Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Three Fathers

A painter from St Barnabas paints the world of His Dad
Famagusta monastery , Cyprus




126 x 70 x 45
wood, acrylic, plywood
kostis velonis

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Almost the same generation but with other destinations

National Youth Organisation (EON) 1936-41

Unified Panhellenic Organisation of Youth (EPON)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

You Never Walk Alone

154 x 81 x 32 cm
Steel, wood, plastic, acrylic
kostis velonis

Sculpture in the Service of Film Indistry

One of the first apearrances of Brigitte Bardot.
"Doctor at Sea", 1955, dir.Ralph Thomas

Monday, October 22, 2007

Jewish Wanderer

House of the Century

Interior detail showing window

House of the Century , near Houston, Texas, 1972-73

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Black kitten plays with bohemian seated with flowing beard

Traditions of the Royal Navy

Rum, sodomy and the lash...

Recently i discovered an interesting blog by the funny and inteligent Gavin Corder.
One of his plots was the following one: How would Nelson have fared if he had been subject to modern health and safety regulations?

"Order the signal to be sent, Hardy."

"Aye, aye sir."

"Hold on, that's not what I dictated to the signal officer. What's the meaning of this?"

"Sorry sir?"

"England expects every person to do his duty, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious persuasion or disability. What gobbledegook is this?"

"Admiralty policy, I'm afraid, sir. We're an equal opportunities employer now. We had the devil's own job getting 'England' past the censors, lest it be considered racist."

"Gadzooks, Hardy. Hand me my pipe and tobacco."

"Sorry sir. All naval vessels have been designated smoke-free working environments."

"In that case, break open the rum ration. Let us splice the main brace to steel the men before battle."

"The rum ration has been abolished, Admiral. It's part of the Government's policy on binge drinking."

"Good heavens, Hardy. I suppose we'd better get on with it. Full speed ahead."

"I think you'll find that there's a 4 knot speed limit in this stretch of water."

"Damn it man! We are on the eve of the greatest sea battle in history. We must advance with all dispatch. Report from the crow's nest, please."

"That won't be possible, sir."


"Health and Safety have closed the crow's nest, sir. No harness. And they said that rope ladder doesn't meet regulations. They won't let anyone up there until a proper scaffolding can be erected."

"Then get me the ship's carpenter without delay, Hardy."

"He's busy knocking up a wheelchair access to the fo'c'sle Admiral."

"Wheelchair access? I've never heard anything so absurd."

"Health and Safety again, sir. We have to provide a barrier-free environment for the differently abled."

"Differently abled? I've only one arm and one eye and I refuse even to hear mention of the word. I didn't rise to the rank of admiral by playing the disability card."

"Actually, sir, you did. The Royal Navy is under-represented in the areas of visual impairment and limb deficiency."

"Whatever next? Give me full sail. The salt spray beckons."

"A couple of problems there too, sir. Health and Safety won't let the crew up the rigging without crash helmets. And they don't want anyone breathing in too much salt - haven't you seen the adverts?"

"I've never heard such infamy. Break out the cannon and tell the men to stand by to engage the enemy."

"The men are a bit worried about shooting at anyone, Admiral."

"What? This is mutiny."

"It's not that, sir. It's just that they're afraid of being charged with murder if they actually kill anyone. There's a couple of legal aid lawyers on board, watching everyone like hawks."

"Then how are we to sink the Frenchies and the Spanish?"

"Actually, sir, we're not."

"We're not?"

"No, sir. The Frenchies and the Spanish are our European partners now. According to the Common Fisheries Policy, we shouldn't even be in this stretch of water. We could get hit with a claim for compensation."

"But you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil."

"I wouldn't let the ship's diversity co-ordinator hear you saying that sir. You'll be up on a disciplinary charge."

"You must consider every man an enemy who speaks ill of your King."

"Not any more, sir. We must be inclusive in this multicultural age. Now put on your Kevlar vest; it's the rules."

"Don't tell me - Health and Safety. Whatever happened to rum, sodomy and the lash?"

"As I explained, sir, rum is off the menu. And now there's a ban on corporal punishment."

"What about sodomy?"

"I believe it's to be encouraged, sir."

"In that case... kiss me, Hardy."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Folklore of the Universe

132 cm x 45 cm x 26 cm
Steel, wood, felt, acrylic

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

The force that drives the water through the rocks
Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
Turns mine to wax.
And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.

The hand that whirls the water in the pool
Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
Hauls my shroud sail.
And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
How my clay is made the hangman's lime.

The lips of time leech to the fountain head;
Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood
Shall calm her sores.
And I am dumb to tell a weather's wind
How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.

And I am dumb to tell the lover's tomb
How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.

Dylan Thomas

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Preparation for Stalin's Dacha

The Duration of Life

When God created the world and was about to determine the duration of life for all the creatures, the donkey came and asked, "Lord, how long am I to live?"
"Thirty years," answered God. "Is that all right with you?"
"Oh, Lord," replied the donkey, "that is a long time. Think of my tiresome existence carrying heavy loads from morning until night, dragging bags of grain to the mill so that others might eat bread, only to be cheered along and refreshed with kicks and blows! Spare me part of this long time."
So God had mercy and gave him eighteen years. The donkey went away satisfied, and the dog made his appearance.
"How long do you want to live?" said God to him. "Thirty years was too much for the donkey, but you will be satisfied with that long."
"Lord," answered the dog. "Is that your will? Just think how much I have to run. My feet will not hold out so long. And what can I do but growl and run from one corner to another after I have lost my voice for barking and my teeth for biting?"
God saw that he was right, and he took away twelve years. Then came the monkey.
"Surely you would like to live thirty years," said the Lord to him. "You do not need to work like the donkey and the dog, and are always having fun."
"Oh, Lord," he answered, "so it appears, but it is different. When it rains porridge, I don't have a spoon. I am always supposed to be playing funny tricks and making faces so people will laugh, but when they give me an apple and I bite into it, it is always sour. How often is sorrow hidden behind a joke. I cannot put up with all that for thirty years!"
God had mercy and gave him ten years. Finally man made his appearance. Cheerful, healthy, and refreshed, he asked God to determine the duration of his life.
"You shall live thirty years," spoke the Lord. "Is that enough for you?"
"What a short time!" cried the man. "When I have built a house and a fire is burning on my own hearth, when I have planted trees that blossom and bear fruit, and am just beginning to enjoy life, then I am to die. Oh, Lord, extend my time."
"I will add the donkey's eighteen years," said God.
"That is not enough," replied the man.
"You shall also have the dog's twelve years."
"Still too little."
"Well, then," said God, "I will give you the monkey's ten years as well, but you shall receive no more."
The man went away, but he was not satisfied.
Thus man lives seventy years. The first thirty are his human years, and they quickly disappear. Here he is healthy and happy; he works with pleasure, and enjoys his existence. The donkey's eighteen years follow. Here one burden after the other is laid on him; he carries the grain that feeds others, and his faithful service is rewarded with kicks and blows. Then come the dog's twelve years, and he lies in the corner growling, no longer having teeth with which to bite. And when this time is past, the monkey's ten years conclude. Now man is weak headed and foolish; he does silly things and becomes a laughingstock for children.

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

Monday, October 8, 2007

Under the flag of Modular Constructivism

For some reason I didn't know much about Erwin Hauer outside his perfect walls.
But regarding again his modular constructivism,
i understand more and more how his interior architecture was carefully based in his sculpture offering some new and unique patterns under the play of cool formalism.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Johnny Cash meets with Richard Nixon

Johnny Cash meets with Richard Nixon in the White House, July 1972

Friday, October 5, 2007

Things Living in the Studio Imagined late at Night and Song machines

An Interview with the artist Athanasios Argianas published at the free contemporary art magazine Mousse, Italy. Simone Menegoi (Fragments ).

Menegoi:The first works of yours I saw, were two small paintings depicting insects crawling on geometrical structures, reminding me of abstract sculptures from the ’20s. They were part of a series called Things Living in the Studio Imagined late at Night. Although they are quite early works, I think they are a good starting point for our conversation.

Argianas :The insect series were about inventing sculptures which wouldn’t be realised but they could have been done today in a shed somewhere as much as a “studio” in the ’20s. The insects were details, ornaments or kind of anti-modern agents if you’d like.
They were also devices that were meant to open up things, I needed a structure that could sit alongside the Song machine sculptures and not rationalise them or contextualise them too much, just provide another layer of language and be as independent and self-referencing as they were. That’s how they started anyway.

M:You mentioned the Song machines. A certain number of your sculptures bear this title. What’s a “song machine”?

A:This was a working title originally which I ended up thinking is quite correct. What I was doing was making these rotating/rotated scores using text with variations on smaller phrases, and the text was meant to be song-like simple and carrying a rhythmical quality due to its phonetic character and the variation/repetition method. The first few were “Proposals” as they were indicative of use, like props or devices you’d walk around and sing with/into.
By “Machines” I mean devices that generate meaning or content, rather than symbolise it or state it - they generate it, that’s how I mean the term.

S: I'd like to learn more about the way a sculpture can serve as a model for a musical score, and vice-versa. But before, I want to ask you to tell us more about the relationship between your work as a ‘pure’ musician (under the pseudonym of Gavouna) and as a composer within the field of visual arts.

A: Making music in or for the visual arts field is a different story, as I said the restrictions which I make for myself - for example that the structure of the piece has to follow a certain method, or the structure of an object - is what makes it part of the visual work. The common characteristic in the music installations is that they are played-back by viewers on a turntable, and last a few minutes or less. They’re just gone so soon, it’s like when you just heard someone talk to someone and there’s a kind of aural afterimage of it in your head.
In the music I make as Gavouna this framework isn’t there, and in either case I definitely don’t make sound-art.There’s references of course but in the case of the released music they speak a different language, they have different objectives.
The “translations”, or more accurately “encodings” I like to make, varying from very loose and intuitive ones to strict and accurate numerical methods, are kind of pointless in many ways. To translate a song into weight or the diameters of stars (both of which are projects I’m working on right now), or to write a piece of music in the form of a sculpture; there is nothing radical about these things, of course. But my translations are devoid of any ambition to objectively represent one thing into another (this would be truly pointless), the work is in the middle of these things. It’s the way thoughts and ideas are represented that I’m interested in.

M: There is an original hybridisation of styles at the very core of tour work, and a cross-over of the cultural references they bring with them, varying from Modernism to Folk Art. Because of that, it develops a kind of strange narrative - a web of narratives, actually, overlapped and layered...

A: I guess what you call narrative in this case is a kind of natural result effect of the way I work. To put it better, the framework of narratives rather than a conventional linear narrative. In that I mean the layers which may be read in the piece of music or a set of paintings and the chosen styles and their cultural baggage, I think all this can’t help but create the sense of a narrative structure.
The use of styles is central to the work, for me, as the ideas I revisit have a historical place and I don’t always want to strip them of it. I just don’t ignore where the ideas I use come from, and in many cases this is the starting point, for example in the Ondes Martenot pieces or the Theremin pieces. The ideals these instruments carried were embodied so well in their form and design, they were both very idiosyncratic inventions, precursors to the modern synthesizer but also demanding (especially in the case of the Theremin) a completely new understanding of performativity, breaking things down to two axes, and controlled without physical contact.
But then to whistle like a Theremin (which is what I did for the piece Music For Four Imagined Theremins) is of course a narrative, as well as a pretty damn painful thing to do, we aren’t made to whistle for a long time, your lips get sore and numb and the quality falls apart soon, you hear it in the recording.
And all this it makes it into a story.
I think most of my sources involve idiosyncratic understandings of the way things are and can be.

S: Modernism, folk art, the proto-Surrealist writer Raymond Roussel, biology, early electronic instruments, early Minimalist music... an eclectic and highly personal grouping. Where is your cultural interest heading, right now? What are you working on at the moment?

A: Well, all the things you mentioned just now are still around for me, but the materiality of the works is becoming more important, and the “Music By lightness” project is using copper and weights, and numerical coding; some find the idea of inverting numbers which represent weight - in order to talk about lightness - to resemble methods of the occult as its kind of Qabalistic. In principle they really aren’t, but then I’m into how beliefs are imprinted into the design of objects of any sort.
Of course my main concerns are visual and although the mechanisms are rational, most times the decisions and the aims are very much intuitive.