Andreas Angelidakis blends antiquity, digital tradition and concrete modernity at Paris’ Espace Niemeyer

by Editors Staff

In 2003, Athenian artist Andreas Angelidakis discovered himself in Paris with Olivier Zahm, founding father of Purple journal. On Zahm’s suggestion, he visited the French Communist Social gathering HQ constructing, designed by Brazilian modernist Oscar Niemeyer as a present to the social gathering. A skilled architect himself, Angelidakis discovered it nothing lower than ‘sensational and transcendent’. So this 12 months when Denis Pernet, curator of the itinerant artwork programme Audemars Piguet Modern, invited him to create an set up in its auditorium, Angelidakis seized the chance. He determined to broaden his collection Smooth Ruins, the modular exhibition furnishings he conceived in the identical 12 months he’d first seen the constructing, to type ‘a disco monastery worksite’. An exemplar of how the Brazilians labored natural kinds into modernism, the auditorium roof protrudes up by way of the premises’ entrance garden as a dome impressed by a pregnant lady’s stomach. Inside is a womb of grass-green carpet and subtle white mild that may home the artist’s multimedia fantasy titled Heart for the Vital Appreciation of Antiquity.

Studio Andreas Angelidakis. Picture credit score: Vassilis Karidis. Courtesy of the artist

Conversationally, Angelidakis is affected person and exact. ‘This exhibition has a mystical geek vibe,’ he says once we meet in Athens in August, sporting leopard-print shorts and sitting on a settee block digitally printed with an vintage photograph of a Greek column. His top-floor residence beside the Nationwide Archaeological Museum is an Aladdin’s cave of assessments. Over a 30-year profession, Angelidakis has taken half in quite a few biennials, panels with Hans Ulrich Obrist, cubicles at Artwork Basel, lectures at Columbia, and revealed a e book titled Web Suburbia. He’s been an architect, trainer, and curator. ‘I don’t see exhibitions as a show however an lively ingredient to be performed with.’ He remembers that in 2017, when he confirmed Smooth Ruins at Documenta 14, safety guards referred to as him as a result of guests had been shifting items of the set up round: ‘I stated, “Excellent!”’

In right now’s model, his comfortable collapsed columns are accompanied by daybeds printed with archaeological pamphlets, scattered round a scaffold column rising by way of shadows of smoke and lights. On the auditorium display screen, an infinity tunnel video extends the house like a portal. A steel container – resembling these utilized in delivery, constructing websites, and refugee camps – homes a ‘reward store’ of Greek collectible figurines and touristic objets.

Studio Andreas Angelidakis. Picture credit score: Vassilis Karidis. Courtesy of the artist

He calls this conglomerate ‘a system for a comfortable stylite dwelling’, explaining {that a} stylite was a monk who sat in prayer atop a pillar (stylos) to be nearer to god. He recounts how on high of the Temple of Olympian Zeus – the biggest temple in historical Athens – there was once a hut, housing a stylite. It was eliminated in 1870, when the hardly half-century-old fashionable Greek authorities pursued an archaeological coverage that sought to eradicate virtually 2,000 years of historic diversifications in a bid to provide an idealised Grecian aesthetic that will assist a unified nationwide id within the aftermath of Ottoman rule.

Together with different components of the temple’s social ecosystem (together with espresso huts, buying and selling, and numerous ceremonial practices) the hut was erased, not solely from bodily existence, but in addition from documentation. Nineteenth-century images of the smash had been tampered with as a part of this nationwide branding train that sought to painting Greece as a blanched monocultural fantasy, embodying the classical architectural beliefs adored by the West.

Studio Andreas Angelidakis. Picture credit score: Vassilis Karidis. Courtesy of the artist

Within the centre of Niemeyer’s auditorium, Angelidakis’ stylite pillar takes the type of a scaffold tower along with his signature digital print of an Ionian column draped on one facet, and a development chute hung down the opposite. Athenian buildings have not too long ago undergone a lot repurposing, to which the chute refers. Atop the pillar sits a steel container hut in sign yellow to match the chute.

And what of the monk who can be within the hut? ‘It may very well be any of us, doing our YouTube meditations on the couch’ says the artist. Angelidakis enlists clubby components, stating that folks have gravitated in direction of each historical temples and fashionable nightclubs seeking ritual highs. ‘You might be up on a column or on medical hashish or anti-depressants, social media, espresso, wine – there are other ways of escaping actuality.’

Studio Andreas Angelidakis. Picture credit score: Vassilis Karidis. Courtesy of the artist

The artist remembers when the Temple of Olympian Zeus was cruising territory, and the set up’s video evokes traditional homosexual membership aesthetics that mix the idealised male types of Grecian statues with the escapist positivity of disco. Angelidakis ordered 3D printed collectible figurines on-line, with Ionian column-tops (‘the gayer column, based mostly on a flower, with swirls’) positioned like hats, collars, skirts or pedestals on their white plastic our bodies. ‘Ken the stylite,’ he jokes about these kitsch miniatures, which he filmed spinning on tiny podiums earlier than layering them into the membership portal video that beams out countertenor Klaus Nomi’s bittersweet cowl of Donna Summer season’s I Really feel Love – as emblematic to membership tradition as columns are to structure. ‘Nomi launched that monitor when he was dying of Aids.’

Angelidakis’ archive diving is executed with mental experience, however his motivations for pursuing it are extra private. ‘I’m additionally excavating myself. I’m all the time investigating why I’m so preoccupied with antiquity with my psychoanalyst.’ His father, a buildings engineer, used to make him go to archaeological websites after they hosted friends in Crete. He’s not resistant to Greece’s pervasive nostalgia, nor to the queer group’s melancholic mythologies, each of which bandage wounds.

Curator Denis Pernet with Andreas Angelidakis. Picture credit score: Vassilis Karidis. Courtesy of the artist

By retrieving the stylite from historical past’s off-cuts pile and mixing it with different suppressed cultural components, Angelidakis brings points of the city surroundings out of the shadows to be reintegrated – whilst you get pleasure from your self! Lie on columns! Recall membership highs! Espace Niemeyer is also known as retro-futuristic, an early-space-age imaginative and prescient of right now. Angelidakis’ type can also be retro-futuristic in its personal method, quoting from the little utopias that Seventies and 80s golf equipment offered, together with their historicist impulses.  Kubrick’s 2001: A House Odyssey (1968) is an ongoing reference, as is Superstudio. ‘I like mixing science fiction with antiquity.’

One of many booklets within the container ‘reward store’ is titled Future Reminiscence Membership. He’s overlaid pages from vintage archaeology pamphlets along with his personal fragmentary musings, that includes present key phrases like Ukraine, monkeypox and micro-dosing. ‘I requested the Archaeological Society if I might re-print the unique pages however they stated no.’ Maybe they had been nervous about his method. ‘Individuals idolise historical Greece because the birthplace of democracy however you needed to be a rich male over 35 to be an Athenian citizen and vote.’

Angelidakis is fascinating for a lot of causes – his progressive processing of Athenian situations, his residence’s funky bricolage furnishings, the ‘queer brutalist’ island home he’s simply constructed for himself, the extraordinary relationship he shares along with his fierce Pomeranian, Lupo. He was learning structure at Columbia when it first abolished the usage of hand instruments, and requested college students to design solely on computer systems. ‘I used to be fortunate to be a part of that. The start of virtuality.’ Texture mapping, rendering, and video compositing produce his type, and he’s been ‘into digital archeology’ for 20 years’.

Studio Andreas Angelidakis. Picture credit score: Vassilis Karidis. Courtesy of the artist

It was 1965 when the PCF (Parti Communiste Français) commissioned Niemeyer to examine an inspiring headquarters from which to guide the leftist future they thought they’d see. A member of its Brazilian counterpart, the architect had simply left Rio de Janeiro for Paris in self-imposed exile from his homeland’s right-wing authorities. Situated on Place du Colonel Fabien, named after a French communist Second World Struggle resistance hero, the headquarters opened in 1981, one among seven buildings in France by the architect, the final of which opened solely this 12 months at Château La Coste in Aix-en-Provence. Espace Niemeyer combines the formal readability and lean traces of the broader modernist imaginative and prescient with free-form curves and expressive prospers, leading to a constructing of each restrained modesty and charismatic aptitude.

The Espace Niemeyer basis was arrange after the constructing was labeled as a historic monument in 2007 to make sure its upkeep, elevating funds by renting out its exquisitely designed environments. Arts organisations, media firms, and luxurious manufacturers have staged productions right here, together with Netflix and Prada. Curator Pernet’s curiosity is each aesthetic and philanthropic: paying to exhibit there contributes to its preservation and opens it to the general public. ‘I wished to deliver Angelidakis’ Athenian perspective on cities and tradition to a Paris viewers,’ says Pernet. ‘The best way he makes use of urbanism and digitality to touch upon society means you don’t must be an artwork world insider to grasp his work.’ Angelidakis’ preoccupations with utopian fantasies and architectural ruins match neatly with how we’ve come to look again on the visions of midcentury architects, together with Niemeyer, and the dilapidated situation lots of their buildings are in right now.

Espace Niemeyer, image credit score: Dimitri Bourriau

That Audemars Piguet, the last-standing family-owned Swiss watch model, has invited a deconstructivist Athenian up to date artist to exhibit in Paris’ communist social gathering HQ, designed by Niemeyer beneath protest exile, whereas up to date European governments lean in more and more right-wing instructions, completely displays the collapse of that means by which tradition is immersed now. This irreverent mashing collectively creates a sublimely entertaining presentation of decadence, performing Angelidakis’ theme of ruination and reflecting a post-ideological situation. ‘Disaster has been one among my topics,’ says the artist. ‘Postmodernism was the start of our present notion of disaster as one thing recurring that’s a part of our civilisation. In fixed disaster, what’s improper and proper? You could as properly go all the way in which and make a distinct segment temple that includes a stylite monk within the Niemeyer dome.’ §

Supply: Wallpaper

You may also like

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

About Us is one of the best Home Decor and Interior Design News websites, we provide the latest news, articles, and tips about Home Decor and Interior Design and luxury homes from all around the world.

Decor & Design


Subscribe my Newsletter for new blog posts, tips & new photos. Let's stay updated!

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More