Kalfayan Galleries (11 Haritos Street, Kolonaki, Athens) present the solo show of Kostis Velonis titled “Mount the Air”. The opening of the exhibition will take place on Thursday, 26 November, from 20.00 to 22.00.
The sculptures and performative environments of Kostis Velonis refer to the ways in which the adverse conditions of the economy influence interpersonal relationships. If uncertain working conditions negate the stability of the home environment and accelerate the ephemeral co-existence with objects, how does sculpture describe these relationships?
Velonis uses cheap furniture that one finds in precarious workers’ apartments. At the same time he makes DIY structures in which he communicates the sense of urgency. The “activist architecture” in the show “Mount the Air”, investigates the permanence of social structures as well as questioning their role and form. The design of objects that function outside the context of privacy refers directly to the provisional and impromptu constructions that are used in demonstrations, public speeches and protests.
A question that is expressed through all the works relates to the possibility of a political theory that targets an expanded environmental legislative body of «species». Velonis combines the fundamental technique of the design of the object using remnants of construction materials in a vocabulary in which sculpture is denied its monumentality. The size of the cat as a form and as narrative draws forth arguments that refer to the priority of privacy in the urban center in juxtaposition and dialogue with the public space. The cat as a house pet incorporates domesticity in the modernist condition. On the other hand, sculptural constructions whose forms refer to the presence of birds in the Attic sky mirror dynamically the public sphere.
Velonis’ sculptures with their playful narrations and “awkward” craftsmanship de-mythicize the “revolutionary” rhetoric and ideological taboos of an academic “political art”, opening themselves to narratives of rural life and determine a time line prior to but also parallel to modernity.
Kostis Velonis lives and works in Athens. He holds an MRes in Humanities and Cultural Studies from London Consortium (Birkbeck College, ICA, AA, Tate). He studied Arts Plastiques/ Esthétiques at Université Paris 8 (Maitrise,D.E.A). He earned his PhD from the Department of Architecture, N.T.U.A University of Athens. Through his work he emphasizes the contradictions that reside within the social dimension of freedom and the redefinition of ethics through domesticity. Recent group and solo shows include: 2015: “This probably will not work", Lothringer 13-Städtische Kunsthalle München, Μunich; “Super superstudio”, PAC, Milan; “Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915 –2015”, Whitechapel Gallery, London; “The Traveler and his Shadow” (solo show), Art Proposals, Nicosia, Cyprus. 2014: “The Theater of the World”, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; “This is Not My Beautiful House”, Kunsthalle Athena 2014, “No Country for Young Men”, BOZAR, Brussels; Forthcoming solo show: Casa Maauad, Mexico City, Mexico, 2016 (artist in residence).