Universal Habitat

15 Jan — 27 Feb 2016 at a.antonopoulou.art in Athens, Greece

27 DECEMBER 2015
Mark Hadjipateras, Universal Habitat, 2015
Mark Hadjipateras, Universal Habitat, 2015

Mark Hadjipateras inaugurates, on the 14th of January, his new exhibition entitled “Universal Habitat” at the a.antonopoulou.art gallery, 19:30 – 22:00.

The art historian Bia Papadopoulou has written:

“Mark Hadjipateras’ new environment Universal Habitat is the culmination of many years’ work and a comprehensive proposal for his imaginary country. It combines elements of his work from the late ‘80s to the present. It introduces new symbolisms and assembles the artist’s research into a single harmonious whole. The protagonists of his work are the familiar inhabitants of the strange Kingdom of his Imagination who we were first introduced to in Geneology (2012). Hybrid archetypal figures leap off the pages of children’s books and cartoons, works of science fiction, epics, myths, the collective memory and the subconscious. Extending Geneology, Hadjipateras builds an architectural, urban and natural environment for the community and its young members in Universal Habitat, taking a discernible step forward. He draws the quintessence of his long years of investigation through his works into the theme of uninhabited cities, at once fundamental and futuristic: Brussels (1988), Kiddie City (1990-1991), Bittersweetville (1992), Terrain (1993), Mannahatta (1994), Seuscapes (2000) and Aluminum World (2014). The geometric minimalist forms of the older installations are juxtaposed with abstract organic shapes and the City Dwellers.”

Entities that are alternately anthopomorphic, zoomorphic, machinelike, alienlike, with cartoon features and with multiple symbolic dimensions, emit, inhale and exhale, radiate and trumpet into their environment. They narrate the timeless conditions of human existence in a universal language that draws from modernism and pop culture and the high and low in Art.

This sprawling floor installation transforms the viewer into a flying observer who is suddenly swallowed up by a time machine that will take him to primordial landscapes in space. The corroded aluminum the works are made of is yet another allegory for the passage of time

On the walls are several Black and White paintings (FWF’s series) where we discern biomorphic and geometric forms which reference organisms, as well as the architecture and technology of ancient and future civilizations. They are infused with a sense of ‘Zen’, Ritual and Timelessness.

The choice of the monochrome can be interpreted as a comment on the uniformity that has been imposed by globalisation

Hadjipateras believes in Globalization but without the homogenization which rejects diversity. Through Universal Habitat he proposes for a harmonious co-existence of peoples of all race, cultures and religions who share and are united through the same basic principles such as love, respect and fraternity.