I'm writing from Munich. I'm writing about Metsovo.
He studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, and went on to study media under theoretician, professor Pio Baldelli and as a scholar at the Porta Romana State Institute of Art. Since his early career, he performed interventions-actions in art venues (Desmos Art Gallery 1983), as well as installations and performances. He has used various media to expand space. His work has been featured in several solo exhibitions and important group shows in Greece, Cyprus, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, and Canada. In 1991, he represented Greece at the Alexandria Biennale, where he won an award, and at OPEN Venice 2003; he has also received AICA Hellas 2012 Award for his work between 2009–11. His work features in the National Gallery in Athens and several private and public collections
An extraordinary artist, with a prominent conceptual framework, original influences, and unpredictable associations, extensive research, and profound emotion, using many different techniques and media. Here, he focuses on key elements from Metsovo’s history, namely, Averoff’s personality and the benefactor’s contribution to his region, as well as emigrants, their feelings and yearnings. Angelos Skourtis’s new work is titled I’m Writing from Munich. I’m Writing about Metsovo. One of the phrases was taken from the correspondence of Evangelos Averoff and Tossizza, a testament to Averoff’s concern for his native Metsovo. The other phrase is sourced from a letter by a Metsovo migrant in Munich to his wife: ‘I’m writing from Munich because I love you.’ The installation comprises many different elements: There are original letters from the Averoff–Tossizza correspondence, found in the family archive, and a photograph of Averoff; various constructions are attached to the wall; a cape and a cover, a blanket made of animal skin, in celebration of Metsovo heritage. The cape is secured on plywood. Also on view are photographs of migrants in Germany, dating from the sixties. On the right, a shirt with the phrase I AM YOU, from the migrant’s letter.
In recent years, the written word has been prevalent in the artist’s works, including this one. There is a juxtaposition of excerpts by Averoff and the migrant, their different starting points and needs. Skourtis came across a letter including the phrase ‘In Munich’ at Monastiraki market in Athens. He investigates the notions of writing, communication, information, their different functions. In the first one, ‘Save Metsovo;’ in the second, ‘Please be patient until I save some money so that we may do something of our own. Know that I love you and you are my life.’ The concept of writing, which used to be the principal means of communication, is seen in a different light today, when digital technology enables instant communication everywhere on the planet.
The work was created especially for the group anniversary exhibition “Lands of Creation, A tribute to Metsovo”, which was inaugurated at the E. Averoff Museum of Modern Art in 2019.