Controversial US pop and conceptual art pioneer Jeff Koons will present a new installation on the island of Hydra inspired by the mythical Greek god of the sun and music. Titled Apollo, the exhibition will be held at the DESTE Foundation’s project space ‘Slaughterhouse’ (deste.gr)
Hydra branch in the old slaughterhouse also includes readymade objects selected by the artist to “engage the viewer in a metaphysical dialogue between the contemporary and ancient.”
The installation includes new sculptures by Jeff Koons along with readymade objects selected by the artist to engage the viewer in a metaphysical dialogue between the contemporary and ancient. The show marks over twenty years since Jeff Koons’s last solo exhibition in Greece.
At the center of the installation, within the Slaughterhouse, is the sculpture Apollo Kithara (2019–2022). The Apollo is playing a kithara, which is considered the origin of today’s guitar.
The polychromed animatronic sculpture stands over 2.3 meters tall. The walls within the Slaughterhouse have been transformed by using as the base the ancient frescoes from Boscoreale, near Pompeii. The exhibition includes several other new works including a pair of bronze Nike sneakers, Gazing Ball Tripod (2020–2022), and Plato’s Solid Forms Wind Spinners (2020–2022).
There are other elements that are corresponding to this installation, ranging from burning candles to a Duchampian reference of a urinal. Above the Slaughterhouse is Apollo Wind Spinner (2020–2022), a 9.1 meter wide reflective wind spinner that greets people entering the port of Hydra on one side and, on the other, welcomes people walking to the building housing the installation. The face of the wind spinner is that of Apollo.
The exhibition activates the senses through music, sage burning, and baked offerings reminiscent of ancient times. With the sounds of the ancient kithara playing alongside contemporary songs, the two musical formats are at times disjointed and at other moments find sublime beauty.