Kostis Velonis

Born (1968) in Athens where he lives and works. He undertook cultural studies (MRes) at the London Consortium (Birkbeck College, ICA, AA, Tate Gallery, 1999-2000) and visual arts at the Paris VIII University (Maitrise, DEA, 1994-97). He won a scholarship from the “Alexandros S. Onassis Foundation” (1996-97). He acquired his PhD (2010) from the National Technical University of Athens. His interests are focused on the notion of “domesticity” in modern art, such as the architectural production in sculpture and installations. Recent solo exhibitions: Loneliness on Common Ground: How Can Society Do What Each Person Dreams, National Museum of Contemporary Art – EMST (Athens, 2010); How one can think freely in the shadow of a temple, Kunstverein Hamburg (Hamburg, 2009); ...was einmal ϋber heute gesagt werden wird: Koln Show2, BQ Gallery, European Kunsthalle (Koln, 2007). Recent group exhibitions: Melanchotopia, Witte de With Contemporary Art Center (Rotterdam, 2011); The Marathon  Marathon  project, Acropolis Museum (Athens, 2010); Politics of Art, National Museum of Contemporary Art-EMST (Athens, 2010); 2nd Athens Biennale (2009); Brussels Biennial 1 for Contemporary Art (Brussels, 2008); 9th Lyon Biennial (2007).

 

Velonis seems to be an expert at depicting an indescribable, but also certain bipolarity. His “unpredictable” but sophisticated combination of different sources allows his work to echo the frequent paranoia of the human condition, where causes, organized attempts/mobilizations and effects are rarely ever directly related. His work, stigmatized by History, develops between fears and desires. The May 1968 protest, Russian constructivism or even the cultural legacy of antiquity, are lost in the midst of passion, the vulnerability and romance of a lonely (individual) course and the metaphysical nature of the moment (of time passing by). Betrayed dreams of lost revolutions? Or willingly lost in the incomprehensible, valuable space separating different “grand historical narratives”? Through the sweet collision between references from the hegemonic history of our civilization and the more fragile personal moments, he is able to depict a general vision of a life oscillating between sociability and loneliness, the city lights and the desert, affectation and naivety, knowledge and natural instinct. Like an adult version of children’s toys, his works are cultural and personal parables of a world.

 

 

Marina Fokidis

Photos

Reconstruction of the model of Vlamidir Tatlin’s monument to the Third International as an instrument of research for Domesticity, 2010, wood, acrylic, veneer, plywood, spray, private collection

Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), 2011 Biennale de Lyon