Martin Creed presents the solo exhibition “Like Water At A Buffet” in Athens

Martin Creed “Like Water At A Buffet”

Exhibition Dates: 27 March – 16 May 2015

Opening Reception: 27 March, 10pm Live Performance

Visiting Hours: Tuesday – Friday 12-20.00pm & Saturday 12-4pm

12 Athinas st, 2nd Floor, Monastiraki, Athens

The Kappatos Athens Art Residency is pleased to invite you to the opening of the spring cycle of the first official residency programme in Athens under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, supported by a European fund (NSRF: National Strategic Reference Framework 2007 – 2013) and the first solo exhibition of the British Artist-in-Residence Martin Creed entitled “Like Water At A Buffet,” curated by the programme’s artistic director art historian Dr. Sozita Goudouna and independent curator Nefeli Skarmea.

Winner of the Turner Prize, the most important distinction for the visual arts in Britain, and recognized for his personal perception and conceptual approach to sculpture, painting, fashion and the different materials used in his work, Creed investigates the ways in which the mapping of one structure, originally composed in one medium (drawing, painting), is mapped onto another structure in another medium (dance) and vice versa.

Dancer painting Canvas Martin Creed Exhibition

The correlations between painting, sculpture and music reflect the movements and activity of the human body, in the way that the artist is directing and choreographs it during the creation of new paintings and costumes. Creed designs and creates costumes and hats from canvas and instructs three dancers as they create paintings with their feet. They place a paintbrush on their toes and create shapes on the canvas and then they represent the structure of their designs through bodily movements.

In the interim, Creed reverses the viewers’ approach to ballet as a high art medium, while he choreographs the movements of the performers by employing the structural composition of ballet (steps, positions and movements), however, as part of a minimalist kinetic process during which the dancers perform diverse techniques, including relying on their toes (en pointe) and other classic ballet positions such as the plie (plié).

The artist explores the meaning of movement as a transition from a potentiality to reality and the choreography focuses on the dialectic between the control and non – control of bodily movements, posture, alignment and kinetic freedom. The artist’s choreographic teaching is based on a minimalist pattern of movement such as: “One step forward, two steps back,” that gains signification from his lyrics: “One step forwards, Two steps backwards, Laugh once, Cry twice.”

Martin Creed’s own music, ballet, words and video projections, based on old Greek movies that the artist discovered by watching TV in Greece (Work No 2212 Athens Film includes the film Girls For Kissing, directed by Dalianidis, produced by Finos film, 1965) are performed live only during the exhibition opening (March 27th 10pm)

The solo exhibition presents portraits that include eminent personalities of Greece such as: Maria Callas (Work No. 2228), Melina Mercouri (Work No. 2280) Demis Roussos (Work No. 2273) and Alice Vouyiouklaki (Work No.2225). The depiction of these artists is based on a method that Creed has invented whereas he paints on canvas the portraits without having looked at the personalities, namely, he depicts the faces based on the oral description of the characteristics by his collaborator Rob Eagle.

Martin attempts to capture motion, materials and visuality through a “childlike attitude” and “simplicity” so as to pass the threshold from the “aesthetic” to the “existential.” In this passage and qualitative leap the artist employs contradiction, dialectics, humor and often irony as expressed in the new lyrics he wrote during his stay in the residency: ‘I want to lead a simple life, I do not want to do what I say, I want to lead a simple life, I do not want to slave to me’ and in his manifesto

‘I don’t know what I want to say, but, to try to say something, I think I want to try to think. I want to try to see what I think. I think trying is a big part of it, I think thinking is a big part of it, and I think wanting is a big part of it, but saying it is difficult, and I find saying trying and nearly always wanting. I want what I want to say to go without saying.’ (Statement, 2001)

Martin is not interested in the impressive or loud but in the details that go unnoticed such as a comment, a spontaneous exclamation, a fleeting look, an unsuspected gesture, a strong movement, a smile, a few drops of Water At A Buffet … Therefore his material are not composed of matter but of motion, attitudes, sounds and footprints. As he writes in the song that he performs live:

‘Everyone’ s trying to get what they want, Like water seeping through

Parts of me come true, Like water seeping through ‘

Martin Creed’s oeuvre stresses the importance of feelings and the need for communication as he proclaims in his current exhibition in the bright signal constructed by NEON light what he is looking for is UNDERSTANDING ! (Work No. 2216).

Martin Creed Live Performance

Text: Sozita Goudouna


Dancers : Vivie Boutati, Myrto Charitaki and Christina Reinhardt

Dancing Support: Martha Passakopoulou and Nefeli Skarmea

Garment Maker, Hand Embroidery: Katerina Kouni

Special Thanks to production contributors: Rob Eagle, Katerina Kouni, George Sampsonides, Marisa Soulioti, Christine Tzevelekou

Curators: Dr Sozita Goudouna and Nefeli Skarmea

Artistic Direction: Dr Sozita Goudouna

Production and Residency Associate: Foteini Vergidou

Visiting Hours:

Tuesday – Friday 12 – 8 pm & Saturday 12 – 4 pm

Athinas 12, 2nd floor, Monastiraki, Athens

Communication Support British Council:

Media Sponsors: This is Athens, Culture Now, For Free,,,

Sponsor in Kind: Haritatos Vineyard

Martin Creed Biographical Note:

Martin Creed (born 1968) is a British artist and musician. He won the Turner Prize in 2001 for Work No. 227, The Lights Going On and Off. He studied art at the Slade School of Art at University College London from 1986 to 1990. Creed’s work is often a small intervention in the world, making use of existing materials or situations rather than bringing new material into the world. He uses whichever medium seems suitable.

For Creed there is no difference between making music and making art. Like his Work No. 850, in which runners ran through the Tate Gallery in 2008, his music is disarmingly simple but makes an immediate impact. In 2010, he provided the cover art for a Futuristic Retro Champions single, while supporting its launch with an appearance with his own band. His UK wide piece Work No. 1197 All the bells in the country rung as quickly and as loudly as possible for three minutes was commissioned to herald the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics.

In 2009, Creed wrote and choreographed Work No. 1020, Ballet, a live performance of his own music, ballet, words and film, originally produced by Sadler’s Wells, London and premiered in the Lilian Baylis Studio, while later shown on Sadler’s Wells main stage. In 2010, Work No. 1020: Ballet was performed at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and most recently at the Royal Festival Hall as part of his first retrospective at the Hayward Gallery, which was inaugurated in January 2014, a major survey looking at the past 25 years of his work. To coincide with the exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, Sounthbank Centre also commissioned Martin Creed’s new organ work Face to Face with Bach.

With respect to Creed’s international presence, his work has been exhibited and is collected by venues including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Moscow Museum of Modern Art; the Centre Pompidou–Metz, France; Tate Modern, London; Marianna Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.


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