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Lose your delusion

Much-plugged Greek-born artist Despina Stokou's rather misguided first solo show is high on hype but low on real impact. Catch it and decide for yourself before it closes on June 22.

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After selling out her show in New York City at the end of this past winter, Despina Stokou recently opened her first solo exhibition, Delusions of Grandeur, here at Galerie Krobath.

They say that in times of recession, a stronger focus is put on the quality of the art. This exhibition is an exception to this rule. Due to the hype surrounding Stokou, visitors enter the gallery expectant, yet leave the exhibition totally confused about what they just saw. The hastily ‘painted’ canvases, covered ad nauseum with lazy collages of endlessly babbling text, show a disinterest and disregard for any kind of artistic tradition (not to mention standard).

Ironically, the exhibition text talks about her cutting apart texts from an important art critic; perhaps this is her attempt to somehow connect the works with art. A true piece of artwork should ‘speak’ for itself; yet there is no picture of what the images represent. Nevertheless, this exhibition should be seen, as the works will be remembered in the legacy of Berlin (and possibly world) art, and stand witness to how desperately Berlin needs honest art critics.

Instead of being touched by any sort of ‘grandeur’, one realises the delusion that being a good networker can create. Stokou attempts to reach something, but fails miserably at the attempt. The pictures go there, almost – but then they just fall short. Art doesn’t stop just short of the cliff: it jumps off, flying into the great unknown. There is no glory without it.

Delusions of Grandeur (Grössenwahn) | Galerie Krobath, Marienstr. 10, Mitte, U-Bhf Oranienburger Tor, Apr 27-Jun 22, Wed-Sat 11-18.

Originally published in issue #117, June 2013