OPENING TUE 26.04
POP UP SHOW
"The World" is a presentation of the most recent series of works by artist Margarita Athanasiou. The large format digital collages printed on glass and the text of the same title that is presented in the publication that accompanies them, were produced during a time of grief and were instrumental in processing the trauma of a separation. In line with Athanasiou's visual language, the collages combine original illustration and found imagery to construct esoteric landscapes ripe with hidden references that span from definitively personal to potentially universal.
These visual syntheses depict wild animals, plants, plastic rock formations, personal objects and items of historical significance to create small-scale monuments of the magical and the ordinary, still-lives that utilise archetypically romantic imagery, such as flowers and heart shapes, and the four elements - air, fire, water, earth – to depict fantastical scenes that are grandiosely pop, playfully whimsical and unashamedly self-referential.
Especially significant in the works is the visualisation of sounds borrowed from the language of comics: Cracks, explosions, speech bubbles and narrative boxes are present in all collages, but as they are accompanied by no words, these gestural depictions of sound hint towards a plot that is not being verbalised. By creating a sense of the inaudible, Athanasiou suggests that the sound of things cracking or of things being discussed is taking place "off-screen", enhancing the sense that this inaccessible narrative is taking place internally, not unlike a recurring thought. The works are printed on A0 panels of household glass, utilising the transparency of the material, the images are at points see-through, allowing the physical space to disrupt the image while communicating the fragility, transience and – oh well! – banality of interpersonal drama.
A similar line of thinking was implemented in the creation of the publication by the MISC design team. The transparency of glass was translated into the transparency of film and the poetic chapters of the text were superimposed onto each other to create a sense of the concurrent. Elements from the prints, separated from their original context are repurposed in the publication, framing or even sheltering the words that are absent from the prints on the walls. Usually working digitally or in the form of publications, this is Athanasiou's first time experimenting with the exhibition format. Releasing these collages into the physical realm is the last stage of a creative ritual that she is hoping will give her usually digital worlds a different kind of space to breathe in.
Margarita Athanasiou is a multidisciplinary artist, poet and organiser based in Athens, Greece. Her practice is text-based, utilises collage techniques and brings together autobiography and history to create multi-layered narratives in the form of publications, video essays, prints and digital images that exist purely online. Athanasiou holds an honours degree from the Slade School of Fine Art, is the recipient of Onassis AIR and ARTWORKS fellowships, is the founding director of the Athens Art Book Fair and a dedicated meme artist.