Danai Anesiadou


Drawing out themes from her installation featured FADE IN: INT. ART GALLERY – DAY at Swiss Institute in New York, Danai Anesiadou has conceived of a performance and a mural for the exhibition’s second iteration, titled FADE IN 2: EXT. MODERNIST HOME – NIGHT. Anesiadou’s initial inspiration developed from Denys de La Patellière’s 1968 film Le Tatoué, in which a wealthy art dealer discovers a Modigliani portrait tattooed on the back of an old, aristocratic legionnaire. The androgynous portrait, believed in the film to be that of a woman, closely resembles an actual Modigliani portrait of Jean Cocteau. It is these “unstoppable forces” of gender – of machismo, femininity, and their incessant exchanges – that Anesiadou confronts in her fantastical performance. On the night of the opening, staged in the courtyard of Gallery-Legacy Čolaković, a group of men clad in blue jeans and white t-shirts painted the Modigliani portrait on each other’s backs, washed themselves, and lounged around the pool of the establishment. For the performance’s finale, Anesiadou has enlisted the help of fellow FADE IN 2 artist Tobias Spichtig, who will trace a series of interrelated images as they appear on screen in a video made by Anesiadou. The mural remained on view for the duration of the exhibition.


Danai Anesiadou (1977, Germany) lives and works in Athens, Greece. Her work has been exhibited at documenta 14 in Kassel, Germany, and Athens, Greece (2017); Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK (2015); London’s Royal College of Art, London, UK (2012); David Roberts Art Foundation, London, UK (2011); Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland (2011); and Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen, Germany (2010). Anesiadou is a member of the Brussels-based artist-run space Etablissement d’en face Projects. In 2010, she was a guest lecturer at the Banff Centre in Banff, Canada.