The Ends of Art
In July 2013 Dr Altintzoglou curated The Ends of Art at Beton7 Arts, Athens, Greece, including works by himself and other British artists such as Jim Abernethy, Andrew Bracey, Cornford & Cross, Matthew Dalgleish, Dean Kelland, Adam Kossof, John Timberlake, and Alistair Payne.
The group of works included in the show addressed the conservative tendency of historians to declare the ‘death of art’ every time art goes through a critical stage in its course of development. Instead of abiding to such regressive doctrines the works in the exhibition turn to critical self-reflective strategies that echo the spirit of conceptualism in order to understand the new conditions of artistic production offered by recent technological advancements and social-political changes. Each work included in the exhibition dealt solely with the changing nature of a given discipline through another. In doing so, the exhibition investigated cross-disciplinarity as the means for a radical and thorough process of examination of the changing nature of art. This methodology is driven by a twofold intention: 1) to establish critical self-reflection as a recurring means for facilitating change in the arts, and through which 2) to eradicate the last remaining traces of humanism in art history: the dissolution of distinct art disciplines for the means of theoretical analysis.
Reversible, Dr Altintzoglou’s most recent solo exhibition at Beton7 Gallery, Athens, Greece (22/09/11 – 15/10/11), included two bodies of work (photographic installations, object-based and readymade appropriations) that examine the individual and collective dimensions of change as a response to the recent European economic crisis. The first room included a series of radical portraits focusing on the psychoanalytical dialectics between a desire for change and a concurrent reluctance for progress. The notion of change expanded onto the socio-political domain as the second room was occupied by a group of object-based installations that drew on issues around knowledge, trust and systemic flaws identifying ‘what needs to be done’ once a new individualism has been established.
In Soulseeker – a radical full figure self-portrait that consists of a set of x-rays mounted on a lightbox – we witness the problematization of the dualist religious ideology through the scientific methodology of the work (x-rays). The reflective properties of the mirror in the triptych Untitled encourage collaboration by opening up the process of production of meaning beyond the personal concerns of the artist while the employment of text of psychoanalytical nature enforces a confrontation with various prohibitions that impede on our personal development. Representation and truth is the focus of Trust, an installation that questions the representational validity of photographic verisimilitude. The dialectics of action and reaction are explored through an edition of twelve stamps that print the word ‘No’ in all major dialects. Finally, Panacia – an installation consist of 1,200 syringes filled with €12,000 spelling the acronym ‘S.O.S’ – confronts the dominant role of economics and their association with modern notions of well-being.
See Through Me: Walsall
In 2010 Dr Altintzoglou was commissioned to carry out a collaborative installation (See Through Me: Walsall) at the New Art Gallery Walsall, which ran throughout August, September and October 2010. The work took the form of a radical photographic group portrait, exploring aspects of identity and forms of representation through collective modes of production with the participation of the gallery’s audience. The I-D format (passport-sized photos) was employed in order to address these issues through the creation of an installation, which consisted of the remaining frames of numerous passport-size snapshots, where the face is cut off. The installation presented a mosaic of more than 500 people – or rather a collective self-portrait of the gallery’s visitors – represented by their clothing, haircut, race, gender, etc., signs of which remain evident after the initial removal of the facial area.