callemin for Netwerk Aalst