4000/1958 (2019)
oil on canvas
58 x 54 inches (148 x 137 cm)

Law 4000/1958 was a legislation introduced by Konstantinos Karamanlis's government in 1958 and dealt with young troublemakers, the so-called "teddy boys'' (τεντιμπόις, τεντιμπόιδες). The law penalised verbal insults. Youngsters who threw yoghurt or fruits on elderly people were arrested by the police and taken to the detention center, where they were given a buzz cut and had the reverse of their trousers ripped. In addition, their parents faced prosecution. The law came into force on 3 September 1958, when three youngsters were arrested and paraded through the streets of Athens. (Source: Wikipedia) The phrase “teddy boy” was later introduced in my generation as slang for promiscuous men, a sexual term which eliminated political weight. However, while used playfully, it started to create a hidden patriarchal meaning that ended up being seen as “swag”. I am interested in the circles that words and meaning create when they are taken out of context, being that a different time period, or different place.

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