Benaki Museum of Greek Culture
1 Koumbari St. & Vas. Sofias Ave., Athens 106 74
Opening: Friday, June 15 at 20:00
Duration: June 16–July 29, 2018

The DESTE Foundation, in collaboration with the Benaki Museum and Point Centre for Contemporary Art, present Lito Kattou’s exhibition Days of San within the permanent collections of the Benaki Museum of Greek Culture.

The exhibition includes the real-time video projection Red Lake on the Museum’s third floor as well as five new sculptures, embodiments of the fictional character San, on the ground floor.

San, a liquid, ungendered being between a human, a machine, a god and an animal, was conceived as an Artificial Intelligence. It reflects and negotiates the presence of creatures, guardians, and non-human entities in mythological traditions, artifacts and histories spanning from the long past until today. Skins and feathers from the creature’s epidermis are extruded from its body and cohabit the space as sculptural forms coming together in dialogue with ancient traces and archaeological depictions of subjectivities found throughout the Benaki Museum.

In reverse, the exhibits of the permanent collection witness San’s constant trial of success and failure, its activity within a 3D simulated environment. The entity adapts and evolves through the algorithm that directs its everyday Sisyphean fate of patrolling the Red Lake, the remnant of an ancient copper mine close to Nicosia, Cyprus, active from the Chalcolithic period until the late 60’s. The mine’s landscape is highly affected by climatic change and the ecological destruction that is developing dramatically in the South Eastern Mediterranean. The creature’s brain is designed to collect real-time climatic data from the geographical spot of the lake. San, as an AI being and through its sculptural manifestations, incarnates new forms of adaptive intelligence reacting to violent changes, materializing current ecological concerns, and raising questions on the complexity of the nature-technology relationship.

Days of San is the second part of the exhibition San by Lito Kattou presented at Point Centre for Contemporary Art in Nicosia, Cyprus (May 19–June 20, 2018).


About the artist
Lito Kattou was born in Nicosia, Cyprus in 1990. She lives and works in London and Athens.

Kattou is a graduate of the Athens School of Fine Arts and the Royal College of Art in London with an MA in Sculpture. She is the recipient of the Art Cologne Award for New Positions 2018, with Eleni Koroneou Gallery, and was the invited artist for the 89plus Google Residency curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Simon Castets at the Google Cultural Institute in Paris in 2017.

Selected recent shows include: Siren Daylight, ROOM E10 27, Berlin; San, Point Centre for Contemporary Art, Nicosia (solo); District 17, Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler Gallery, Berlin; Night Fight, Eleni Koroneou Gallery, Athens (solo); And if I left of dreaming about you?, Foothold, Bari; It looks like up to me, Eleni Koroneou Gallery, Athens; *bang!, Daily Lazy Projects, Athens; Fighting with the Sun,, London (solo); Solar love for the Rapid Felines, Pierre Poumet, Bordeaux (solo); The Equilibrists, Benaki Museum, 138 Pireos St., Athens (organized by the New Museum, NY and the DESTE Foundation in collaboration with the Benaki Museum, Athens).

Kattou’s works are included in private collections, in the collection of the National Bank of Greece, and the collection of Deutsche Telekom.


Special thanks to: Hans Ulrich Obrist, Simon Castets, and Julie Boukobza for supporting the realization of the work Red Lake at the 89plus Google Residency; Jonathan Tanant and Clifford Sage for the technical support during the production of the work Red Lake; Nasos Ktorides, Lia Mori, Charalampos Ioannou, and Petros Moris for their invaluable help.


Pictured: Lito Kattou, Red Lake, 2017 (Still from HD real-time video projection / © the artist)

  • Lito Kattou