The DESTE 2000 Words series

January 14 2014
5:58 PM

For Dakis Joannou, the act of collecting is “an excuse to meet artists.” The Greek-Cypriot civil engineer and founder of the DESTE Foundation of Contemporary Art in Athens, has always privileged the alchemical moment that occurs when different personalities experience a meeting. This interest in forging greater connections has led him to collaborate once more with Massimiliano Gioni, the so-called “ingenious” curator and director of this year’s Venice Biennale, as both of them share a similar vision about the collective potential to generate knowledge. After curating several shows at the DESTE Foundation, and perhaps following the idea at the core of Dakis Joannou’s own research, Gioni seems to have used works from Joannou’s collection as an excuse to delve deeper into the practice of some its most compelling artists. Hence the DESTE 2000 Words volumes, an on-going series of small, bright monographs published by the DESTE Foundation and edited by Karen Marta, well-known editor and co-founder of the Institute of 21st Century. In September, DESTE has released the first six books dedicated to Paweł Althamer, Roberto Cuoghi, Urs Fischer, Elad Lassry, Josh Smith and Andro Wekua, each of them examined respectively by Gioni himself, Ali Subotnick, Jessica Morgan, Tim Griffin, Anne Pontegnie and Gary Carrion-Murayari. Featuring a critical essay and a survey of the artists’ oeuvre, this series proposes a thoughtful fusion of the horizontal and the vertical approach to knowledge, that is, experience. (Bianca Stoppani)