Inspired by the collection of the Archaeological Museum of Mykonos, this exhibition takes its title from an iconic work by Alberto Giacometti. A small wooden sculpture created in 1932, The Palace at 4 a.m. features a dramatic encounter between a woman, a bird and a spinal column. Presiding over these theatrical protagonists is a totemic entity. The scene depicts a palace before sunrise, a time of dreams, ghosts and secret assignations.
Presented by NEON in collaboration with the Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades, this exhibition drew on the strange drama of Giacometti’s masterpiece to evoke the spirits, rituals and myths that haunt ancient archaeological sites such as Delos. Its statues, architectural fragments, vessels and tombstones have been collected in the museum, attributes of a cosmopolitan citizenry that disappeared two millennia ago.
Just as Delos once brought together people from across the ancient world, The Palace at 4 a.m. featured a global roster of thirteen contemporary artists. Their work was juxtaposed with the museum’s collection and additional treasures selected by the archaeologists of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades. Giving contemporary form to ancient materials and symbols, the artists revealed commonalities that span millennia, cultures and continents.
Paloma Varga Weisz