Dr Euripides Altintzoglou

Course Leader (Photography) Senior Lecturer (Fine Art & Photography)

Email address: E.Altintzoglou@wlv.ac.ukPhone number: 01902 1948Location: George Wallis Building, MK702Faculty: Faculty of ArtsSchool/Institute: Wolverhampton School of ArtAreas of expertise:

Conceptual Art, Radical Portraiture, Post-Digital Image, Philosophical Aesthetics, Avant-Garde

About

Dr Euripides Altintzoglou explores the correlation of being, politics, and change in art, philosophy, and critical theory. He is the author of Portraiture and Critical Reflections on Being (Routledge, 2018), and co-editor (with Martin Fredriksson) of Revolt and Revolution: The Protester in the 21st Century (Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2016). His work is shown internationally in private galleries, public museums and biennales. 

 

Research interests

Portraiture and Critical Reflections on Being, Routledge, 2018 

The majority of the literature on portraiture lacks a thorough philosophical analysis of the relations between the problems of identity, representation, the artist-as-representor and the construction of the self. In particular, there is a failure to identify the pictorial, cultural and theoretical complexities of the traditional honorific aspects of the portrait and different artistic methodologies. Indeed, scholars have a propensity to romanticize the humanist individualism inherent in this long history of the honorific (derived from dualism), particularly in canonic portrait practices such as those by Rembrandt and Picasso.

This book examines how artists have dealt with being and its representations through portraiture by tracing this history through key philosophical concepts. As a product of artistic introjection and client negotiation, the portrait, is a complex and conflictual ideological vehicle for claims about the representation of the ‘self’. The key argument of the work is that the relationship between portraiture and philosophy is not causally linked in any direct sense, since such a position would presuppose the subordination of art to philosophy. Nevertheless, the relationship between dualism and artistic practice is seen as an epistemologically active domain for artists. This enables us to understand portraiture’s active contribution to the question of being through an analysis of the dualist and anti-dualist portrait (Rembrandt, Picasso, Warhol, and Conceptual Art).

The history of portraiture is examined, firstly by looking at the philosophical presuppositions that underlie the claims for ‘expressiveness’ - Platonic and Cartesian dualist thinking – and then secondly, by assessing various anti-dualist positions proposed by philosophers, Derek Parfit, Gilbert Ryle, Charles Taylor, John Searle, W. Teed Rockwell, in order to define the possibility of a non-dualist portraiture. This section focuses on the way key artists (such as Andy Warhol, Mary Kelly, Gerhard Richter and Art & Language) have questioned dualist portraiture’s humanist emphasis on the honorific and the face/self.

Grand Detour, Beton 7 Arts, Athens, 2016

Contemporary forms of political art face a number of issues. Firstly, the production of meaning often resorts to illustrative models of art-as-alternative news bulletins. Secondly, it is becoming increasingly difficult to justify the production of objects in a world of heightened technological reproduction and copies. Hence: where does the radical potential of object-based lie currently, given that recent theories of the avant-garde (Boris Groys, Marc James Léger, John Roberts) advocate an abandonment of the object and a (re)turn to artistic dematerialisation? ‘Grand Tour’, addresses these issues by asking a further question: what, therefore, are the cultural implications of exhibiting work in galleries after New-Genre public art, relational art and recent participatory practices?

In the early avant-garde, the found object (readymade) questioned singular authorship by rejecting traditional craft-skills and bringing to the fore immaterial aspects of artistic labour. In ‘Grand Tour’ the 'stolen' readymade goes one step further by ‘liberating’ it from its commodified destiny within the system of civic and commercial exchange. Hence works included in Grand Detour are, not simply ‘shoplifted’, so to speak, as anti-art gestes, but rather, instances of how the deregulated or re-contextualized found object can open up critical reflection on questions of possession and power. Thus, these ‘liberated’ found objects need to be seen more properly as having been withdrawn from civic and commercial sites: businesses, health centres, political institutions, civic centres, and governmental offices.

This collection of works does not simply address socio-economic issues; but attempts to reflect on new forms of political agency in art. The methods employed are drawn from the legacy of Situationism, while breaking new ground through the employment of ‘theft’ objects as a creative mode of production. In bringing these objects into the gallery, the exhibition reveals how commodity exchange, and the life of the gallery are interdependent.

Revolt and Revolution: The Protester in the 21st Century, Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2016

This co-edited collection of essays points to how revolts, social unrest and revolutions are ever present in our everyday lives. Since the Arab Spring (2011) call for systemic change have continued to spread, from the anti-austerity street marches in Europe and the progressive ‘No Borders’ global movement, to protests against neoconservative and xenophobic populist movements. In this sense revolts take many shapes and forms and as such are not confined solely to attempts to overthrow governments and other less dramatic interventions in national and international contexts. Technological, economic, social and cultural revolutions are continually emerging, sometimes openly, sometimes covertly and incrementally. This volume of essays offers a range of critical perspectives on this expanded nature of revolt, revolution and resistance. My contribution to the volume consists in co-writing the Introduction, editing half of the chapters, and contributing a chapter (‘Deflowered Revolution’).

This book explores how recent revolts, social unrest and calls for systemic change, question and alter established structures. The contributors offer a dialogue between a wide range of new critical synergies and interdisciplinary perspectives on revolts and revolutions, from outright political coup d’états to ‘alternative’ cultural revolts and revolutions that have emerged through art, media, sexuality, subcultures and institutions such as universities, hospitals and financial institutions.

‘Deflowered Revolution’ expands the general discussion of revolt to an analysis of the way in which the reproduction of social reality not only suppresses the possibility of change, but also releases latent potentialities, which confront the agent with the possibility of defining and claiming his or her own freedom. In turn, this notion of political responsibility is also examined through an assessment of ‘looting and politics’ in relation to the riots of a few years ago, questioning the extent to which it is possible to find political agency in such seemingly de-politicised acts.

Sunbeam series, Making of Mordor, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, 2014

Recently there has been a strong resurgence of interest in photographic typologies that engage with the ‘machine,’ ‘machine culture’, and the impact of new forms of industrialisation (Chris Jordan, Yeondoo Yung, Stéphane Couturier). The Sunbeam series derives from this new industrial typological work. The series was part of a group exhibition (Making of Mordor) that asked for reflections from artists Olafur Eliasson and Richard Billingham, photographer Brian Griffin, and myself, on the changing post-industrial landscape of the West-Midlands. The reference to Tolkien’s own critical relationship to the industrialization of the West Midlands, narratively framed the exhibition.

The Sunbeam project consists of a typological sequence of gates of abandoned industrial sites in the Wolverhampton area, documenting a transition in the local economy and its effects in shaping local history and contemporary culture. The design of industrial gates is generally driven by a respect for functionality and not by aesthetic concerns. Yet, time and the traces of labour have left marks that document the various uses of these sites, in turn, transforming them into iconic monuments of an industrial past that is increasingly invisible, but has played a major part in the formation of the region’s post-war identity.

All images were shot positively under complimentary bright daylight in order to avoid the commonplace and clichéd melancholic approaches to similar subjects. This enables conflicting aspects to come into play, which both reconfigure Walter Benjamin’s allegorical notion of the ‘ruin’ and revises the ‘straight’ and objective methodology that derives from the ethnographic photographic typologies of Bernd and Hilla Becher and the Düsseldorf School of Photography. As a result, these gates by extension represent both the industrial decline of the Black Country area, and act as monuments to the cultural significance of this industrial past.

Publications

Books

2018    Portraiture and Critical Reflections on Being, Routledge (ISBN: 9781138580602), New York, U.S.A  

2016    Grand Detour, Beton7 Arts, exhibition catalogue essay for Grand Detour show, Athens, Greece

2016    Revolt and Revolution: The Protester in the 21st Century, co-edited with Martin Fredriksson, Inter- Disciplinary Press (ISBN: 978-1-84888-456-4), Oxford, U.K.

2013    The Ends of Art, Beton7 Arts, exhibition catalogue essay for The Ends of Art show, Athens, Greece

2011    Reversible, Beton7 Arts, exhibition catalogue essay for Reversible solo show, Athens, Greece

 

Journal Articles

2019    Digital Realities and Virtual Ideals: Portraiture, Idealism and the Clash of Subjectivities in the Post-Digital Era, Photography and Culture, vol. 12, issue 1 (doi:10.1080/17514517.2019.1565290)

2018    The Critical Invariant: Avant-Garde & Change, Art in the Public Sphere, vol. 7, issue 2 (doi: 10.1386/aps.7.2.145_1)

 

Edited Publications

2013    Issue 3, Desearch: Postgraduate Journal of Art & Contemporary Culture, U.K.

2012    Issue 2, Desearch: Postgraduate Journal of Art & Contemporary Culture, U.K.

2011    Issue 1, Desearch: Postgraduate Journal of Art & Contemporary Culture, U.K.

 

Essays

2012    Deflowered Revolution, It’s Alive, vol. 1, no. 13, London, U.K.

2011    Divine Surrogacy, It’s Alive, vol. 1, no. 12, London, U.K.

2011    Coup de Democratie (II): What Needs to Be Done, It’s Alive, vol. 1, no. 11, London, U.K.

2011    The Grand Detour, It’s Alive, vol. 1, no. 10, London, U.K.

2011    Blood, Sweat & Fears, It’s Alive, vol. 1, no. 9, London, U.K.

2011    The Liquidation of Romance, It’s Alive, vol. 1, no. 8, London, U.K.

2010    License to Serve, It’s Alive, vol. 1, no. 7, London, U.K.

2010    Thespis’ Early Retirement, It’s Alive, vol. 1, no. 6, London, U.K.

2010    Coup de Democratie (I), It’s Alive, vol. 1, no. 5, London, U.K.

2010    Burnt Taste, It’s Alive, vol. 1, no. 4, London, U.K.

2009    The Inquisition of Ambition, It’s Alive, vol. 1, no. 3, London, U.K.

2009    The Dehydration of Electronica, It’s Alive, vol. 1, no. 2, London, U.K.   

2009    Punk’s Dead, It’s Alive, vol. 1, no. 1, London, U.K.

 

Other Publications

2012    Obituaries (Series 1), radio shows, broadcasted by Flash Art International Radio, New York, USA & Beton7 Art Radio, Athens, Greece

 

Conference Papers

2018    Fictive Thesaurus: Semiotic Multivalence & Transactive Indexes, Images in the Post-Truth Era, Birkbeck College, University of London, U.K.

2017    Towards the Transcended Event: The Role of Light in Photographic Re-Presentation, Imaging Ourselves, 8th International Conference on the Image, Venice International University, San Servolo, Venice, Italy

2017     The Critical Invariant: Avant-Garde & Change, University of Lincoln, U.K.

2017     Euripides Altintzoglou:  A Critical Review, The Collection, Lincoln, U.K.

2016    The Emperor’s Only Clothes:  Avant-Garde & Perpetual Change, Agency and Crisis: Scenes from Political Philosophy and Contemporary Art, University of Wolverhampton, U.K.

2016    Digital Realities and Virtual Ideals: Portraiture, Idealism and the Clash of Subjectivities in the Post-Digital Era, Face Value: Personification and Identity in a Post-Digital Age, 7th International Conference on the Image, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool. U.K.

2015    Photography and Its Violations, Panel Chair, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, U.K.

2014    Deflowered Revolution: An Ethical Examination of Neo-liberal Tactics of Pacification, Revolt & Revolution: 2nd Global Conference, Prague, Czech Republic

2014    Erosion and Illegibility of Images: Blocked Vision and Self-Reflexivity in Contemporary Art, Panel Chair, New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, U.K.

2012    Illuminated Nature: Presentation & Re-Presentation in Photography, Photography & The Art of Print, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK

2008    A Classic Modernism, Forgotten Modernisms, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK

Experience in industry

Solo Exhibitions

2017    Object Relations, with Christian Mieves, Nuneaton Art Gallery, U.K. 

2016    Grand Detour, Beton7 Arts, Athens, Greece

2011    Tupperware Project, with Nick Charalampidis, 3rd Biennale of Athens, Athens, Greece

2011    Reversible, Beton7 Arts, Athens, Greece

2011    Beginnings, 17th International Short Film Festival, Drama, Greece

2010    See Through Me, The New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, U.K.

Group Exhibitions

2017    Capital(e) Lumière, Maison Victor Hugo, Besançon, France

2016    Midpointness, Airspace Gallery, Stoke-upon-Trent, U.K.

2016    Vidéo Capitale 2016, Champlitte, France

2014    Making of Mordor, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton, U.K.

2014    (detail), H-Space, Bangok, Thailand; Transition Gallery, London, U.K.

2013    Vidéo Capitale 2013, Fresne-Saint-Mamès, France

Curated Exhibitions

2019    Mahtab Hussain: The Quiet Town of Tipton, Wolverhampton School of Art, University of Wolverhampton, U.K.

2018    Dieter Blum. XTC. Dance and Eros, Wolverhampton School of Art, University of Wolverhampton, U.K.

2013    The Ends of Art, Beton7 Arts, Athens, Greece