Loraini Alimantiri


20 Oct - 24 Nov 2007


Rossina Baltatzi, Anastasia Douka, Zoi Gaitanidou, Eleni Kamma, Nikos Kanarelis, Lucas Lenglet, Ryan Mclaughlin, Yorgos Sapountzis, Diamantis Sotiropoulos

20.10.07 - 24.11.07

LORAINI ALIMANTIRI · gazonrouge is pleased to present STRONGHOLD, a group show with new works by gallery artists: Rossina Baltatzi, Anastasia Douka, Zoi Gaitanidou, Eleni Kamma, Nikos Kanarelis, Lucas Lenglet, Ryan McLaughlin, Yorgos Sapountzis and Diamantis Sotiropoulos. STRONGHOLD wishes to introduce the practice of the aforementioned artists to a wider audience. Through the works, the participating artists use their respective visual vocabulary to create their private realms, shielding themselves in a stronghold, observing what is blocked outside its boundaries and assessing the view.
Rossina Baltatzi’s work revolves around the attempt of contemporary man to define oneself in a vanity-driven society. Her work reflects this theme through combining and remixing elements mainly from popular culture and contemporary commercial illustration presented in what originally seems like an appealing image but is quickly reversed to reveal a disturbing iconography.
In Anastasia Douka’s practice, objects are on a journey in exploration of their destiny. In this journey, the works are deconstructed and repositioned to create a new identity, revealing their numerous layers of material and meaning in the process. In the course of the journey, these alterations result in the loss of the pre-existing attributes and the search for new ones.
In the language of the Maori tribe, Maori means normal, natural, ordinary. The figures that Zoi Gaitanidou depicts are in complete harmony with nature, which is seen as the elemental principle and inception of order and normalcy. In Gaitanidou’s images, the figures are faced with the absurdity and fear of the unknown, represented by a spaceship.
Eleni Kamma’s work is the result of a continuous search and collection of fragments from various sources, their amalgamation and re-arrangement creating visions of utopian spaces composed by collages of architecturally designed forms. These forms co-exist a midst elaborate decorative patterns. There is a reciprocal connection to the formation of buildings and the way human desires and behaviors are shaped.
Nikos Kanarelis’s work speaks about painting itself, testing its’ limits, researching its’ history and positioning it in contemporary cultural convention. He chooses imagery, combines it with symbols and presents it focusing on its aesthetics, rather than its context. The titles of the works reveal a commentary on the symbols used, their art-historical exaltation to icons, and their current relevance leading to the revisal of preconceived notions in art history. The displacement is an attempt to create a new vocabulary based on the existing one, which is applicable to the present and will allow one to reconsider visual art as a mean of authentic expression.
Lucas Lenglet displays a set of equipment that establishes the fine line between security and insecurity, safety and danger. The artist explores the aforementioned notions by presenting objects and architectural elements as the partitions that are used to keep danger away, similar to a fortress. The dramatic, almost theatrical staging of the installations is meant to emphasize the artificiality of the presented solutions for refuge.
In his work, Ryan McLaughlin establishes a scenario, not a narrative, before the painting process begins, and then applies elements in his paintings in order to arrive at and enact this scenario. The scenario is usually alluded to in the construction of the painting and often in its’ title. The making of the image is a more open process than the predetermined concept might assign, but the artist always ensures that the scenario pre-exists.
Through his work Yorgos Sapountzis has adopted a practice of a space in between, resulting from the reciprocation of private and public space. He creates an urban limbo where everything is redefined, redefining in its turn everything that surrounds them. Through this he approaches the concept and limitations of public space, its convention and abrogation through the appropriation and construction of a personal heterotopia.
Diamantis Sotiropoulos draws from ordinary elements and figures of mass culture and the reflections of his personal experience in the punk subculture. Their representation, though, seems to enclose a certain pretension, due to which the clichés remain clichés but are also loaded with a different power that overcomes the dryness of the stereotype. The narrative is about a single theme: the attempt of one’s dominance over another, through violence, war, deceit, seduction, unjustified attack or the depreciation of tolerance.

Tags: Zoi Gaitanidou, Eleni Kamma, Ryan Mclaughlin, Yorgos Sapountzis