When you daydream while walking—and, with your eyes set on the sky, you find that evidently you are not Hyperion, celebrated by Hölderlin in his writings, who lingers above earth—it is easy to stumble. Yet the daydreamer’s clash with reality is from another perspective a creative or even an insightful encounter, and one of the ideal media that causes people to fall over obstacles is sculpture. In this lecture, I will argue for a conceptual shift from the celebrated dexterity of the hand to the despised clumsiness of the leg. I will share samples of my work that stick to and never leave the ground. These works confirm the close dependency of sculpture on an onerous and yet surprisingly generative reality.
Kostis Velonis holds an MRes in Humanities and Cultural Studies from the London Consortium (Birkbeck College, ICA, AA, and Tate). He studied Arts Plastiques/ Esthétiques at Université Paris 8 (D.E.A), and he earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Architecture, N.T.U.A University of Athens. His sculptures, paintings, and large-scale installations are best characterized as craft-based compositions that construct allegories from the complex relations of history, class, identity, and the conflicts of the human soul. Velonis has participated in exhibitions and residencies internationally and in recent years (2018-2014) has exhibited at: The Value of Freedom, Belvedere 21-Museum for Contemporary Art Vienna; “Refusing to Be Still,” 5th Edition, Jeddah; “A Puppet Sun,” NEON -City Project, Athens; documenta 14, Fridericianum, Kassel; “Precision German Craftsmanship” Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart; “Urgent Conversations,” Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (MHKA), Antwerp; “This probably will not work," Lothringer 13-Städtische Kunsthalle München, Μunich; “Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915 –2015,” Whitechapel Gallery, London, “Super superstudio,” PAC, Milan, The Theater of the World,” Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, “No Country for Young Men,” BOZAR, Brussels; "Direct Democracy," MUMA, Melbourne, “HELL AS PAVILION,” Palais de Tokyo, Paris, “Newtopia. The State of Human Rights” Mechelen Cultural Centre, Scheppers Institute Mechelen, “Melanchotopia,” Witte de With Contemporary Art Center, Rotterdam.
Respondent: Mitra Abbaspour, Princeton University Art Museum
Supported by The Christos G. and Rhoda Papaioannou Modern Greek Studies Fund