Metamorphosis | PENELOPE VLASSOPOULOU

August 18, 2014

Metamorphosis/Kurfürstendamm from Penelope Vlassopoulou on Vimeo.

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METAMORPHOSIS: Project with vocabulary deriving from the city’s built environment. During the first phase of the project urban elements are documented through the collection of “traces”, documentation samples produced with the method of frottage, a non-intermediated way of capturing the element’s texture on paper. Subsequently forms and text residing in these elements are taken out of their initial context and given a new function during the creative process. The project explores the poetic potential of urban forms and the way historical memory is reflected in the city. “Metamorphosis” has so far taken place in Athens, Greece and Berlin, Germany.

Metamorphosis/Athens

The first installment of the project takes place in Athens in dialogue with the city’s “invisible” layer of manhole covers, pavement tiles, benches, etc. Abstract forms and patterns latent in these elements are documented in situ, isolated, and given a new – poetic – function in the “Improvisations/Athens” body of work. This consists of drawings executed in powdered pigment on paper with the repetitive application of a single form serving as the building block for the composition. Each form is connected to a “trace” (Trace A, Trace B, etc.), the documentation sample from which the form is drawn. Each “trace” corresponds to a series of drawings.

Metamorphosis/Kurfürstendamm

Here “Metamorphosis” draws on elements of the Kurfürstendamm area in Berlin and through the work“Hier Wohnte” expands in the fields of history and collective memory. At the same time, the practice initiated in “Improvisations/Athens” continues and is developed in the “Improvisations/Kurfürstendamm” drawings. A presentation of the work “Hier Wohnte” follows.

Hier Wohnte

“Hier wohnte” means “Here lived” in German. The work is an installation engaging in a dialogue with the commemorative brass plaques in the pavements of the Kurfürstendamm area for those deported and killed during the Nazi era. These plaques, known as “Stolpersteine”, are situated in front of the last freely chosen place of residence of the people commemorated. In the work the plaques are integrated into the structural form of a manhole cover located in the same area and situated on the surface of the work in a way that reflects the location of the respected plaque on the map of the area. The work is comprised of thirty six pieces of paper that carry the shape of the “Stolpersteine” embossed on their surface. Eleven bear drawings executed with powdered pigment in black.

PENELOPE VLASSOPOULOU: Visual artist, born in 1977 in Athens, Greece. Parts that constitute a whole or units that build a construction are recurring elements in Vlassopoulou’s work. Documentation re-emerges as a method focusing on the everyday environment and objects that carry personal histories. In her current work “Metamorphosis” urban space serves as the point of departure and a link to common human experience.

Penelope Vlassopoulou studied Painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts and Technology of Graphic Arts at the Athens Technological Institute. Her fourth year of studies in Painting was concluded at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles on a scholarship from the State Scholarships Foundation of Greece. Recent group exhibitions include “Obsession: Love, Ritual, Collection”, Embassy Tea Gallery, London, UK, June 2014 and “Lost Space”, João Cocteau Gallery, Berlin, Germany, March 2014.

 

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