7 Days of Myth

Over the next 7 days, DailyServing will be bringing you the first installment of a new series that considers a selection of new international artists through one central topic. This week, our writers tackle the concept of Myth through the work of a variety of artists by way of features, articles, reviews and interviews. Check back every day this week to see how our artists and writers alike see Myth in the world around us.

Christodoulos Panayiotou, Wonder Land. 80 color slides, 2008.

Searching for the perfect way to introduce a concept as illusive as Myth lead me down the rabbit hole of trying to capture the essence of the word. Yet, what I found was that such an ethereal notion that seems to be a major focus in the work of so many visual artists is rooted in our collective understanding of our own cultural identity. In each of the artists featured this week, the work somehow struggles to puncture or abuse a particular myth in our collective conscious, just as the stories from Greek mythology reached to enlighten the Greek public.

But as I reflected on this concept, what interested me most is how we as individuals adopt these roles given to us through our own contemporary mythology. Whether it is through the idea that Disney brings joy, as shown in the work of Christodoulos Panayiotou, or the concept that an artist should desire something big and mad and bad, as in the work of Maurizio Cattelan or the legend that is Dennis Hopper, our cultural identity is rooted in generations of stories, auras, heroes and events with no determinable basis of fact or natural explanation. I doubt that anyone could deny that much of our cultural and personal identity is built on this concept, but what many of the artists working today provide is an access point to these stories – where we might all take a step back and recognize, appreciate or question the world around us.

Installation view Kunsthaus Bregenz, 2nd floor

Maurizio Cattelan, All, Marble, 2007. Courtesy Kunsthaus Bregenz, Photo: Markus Tretter

Throughout this week, we hope you take a chance to question your own relationship to Myth through the work of these artists. Each of them take on a very direct conversation with our culture’s identity, adopting an anthropological investigation into various facets of our lives, and we hope that you will be willing to take on the same kind of questioning about our concepts of Myth or your own personal or cultural identity through their work.