“I was always fascinated by space, new rooms and environment. So the main idea is to create new elements out of given information for a new language.”
Interview by: Issey Scott
Your work is clearly influenced by natural and architectural forms, but in such precarious, unpredictable times, do you see the influence of science fiction seeping into your practice? The shiny surfaces and almost 'future archaeology' aesthetic may suggest this.
Now that you mention it, this is quite interesting. I have never seen my work from this perspective. I remember, that I was indeed watching a lot of sci-fi movies back in the days of my childhood. This could be a hidden influence. But the main idea in my work is to create a new world - so maybe it’s kind of similar to science fiction. Because what makes sci-fi interesting, is the unknown. With new rules, language and materiality.
I use the term ‘Non-Space‘ - not existing space. We could say - a parallel universe in a Multiverse. I was always fascinated by space, new rooms and environment. So the main idea is to create new elements out of given information for a new language. Derrida and the idea of the deconstruction of the language is a good fundamental key to my praxis. The latest work series, that is shown in the museum Kunstpalais in Erlangen, has the title “Time Traveling for Dummies“. It’s a landscape of signs colors, materials and forms. Like a star constellation that shows us a path to another dimension. A big influence for this was Baudrillard and the idea of Simulacra. The idea of the hyperreality, which is actually more real than the real world. My objects are part of this hyperreality.
What is the ideal setting for your work? Although they are of course mixed media sculpture, it would be an incredible experience to see them as their own installation. If this were to become a reality, what sound element would you include in such an installation?
I think the best setting is the three-dimensional environment. Lately, I like a lot the digital space as an exhibition space for my work. Actually, I love it because I am the creator of the entire space, light, dimensions, architecture and all the settings of the environment. Think about it as you were the master of the gravity. This sounds quite good to me. Recently, I was part of a workshop with handicapped kids in Greece. There was a boy named Panajotis. We started to create fantastic architecture structures out of foam and sticks and this guy told me “Ey - don't forget about the gravity! It’s always brown if you travel in time and in space“. The environment is part of my work. It is connected in so many different layers - that means it is really important. There are different approaches in my work - one of them is to work with the environment without interacting, like Marcel Duchamp with his readymades. Just using the existing elements.
On the other hand, it is important to work with elements. But materiality, light and technology have limitations. So I am looking for a way to break these limitations. I use the term “Deconstruction“ for this.
The creation of an organless body that becomes a collective territory through a rebellion of the signs. The decoding of the functionality of the object generates the materiality as the language of a generation. A new space is built from the elements of the construction. The foundation serves the decomposition of the object into independent elements, in order to connect and transform them as new.
This deconstruction takes the different parameters of the materials and the consequences hazards of the uncontrolled, that allows us to generate a new language.
The object becomes an artwork, the artwork becomes the commodity and the commodity becomes the language organ of a generation.
How do you go about naming your work?
That is a good question. Sometimes it is super easy, sometimes it is a really hard. Very often, my favorite songs are very supportive. But also books and everyday life. I just realized that the name of the last work “The Key” is an influence by a sci-fi movie ‘Stargate’…
Tell us a bit about how you spend your day/studio routine? What is your studio like?
I just opened a new big studio space in Ermioni, Kranidi - Greece. It is located about 150 km from Athens, in the area of Peloponnese. The studio is an old wood factory in a village. I got it through a fantastic, local family. Their grandfather was working in this space for his whole life and almost every house roofs in this area had been made by him. There is still a lot to do, but I like the idea of a living and working space. It was a new experience and very exciting time to set up the studio, moving from London to Greece and preparing a few exhibitions at the same time. One of them was a museum exhibition at the Kunstpalais Erlangen, curated by the amazing Amely Deiss. The days were packed, I was organizing all the logistics from a foreign country, where I did not even understand the language at. So it was very tough. But with a great team around me, I managed to realize my projects. A really good team, located in Berlin, Athen and London. Greece is the latest setup - it just happened in the last 2 months - but it took me 10 years of hard work to get to this moment and to make it happen.
My routine in this crazy 2 month was like this: I got up at 6.30, did some sports, had a coffee and started my working day. I worked on 4 different projects, so the day was packed with the organization and handling of of steel, marble or painting facilities - and a lot of email work and of course - traveling in between. I tell you, my traveling schedule was so crazy. Athen - Nuernberg - London - Berlin - Belgrad - Athens, in only one week. I believe that is all part of it and I love it. But looking at this as a long term, this would be quite difficult. I already quit smoking, cut down to just occasionally drinks - and I am for sure a workaholic. It makes me happy to work on my projects. I really enjoy that my studio is in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by natural water and fresh food - it just feels so good! The natural environment was always a huge inspiration in my work. But the best thing, after the hard working days and all the stress, is to go to the seaside at night and jump into the water. Floating and watching the stars in the sky. This became my everyday meditation ritual, my resetting moment when I am in Greece.
What artwork have you seen recently that has resonated with you?
I was in Berlin at the opening of the Berlinische Gallery. There was an installation with many works from EDWARD AND NANCY REDDIN KIENHOLZ. It was just wonderful to discover this space and all the small details. Like a childhood memory when you were in a candy shop. Happy, surprised and excited at the same time. I really like this moment, when this happens. Unexpectedly, at an exhibition. Before this, I experienced it at Tate Britain, when I was walking through the exhibition of David Hockney. His early paintings from the time he was studying at the Royal College of Art. There was something special in this paintings. Something magic.
Is there anything new and exciting in the pipeline you would like to tell us about?
There is a lot, I am just working on an exhibition in Salzburg and other projects in Verona, London and Milan - so it is quite an interesting time at the moment. But after all, I have the feeling that it is important to concentrate on my work and on the studio. I just found the equipment from another old wood factory and steel factory that I would like to include in my new studio.
Hopefully, till December, the setup will be done. I am still studying at the RCA, it is my second and also the final year. I am looking forward to the degree show, to show up with some of my new ideas.
Publish date: 02/10/2018
All Images are courtesy of the artist