Kalos & Klio Hapiness
At the core of the series created by the artist duo, Kalos&Klio, On The Tapis – Weaves Of Democracy, lie the universal ideas of freedom, equality, and human rights. Photographic material from protest marches by people raising fundamental political and social demands, posts from social media platforms, articles published by international news agencies, works of literature, poems, politicians' statements reproduced in newspaper front pages and street graffities, the thoughts of philosophers and thinkers serve as the raw materials of their work. Kalos&Klio borrow the visual patterns of carpets and hand-woven tapestries and employ the archetypal structure of western and eastern traditional textile manufacturing, to create a contemporary, artistic melting pot.
In this way, under the primeval motif of the Tree of Life, life forms and anthropomorphous monsters, rhythmically repeated designs, coupled with the latest logos of corporate conglomerates and contemporary mass media and social networks, serve as the symbolic vocabulary reflected on each carpet and hand-woven textile created by Kalos&Klio. The intention of the iconological dialogue reflected upon each work is to raise and highlight the central importance of several contemporary issues for the 21st century. Kalos&Klio have been inspired in their creation of rugs and textiles by the story of humanists Joice and Sydney Loch, who had been particularly active, after the second quarter of the 20th century, in the village of Ouranoupoli in Chalkidiki. The Loch couple created a new local community, based in the historic Byzantine Tower of Ouranoupoli (Prosphorion Tower), the last settlement before and the gateway to Mount Athos. The community they created revived traditional rug weaving techniques, in order to provide financial assistance to the refugees who had arrived after the Asia Minor Catastrophe and help them integrate into the Greek society. This activity produced the famous, and now rare, "Carpets of the Tower".
Happiness is the final work of the Kalos&Klio series titled On The Tapis – Weaves Of Democracy. It borrows the artistic language of traditional handwoven embroideries known as Kalimeres (Good mornings). Kalimeres would hang at the doorstep of every home as a sign of the owner's welcome and hospitality towards the visitors. The work refers directly to the enduring phenomenon of the displacement of refugees, who flee from their homes in search of the Promised Land. Featuring references to oriental rugs, the main theme of which was Paradise, and using a repeated pattern of the conflicting symbols of the weapon (a symbol of war) and the peacock (a symbol of paradise), this work seeks out a utopian space, where the sound of gunfire and explosion cannot be heard, as the work itself states.
The rugs and textiles in this series are handmade, with the use of traditional looms manufactured by the Rizarios Handicraft School, in the traditional village of Monodendri in the Zagorochoria. The large woolen carpets are produced in Nepal, using traditional weaving methods, by the Tufenkian Artisan Carpets company, and are certified by the Child Labor Free organization.
MOMus-Museum of Contemporary Art-Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art and State Museum of Contemporary Art Collections