ΑΘΑΝΑ Timespace

ΑΘΑΝΑ Timespace

The realm of ΑΘΑΝΑ (ATHANA) presents a vision of a world seen from the outside where the viewer is elevated to a privileged position that allows him to perceive the whole and the specific at once: each artwork a fragment of the whole but at the same time the whole itself [Olofragment]. The very fabric of this realm is similar to the one that describes our natural world, the one we call spacetime, but in a more encompassing sense. In the ΑΘΑΝΑ realm Time takes the leading role, shedding its linear geometry and together with a notion of space in continuous transformation becomes a framework of reference able to transcend classic human perception, at least in representation.

The installation illustrates a representative model of the AΘΑΝΑ Timespace where the fundamental notions that constitute it are depicted through a series of layers that construct each individual Olofragment but at the same time connect each one of them under the geometry of the Timespace itself. The moment of perception within the realm is a manifestation of an observer moment at any given point within Timespace while all other possibilities equally co-exist. Welcome to the realm of ΑΘΑΝΑ where the ‘true’ nature of time is revealed through a dreamworld in continuous flux and where space assumes a cosmic dimension reflected all the way to its constituent quantum elements.

Back to top

A New Lifestyle

A New Lifestyle

If one searches in a dictionary the meaning of the word lifestyle, she/he will probably read that it simply means the way one lives her or his life. The term was first coined in 1929 by psychologist Alfred Adler but it started being utilized in the sense that we recognize it today in the late 1950s. Following a short consideration after all, one can easily conclude that it would not have made sense for the term to exist before that time. The real period of prosperity for humanity commences only after the Second World War with the rise of the middle class, limited nonetheless to a particular part of humanity, the part known as the ‘Western world’.

We are the lucky ones. Mostly those of us who grew up in certain areas of Europe and North America from the 70’s and onwards. We are the ones lucky enough to have experienced this era of prosperity that we are still enjoying today. This period introduced a new way of life which was not based on ensuring survival but comfort. This is not reprehensible on its own, since if there is any truth about our otherwise ephemeral and insignificant existence, in a cosmic (but perhaps also planetary) context, it can be found in being happy with our choices and in experiencing pleasure during our existence.

This normal tendency of humans to avoid pain, in any form, is inextricably linked to our mortality and each one of us expresses it in diverse ways. Concurrently, a large portion of the human race lives in societies that were created for this very purpose: to provide a secure framework. In these societies we are constantly searching for ways to feel better, often projecting what pleases us, or at least what we think will please us. This in a way (having solved our basic survival needs -nutrition, accommodation & protective clothing-) is how consumerism was born and especially in its’ most excessive forms.

Today we are surrounded by a myriad of things that are either not necessary or that do not have any special emotional or symbolic value to us. In other words, things that do not actually contribute to the promotion of our individual happiness but in a strange way express nonetheless our lifestyle, that is, the way we live. We realize at the same time, perhaps now more than ever, how important interpersonal relationships can be. But before man became a political being, as Aristotle put it, man was and remains just another simple being. In other words, we have forgotten that we are part of this natural world that we call planet Earth. We are one of the many species that inhabit this infinitesimally small rock that hovers in space inextricably linked to the fiery sphere that gives it life.

A small planet that is however full of life on multiple levels, most of which we ignore. A planet that has had already a long existence (about 4.6 billion years) that we can’t even begin to grasp, since the human species (and I am referring here to Homo Sapiens, considered to be the direct ancestor of contemporary man) appeared only 300,000 years ago. Nevertheless, we were fortunate enough to have our brain developed in such a way that it allowed us not just to survive against all odds, but also to be able to transfer the acquired knowledge from each generation to the next. Furthermore, we have developed the faculty of imagination which allows us to transcend our own limits but not those of nature.

As a result of all the above, we have gathered a huge amount of information and knowledge that has allowed us to facilitate our lives unimaginably by transforming the natural resources of this planet in a variety of ways. We have explored almost every corner of the planet while having transformed a large percentage of its’ surface, always aiming to improve our living conditions. This continuous activity though, has caused a climate change and mass extinctions of species that without the ‘contribution’ of humans would have taken place in hundreds of thousands of years instead of a few decades, as is now the case. Planet Earth does not need us. The changes in its surface, as well as the change in the diversity of life that lives on it, are normal events in the context of its planetary existence.

For beings like us though, such drastic changes are directly related to our future survival and evermore with our present lives. In other words, our excessive lifestyle, our current lifestyle, threatens to bring its own demise. But what can we do to avoid the loss of our present ‘comfortable’ way of life? The answer to this question is not a single one. It is though directly related to the realization of our position on this planet which is certainly not that of the dominant species but that of a mere part in a larger whole.

We need a concentrated global effort that will revise our relationship with the rest of the natural world around us. As utopian as it may sound, it is something that could be achieved to a large extent if humanity implemented the teachings of past cultures, that were in tune with nature, while utilizing the existing scientific knowledge. Such an endeavor can only start from each one of us, especially us, the lucky ones, who don’t need to worry about our everyday survival. We need to create a new lifestyle that is not based on the logic of single use but chooses instead objects and services that respect the environment and the other species on the planet. A lifestyle that is not based on ephemeral entertainment but on meaningful recreation that renders us more aware as much as happier. A lifestyle that brings us closer to nature instead of isolating us from her, teaching us to respect and maintain the natural world through our personal, social and commercial choices. A lifestyle finally, that makes us content not through the amount of our acquisitions but through the awareness of the value of the things that give meaning to our own existence.

Back to top

TETRAEDRO [group exhibition] curated by Alberto Zanchetta @ Otto Gallery (Bologna, Italy)

TETRAEDRO

Back to top

Olofragments

Olofragments

: STONE AS MODEL

Eternal beginning,
of slow time.
Timeless piece of relentless transformation.
A part of matter,
That is all matter itself.
A fragment.

Back to top

Between Realms

Between Realms

(text by Anna Longo)

Time is the moving image of eternity. This is how Plato, in the Timaeus, defines time in our world, punctuated by the regular movement of the stars. The cosmos created by the Demiurge is a living organism whose temporal existence is marked by repetitive cycles that animate it like pulsations and breathings. But this transitory world is nothing but the reflection of eternity, of Aion, time that does not itself pass but allows for the existence of our time which does pass. According to the myth narrated in Timaeus, the world was created by a divine artisan, artist, philosopher and scientist: an artist in being able to give a sensitive form to the idea, to give it substance in matter; a philosopher for the speculative capacity to contemplate the ideas, truths abstract and eternal; a scientist for the mathematical rigour of the laws that govern reality and render it intelligible. But in what spacetime does the Demiurge operate? The proposed hypothesis is that the Realm of ΑΘΑΝΑ (ATHΑΝΑ) is the interstitial dimension of creation, the liminal space-time between the a-temporal eternity of Aion and the empirical transience of its image, namely Chronos.

Therefore, as a philosopher, the demiurge accesses the eternal idea and, as a scientist, provides the laws that allow the succession of events to unfold according to a certain necessary order in line with a set mechanism that follows certain rules or laws that ensure its functionality. But it is as an artist that the demiurge has the possibility to choose the perceptible appearance and the rules of the world that are realised as an image of the idea, or in other words which film, of all possible films, will form the most appropriate image of the intuition. In fact, the same idea, as a virtual one, can be embodied to a plurality of worlds, or rather its image can.

In this exhibition therefore, we are offered the point of view of the demiurge’s interstitial dimension, the present between eternity and sequential perception.  The works presented, do not reproduce in fact the chronological sequence of their production, as in a retrospective, but the exhibition makes explicit the sense of creation as the production of a moving image of eternity.  Contrary to what happens in a retrospective exhibition, that allows us to look into the past according to the incidence of the facts (order of perception), here we access the present which is the condition of creation of each past and, for this reason, the images overlap without respecting a chronological order. From the point of view of the demiurge, to which we find ourselves elevated, the various frames are shown in the simultaneity of the present, a present which is the moment of creation for the entirety of the series, rather than the present of the perception that would last a sensible encounter. The exhibition makes us aware of the fact that our personal history, the sequence of events that we have experienced subjectively and the things we have done, is a series of frames necessarily linked together according to the rules and laws that render it coherent in its totality as in a film, a cosmos which nonetheless, like all other things, does not have in itself any necessity.

ΑΘΑΝΑ therefore, is not a retrospective exhibition but a short-circuit of sorts, thanks to which we can intuitively access the ideal conditions of the exhibition’s creation as a temporal dimension in which we are observers. We are called in fact, to elevate ourselves not only to the perspective of the artist who produces the spacetime of our own perception of the exhibition, but to go further, to look beyond the mirror and see that on the other side eternity is reflected.  ΑΘΑΝΑ is the present of creation that makes possible the duration of perception but which also makes us aware that every creative act is, in reality, the production of a moving image of eternity.

Back to top

HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP [group exhibition] @ CalArts Exhibition Hall (Los Angeles, USA)

HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP

Back to top

FireMaking

FireMaking

First comes the composition of the firewood in a structure that allows the fire itself to arise and then gradually grow. Then when the fire has started consuming the logs and the right moment arises, comes the recording of that instant. The impression of a continuously shifting entity that is in constant transformation while maintaining the ability to sustain its newly found existence by consuming itself, little by little. When everything is consumed the memory of the fleeting moment remains and the mind adds the rest in order to create a composition that is past, instant and extension in one drawing: a fire.

Back to top

ΑΘΑΝΑ TIMESPACE [personal exhibition] @ CalArts Studios (Los Angeles, USA)

ΑΘΑΝΑ TIMESPACE

Back to top

BETWEEN REALMS [personal exhibition] @ Bianconi Gallery (Milan, Italy)

BETWEEN REALMS

Back to top

DeepTime

DeepTime

Few of us have any conception of the enormous timescales in our planet’s long history, and this narrow perspective underlies many of the environmental problems we are creating for ourselves. Deep time is a term related to the concept of geologic time which entails huge changes over the age of the Earth. A deep understanding of the history and processes of our planet provides us with the inspiration and the guidelines for our own effective functioning as individuals and as a species on this ‘pale blue dot’.

This series of photographs is a small selection that depicts one of Earth’s biggest geological calendars located in the -unjustly named-  Death Valley National Park. The oldest rocks in the area  are extensively metamorphosed by intense heat and pressure and are at least 1700 million years old. These rocks were intruded by a mass of granite 1400 Ma (million years ago) and later uplifted and exposed to nearly 500 million years of erosion.

Death Valley’s landscape has been changing for millions of years. It is changing now, and will continue to change long after we have departed. Erosion slowly carves away at the ancient rock formations, reshaping the surface of the land. The basin continues to subside and the mountains rise ever higher and our understanding of this fact can affect the future of this planet of which we are at the present moment part of.

Back to top

WHITE FLAG curated by Silvana Annichiarico & Giorgio Camuffo @ Triennale di Milano (Milan, Italy)

WHITE FLAG

Back to top

Extincto

Extincto

: PARADIGMS FROM THE ANTHROPOCENE

Following a meticulous research with the team of CTRLZAK studio, a number of emblematic cases were analysed and a series of artworks were created reflecting upon species extinction as a result of human intervention. A compendium booklet was also created that aims to inform on the subject, utilising creative expression (drawings, collages, songs, stories etc.) as a filter. The exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) of Lissone, became a moment of encounter and a point of reflection on the problem of species extinction and its’ possible repercussions in the near future, as well as the role of humankind on earth.

Back to top

COMPENDIO DI PITTURA II [group exhibition] curated by Alberto Zanchetta & Matteo Fato @ Bianconi Gallery (Milan, Italy)

COMPENDIO DI PITTURA II

Back to top

CASA CANVAS PROJECT [group exhibition] curated by Laura Gabelotto @ Casa Canvas (Carate, Italy)

CASA CANVAS PROJECT

Back to top

TRANS-DESIGN: NEW CREATURES [group exhibition] curated by Feng Feng @ West Bund Art Center (Shanghai, China)

TRANS-DESIGN: NEW CREATURES

Back to top

NEW CREATURES [group exhibition] curated by Feng Feng @ OCT Art & Design Gallery (Shenzhen, China)

NEW CREATURES

Back to top

Logos: Anima Mundi

Logos: Anima Mundi

Constantly regard the universe as one living being, having one substance and one soul; and observe how all things have reference to one perception, the perception of this one living being; and how all things act with one movement; and how all things are the cooperating causes of all things that exist; observe too the continuous spinning of the thread and the structure of the web. —Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, iv. 40.

Back to top

NON ESISTONO OGGETTI BRUTTI [an interdisciplinary project] curated by Alberto Zanchetta & Thanos Zakopoulos @ Bianconi Gallery (Milan, Italy)

NON ESISTONO OGGETTI BRUTTI

Back to top

POST-HUMAN [group exhibition] curated by Maurizio Caldirola @ MARCO Contemporary Art Centre (Monza, Italy)

POST-HUMAN

Back to top

Co-Existence

Co-Existence

Two entities intermingled with each other. Tree & Stone. A primordial relationship that happens ‘naturally’ without apparent benefits but with ‘deep’ significance. The tree embraces the stone and the stone alters the tree’s existence in a continuous slow transformation for both entities. Organic and inorganic become one creating thus a new entity that characterises the surface of this planet. Parallel structures that find similarities in their external form through the alteration of time revealing a common past & future.  A symbiotic co-existence that becomes the paradigm of a profound union laden with meanings.

Back to top

ARTEFIERA BOLOGNA [participation with Maurizio Caldirola Gallery] (Bologna, Italy)

ARTEFIERA BOLOGNA

Back to top

DISFUNZIONE MEDITERRANEA [group exhibition] curated by Alberto Zanchetta @ Otto Gallery (Bologna, Italy)

DISFUNZIONE MEDITERRANEA

Back to top

Lao Green

Lao Green

A photo study inspired by the forests of Lao which grow on the banks on the river Mekong. An immersion to the colour green seen from the outside, from the point of view of a spectator. Nature just as colour-chart?

Back to top

1:1 STOPOVER [group exhibition] curated by Cittadellarte @ MSUM (Ljubljana, Slovenia)

1:1 STOPOVER

Back to top

HYBRIDIZATION IS THE NEW AUTHENTICATION [group exhibition] curated by Dean Brown & Erica Fusaro @ ilivetomorrow Gallery (Hong Kong, HK)

HYBRIDIZATION IS THE NEW AUTHENTICATION

Back to top

Non Esistono Oggetti Brutti

Non Esistono Oggetti Brutti

Having as a starting point the phrase by famous Italian architect Franco Albini – ‘There are no ugly objects, you just need to know how to exhibit them’- a site specific exhibition was created where the real artwork is the exhibition itself. Starting from an idea by Alberto Zanchetta (art curator & critic) we selected artworks from the Bianconi gallery depot and enriched the exhibition with other pieces and objects that we borrowed from artists and designers while we also created some artworks specifically for the occasion. The result was a contemporary ‘Wunderkammer’ where each area was a piece in itself while all the works where positioned in a way where new meanings emerged from the interaction of one work to the other.

Back to top

AERAS TEHNIS [personal exhibition] curated by CTRLZAK @ Atelier Spyros Vassiliou (Eretria, Greece)

AERAS TEHNIS

Back to top

Huaneng Jungle

Huaneng Jungle

A project commissioned by a Chinese banking company for their new offices. Bank organizations often use the tree as a symbol of stability (roots), growth (branches) and trust (a recognizable nature-related image). In this case the trees are contorted, twisted and seemingly the indicated way-out is not certain… Welcome to the jungle.

Back to top

COLLIDER / ΜΗ-TOΠΟΣ /非地/ SICHTFELD [personal exhibition] curated by Sergio Daolio @ Secondopiano (Milan, Italy)

COLLIDER / ΜΗ-TOΠΟΣ /非地/ SICHTFELD

Back to top

COLLIDER / ΜΗ-TOΠΟΣ /非地/ SICHTFELD: PHOTOWORKS BY THANOS ZAKOPOULOS [book presentation] @ Design Library (Milan, Italy)

COLLIDER / ΜΗ-TOΠΟΣ /非地/ SICHTFELD: PHOTOWORKS BY THANOS ZAKOPOULOS

Back to top

Alice In Fatherland

Alice In Fatherland

Alice is molested. Alice has lost her innocence. Alice is no longer a child and she has learned that the hard way. Alice lives in a male dominated world. Alice is living/leaving her fantasies. Alice is discovering her real nature. Alice is a woman. Or not.

Back to top

PATER IMON [group exhibition] curated by Harris Kondosphyris @ Kalos & Klio Showroom (Thessaloniki, Greece)

PATER IMON

Back to top

Spare Parts

Spare Parts

A project about the improbability of very probable objects. Items from the IKEA catalogue are mingled with each other to form new objects that serve no obvious function whatsoever; fantastical constructions that are made of real pieces of very pragmatic objects. The whole process of their assembly is shown and presented like a normal instructions booklet -similar to the ones you get with every IKEA object.

KANON
MASKIN
SJÖSÄTTA
SKOTT

Back to top

WonderLand

WonderLand

A land of wonder that makes you wonder about the nature of its very existence. Human vanity coupled with business speculation give rise to ghosts of fables long surpassed, becoming a land of oblivion. A land of projected amusement becoming a monument of humanity’s empty symbolisms, charged with structures doomed to perdure beyond their creators.

Back to top

DIADROMES [group exhibition] curated by Ioannis Mpolis @ National Museum of Contemporary Art (Thessaloniki, Greece)

DIADROMES

Back to top

City Of Dreams

City Of Dreams

(text by Alistair Gentry)

There’s a peculiarly Chinese form of accelerated entropy. The moment anything is built by China’s vast army of manual labourers, it begins a rapid descent into a state of grimy disrepair. Meanwhile many urban citizens live provisional, precarious and strangely rural lives under the feet of the brand-new high rise ruins whose interiors they’ll never see. The cities of China have grown up fast, but the other part of the deal is that they plan to fall down again the moment everyone’s backs are turned.

Back to top

6TH SHENZHEN SCULPTURAL EXHIBITION [group exhibition] curated by Feng Boyi @ OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (Shenzhen, China)

6TH SHENZHEN SCULPTURAL EXHIBITION

Back to top

HARMONIOUS FUTURE URBAN BLUEPRINT [personal exhibition] curated by Alistair Gentry @ Studio B, OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (Shenzhen, China)

HARMONIOUS FUTURE URBAN BLUEPRINT

Back to top

FOR FOUR [group exhibition] curated by Wang Jing @ Borges Art Library (Guangzhou, China)

FOR FOUR

Back to top

1ST BIENNALE OF THESSALONIKI [collaboration with PPC_T/Farkadona project] @ Port of Thessaloniki (Thessaloniki, Greece)

1ST BIENNALE OF THESSALONIKI

Back to top

MIART ’07 [participation with Unorossodue Gallery] (Milan, Italy)

MIART ’07

Back to top

Theme City

Theme City

Created in 2008, and based on a real chinese amusement park map, the illustration represents current architecture megastructures that can be found in contemporary Beijing, showcased like a gigantic urban funfair.

Back to top

ANATOMY REVISED [personal exhibition] curated by Alessandro Mancassola @ Unorossodue Gallery (Milan, Italy)

ANATOMY REVISED

Back to top