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Panagiotis Balomenos

Panagiotis Balomenos joined four other artists of different nationalities in the group exhibition “Flower Power” at Kallio Kunsthalle in Helsinki, Finland. The exhibition lasted from 20 February to 20 March 2014.

The selection of the artist’s works is entitled “We are all made of stars” and depict world renowned figures in unexpected meetings with other famous or everyday people, in sometimes more, other times less odd places. Cesaria Evora is seen giving a private concert in the house of Jouni and Riitta in Espoo, Finland; Kim Jong-un is blessing young Kaiko in Pyongyang, North Korea; a woman called Voula is enjoying a marvellous afternoon smoking freshly cultivated marijuana in a gathering between a wild goat and Aki Kaurismäki in Athens. “Panos Balomenos serves a royal breakfast to the stars among us”, comments the curator of the exhibition.

In his note, Panos Balomenos states, “During the 1990s and 2000s, our civilised world experienced remarkable economic growth that was unfortunately followed by an unprecedented systematic demystification of human values. The economic crisis that started in the late 2000s marked the peak of this process, the end, and the subsequent gradual decline.

It is imperative to remember that both during periods of rise and fall, certain groups of people are simply destined to remain socially isolated due to a complete lack of representatives in the media. They are lonely people without relatives, the poor and the unemployed, the mentally and/or physically disabled. They are children dependent on adults, homosexuals, bisexuals and transgenders, prostitutes, the old, the ugly (whatever this means when this word is used) and the overweight, immigrants, foreigners and ‘strangers’ in all possible senses. We know them, we see them, we keep on meeting them in the streets through our everyday social activities, but we ignore them. In many cases, we might even be part of one of those groups, yet we pretend we are not. We could all belong to countless minority groups, but we keep on struggling to fit into a larger, more acceptable one: the group of ‘normal people’.”

He goes on to add that, "At least now, we can hope to witness an attempt to remystify humanity at all the different levels of our societies. Life will just go on and people will give themselves a chance to understand how they pass through this material and immaterial world; to find the balance between matter and spirit.”