I make art to express my concerns and notions. I make art because I can not exist otherwise. I strongly believe that art is a means of protest as well as a way of questioning the fundamentals.
What am I making at the moment?
I enjoy creating with several mediums, I lately use photography. Through capturing moments and scenes I unveil the beauty of reality that is frequently forgotten. My interest mainly focuses on street photography and urban fabric. In my frames, I include little details of the streets, illegal public and street art as well as urban structures. However, I also enjoy photographing house utilities and objects that form my everyday routine, trying to create a series of similar pictures at different times and places.
How has lockdown affected my practice?
Due to the Covid-19 breakdown, I was forced to focus more on my “house experience” during the quarantine period. Hence, my work currently formes by a body of work influenced by my everyday reality, the low creativity, and low motivation of the period. However, it helped me to concentrate and experiment with new ideas such as performance art. My online Degree Show Exhibition was an Instagram performance were I was uploading a spontaneous phone picture every 10 minutes for 24 hours. My aim was to express and question my contemporary addictions and obsessions to and with the image as well as commentate on the countless information that pops up every second on social media. With humor, I tried to attract my followers’ attention to the exaggeration of the individual’s privacy exposure.
Post 3: At least 3 contextual references related to ways of exhibiting your work. These can include exhibitions you visited or researched, specific techniques you applied to your exhibition ideas, and other relevant material that informed your decisions. These references can apply to both your Degree Exhibition as originally planned and/or the adjustments you had to make for an online submission due to COVID-19.
Tracy Emin exhibited her own bed as an exposure of herself, a self portrait installation. Looking at preformative and installation artists I always faced the problem to understand the reasons behind artworks. I could understand that it is different and smart to create something that is new, but how does such and idea initiate? Why would you place objects that in a specific display can be named artworks?
How does your artistic practice become revolutionary?
Looking at Emins’s work I am not impressed by the artwork or the outcome, however, it makes me want to think “why” would she expose such a dirty and an unhappy personal environment, and “why” do people admire such an action?
The answer could lay next to the “why” is abstract art popular?
This leads me to the outcome that the “why” occurs after every glimpse of the artwork.
I chose to have a preformative piece for my final exhibition, because I found my self looking deeper into questions rather than outcomes. I believe that I will sooner or later go back to painting, however, photography and performance art enabled me to experience the activity and ask questions that are not linked to aesthetically pleasing or photo-realistic outcomes.
It forces me to face art through philosophical questions and concepts.
Is the first time I realised I am actually influenced by everything that I experience everyday. My work can not be purely work. Artists can not be employees of art and work 8 hours a day. I work all day everyday.
Is the first time I actually believe I am an artist.
Looking into performances during quarantine I felt a strong will to do something physical, I refused to upload my work on a data base and just show it as pictures.
The choreographer Dimitris Papaioanou at the performance 2(TWO), exaggerates the technology element in contemporary life, with simple and humoristic components. With references to Matrix and 21st century cinema, satire about the Greek reality and the male figure, he inspired me to create a contemporary exhibition using simple and unremarkable materials.
It’s bizarre how quickly we adapt to the technology advances. 1996 Jennicam unstoppable life streaming of personal space was something very strange and weird to do as well as follow and observe. Her life streaming was consisted by still pictures that would change every 15 seconds and form a series of pictures playing the role of the video that could not load because of the low internet connection of the period. To my eyes her performance was something like Instagram nowadays. Her artwork gave me the idea to post frequently pictures during my performance. I ended up with the idea to upload unfiltered, reality pictures every 5 minutes.
I was looking to Nan Golding because of her use of photography to document her life. She uses photography to create a visual autobiography in a no filtered, candid environment of reality. I loved the way she frames herself and her close circle of people, her pictures remind me the cinema, like they are stills of horror films. In the early 70s she uses the camera in the same way we use our phones today, to take a picture of every dull thing we see. However, she framed her material so well that the outcome is extremely artistically pleasing and full of feelings.
Influenced by these artists I created the Artsteps exhibition of my house experience with house objects and food as well as the Black and White exhibition with the film pictures. Two different examples of how I would present work physically before the Covid-19 outbreak.
Chuck Close – Photo-mosaics
I was interested in Close’s practise because of his strong will to create art even after his health problems. Close’s work reveals an interest in technical skills that he was forced to developed in order to create photo-realistic art. Like Close uses small abstract shapes to create layers that would then reveal a form of a realistic portrait, I was inspired to use a lot of similar pictures to create collages. The collages I created over the quarantine period is a project under development that does not make sense yet, however, I hope to develop it further. I would like to create a larger outcome with digital collages that would form an image like Close does.
I found balance in Tillmans’s photography, he inspired me to create a photography process routine of taking pictures of simple everyday objects like food, under natural light and a background of reality. His work extends in different projects, inspired by the Still Life one, that is an ongoing project since 1999, I was looking on how to photograph my personal space in the house. A lot of times he places objects next to the strong natural light of a window to create pure colours. A lot of times I did the opposite thing, where I would photograph objects that are already in a place with no natural light. I was hoping that the environment would create a feeling of sadness and disappointment that I felt during quarantine period.
I was impressed by Hirschhorn’s collages, the exposure of reality through very strong and violent moments was shocking. There is obviously the question of what is ethically right to show or not in an artistic image, however, Hirschhorn brakes the standards and chooses to expose the reality in order to commentate on the discussion of how reality is hidden or shown on media and what is acceptable as an image and what is not. For example, he creates pieces of collages that expose images of war conflict and violence, that would appear pixelated if they were uploaded online, and on contradistinction he pixelatets forms of fashion advertisements that would be displayed on huge scale billboards.
Krista Van der Niet
Krista Van der Niet, Fruit, 2008, Contemporary Dutch Photography.
Fast Food Culture in Renessance Style
I was trying to find photography artists that use food as models. I found the work of the two artists mentioned above very innovative and visually interesting. The display of still life objects placed in a contemporary environment reveal a humoristic critique on our westernised way of eating and consuming.
There are several artists that influenced my work to move from painting to experimental photography and performance art.
Chang herself started as a painter that later was influenced by performance art and changed her practice. I really like her early works, the pictures, and the videos have the 1990s and 2000s style of image with greeny and blue colors. I like her shocking images that contain nudity, drugs, cigarettes, and objects symbolizing body parts. I started looking at her work when working with color photography, but through her work, I started finding interest in technology that I never liked before. I started using a low quality image, coming from phones that were very popular at the start of the 2000s.
I really like his shocking photography as well as the way he makes collages with them. It is interesting that the pictures are black and white but you can still feel elements of blood and flesh. He exposes the raw youth of the time showing the violence and over sexuality and drug use like it is the most common everyday experience. My work tries to capture the same thing, this exposure of reality with no filter or romance when it is not needed.
Chien- Chi Chang
I’m interested in outspoken and brute photography, it reveals the beauty of the simple moments. A lot of times there is no beauty in reality, Chien Chi Chang photographs experiences of very violent moments that are a lot of times overlooked and hidden by society. In 2005 he created a series of photographs called “Double Happiness” that exposes in a very brutal way the bride trade business in Vietnam where young girls are offered to one man who pays and gets the one he likes.
I am particularly interested in uban photography, thus, I wanted to find a way and through repetition, of shapes and objects that are recognisable in the urban view, to create my own style of depiction of contemporary life.
I was influenced by the photography artist Alex Webb and his choice of framing very simple but emotionaly heavy everyday moments. I like the intence colours that the film photography had in the 90s, furthermore, it works very well with Websb’s pictures creating a sureal image of happines in brutality.
Through making art I want to highligt and attract interest to the uglines we create and we find beauty in. I belive that this contrast between reality and utopian image of our suroundings is a very dipolic attribute of humanity, thus, I try to expose it through photography and repetition of similar image.
This contrast for example is very evident in contemporary advertisment. Even though the capital city can be the most ugly view of a country, we will still advertise it as the best experience of beauty, showing only a specific image that attracts tourists. In the city center of Athens the most usual image is something like this, that is always free:
City Center Athens, Maria Paraschidou documenting Athens- pictures, 2019.
But tourists are only called over to visit this, that always has a price:
My aim is to expose the real image of things but still focus on the beauty of ugliness, especially in urban photography.
My work is very influenced by the Bauhouse movement as well. Influenced by my visits to Nottingham Contemporay Museum, the exhibition Still Undead: Popular Culture in Britain Beyond the Bauhaus, and the Bauhaus Archive Museum in Berlin, I was focusing on simple lines, plain shapes and obejects of utility. What I found very interesting about the movement was it’s philosophy, reconception of the material world in order to reflect the complete entity of the arts. As I understand it, the creative encompasement of objects previously concieved as non artistic, into the artistic creation of all kinds. The transformation of furniture into very minimal designs and pieces of art is something that influences the way I use objects into my painitings and photography.
Still Undead: Popular Culture in Britain Beyond the Bauhaus, Nottingham Contemporary Museum, 2019.
Gap Crit Exhibition, Maria Paraschidou, 2019.
Furthermore, walking around the Nottingham Contemporary Museum I was greatly influenced on how I displayed my first Gap Crit exhibition in term one. I was mainly influenced by the informality of the exhibition, the display of pictures and papers with no frames or specificaly lined display. Ι belive that this Gap Crit was a very crutial moment for my work. I embraced the urban element into my work as well as it was the first time I experimented with new objects and transparent backgrounds like the window for the first time. One other element that I imitated from the NCM exhibition was the natural light component. Entering one of the rooms of the exhibition, the natural light revealed a different outcome. The big windows and the outside view deffinetely added an extra layer to the arcitectural and to the contemporary objects of bauhaus style. This exactly was what I tried to do with my transparent drawings and other objects that I placed next to the window. I tried to pick a space that could host an exhibition but beared an arcitectural and a cold environmental element, that would refer to the urban reality. Obviously my work is also influenced by the 21st-century urban street reality, thus, it contains a lot of graffiti.
A lot of times I understand objects as creations of art that need to be placed in an image as the main models. Objects usualy carry a story and identity that has a lot to say about the contemporary way of life. Spray cans for example that I like to photograph, can be looked at as symbol of the fast developing and fast producing of things nowadays.
In Level 5 I also had looked into photography for a while that was focusing more on color and objects. At that point I was interested on how handmade editing on photography influences the outcome of the image and transforms reality to beeing non realistic. Influenced by Bauhaous and the movement’s use of simplicity as well as utility to create art created a series of pictures that I now feel that influenced me a lot into object photography and my final projects.
You will present work for the Formative Review of the
Subject Module ADZ6888 on Monday 9th March
The oral presentation will take place in your studio space,
it will consist of:
• A selection of your most up to date work leading to
the Degree exhibition.
• A page on your Learning Journal featuring
an up to date
statement (between 100 and 300 words),