Efthimis Efthimiadis (GR), Maria Elena Fantoni (IT), Nataša Vasiljević (SRB)
Curator: Aliki Tsirliagkou
Opening: Wednesday 17 April, 20.00 / Until 11 May 2013
This first show of nitra gallery addresses the contemporary management of happiness, as defined by three artists of the European South: Serbian Nataša Vasiljević, Italian Maria Elena Fantoni and Greek Efthimis Efthimiadis.
The main part of the exhibition develops at the gallery space, while at an empty apartment of the same neoclassical building, the video of Maria Elena Fantoni is projected.
If we go through the history of the notion of happiness, one easily realizes how transformative it has been through the passage of time in the past 20 centuries since Ancient Greece. It has been connected with luck, morality as well as pleasure and eded up being an obligation rather a right.
The second half of the 20th century finds us facing the «duty of happiness». In contemporary society, not only we have the right to be happy, but we have to be happy.
In this juxtaposition of the notion and management of happiness from the past to today, focuses the work of Nataša Vasiljević. Nataša intervenes on photographs of the ’50s and adds slogans that are found online and refer to «ways one can easily become happy». Slogans which are characteristic of the current obsession for happiness. In essence, it is a dialogue between the management and the concept of happiness in the past versus our contemporary days.
One click to our happiness. Or maybe one «click» away from our happiness, since it always seems to live in the future?
The present exists as the necessary vehicle and as a mandatory sacrifice for the days that are about to come. And just when we feel that we are ready to conquer it, come the fall.
What is happening at that moment? Maria Elena Fantoni and Nataša Vasiljević pause at that exact moment of the fall- how does it change the way we view the future that we didn’t manage to conquer? How does it change the way we feel towards our past?  We all seem to realize how happy we had been before the fall, since «there is no happiness except in contemplation».
In this recollection refers the work of Maria Elena Fantoni.
On the second floor of the neoclassical building of the gallery, in an empty flat the video of a young girl that wonders around in a carefree manner is projected. The girls is Maria Elena Fantoni herself. The door is open, just a bit, but locked. We can only look from a distance.
“Back to basics” seems to be suggested by Efthimis Efthimiadis. His works refer to short stories usually led by one person; a child. In this series, a child appears faced with an object of happiness: a huge big bubble. The setting is in contrast with the act- derelict places, abandoned interiors, or unsettling forests, his work stands as an indication that happiness may exist in the darkest places and also in the simplest acts. In the simplest acts.