24.05.2018 - 30.06.2018

Augustus Veinoglou - Station Retrograde

With his first solo exhibition at Elika Gallery, Augustus Veinoglou redefines the exhibition space by incorporating into the gallery architectural elements of an underground tunnel. What triggers it and guides it is the inextricable urban landscape with its inconspicuous structures of a hidden town.

The installation focuses on networks of invisible aqueducts, extending under archaeological sites, on subway tunnels, as well as on the excavation tracks formed by the archaeologists. It is an environment composed by three-dimensional, wall-mounted sculptures, associated with urban myths of the city.

Station Retrograde, emits an allegory regarding the definition of retrogression. Throughout excavations and a tendency to rake-up the soil, we inherit today the works presented at this exhibition, like fossils and machinery complex, pointing to an underground technological world. This process does not focus on the past. Seen from the future, the pieces converse with the destructible and indestructible, they become with the use of natural and synthetic materials the traces of a decomposing space.

Augustus Veinoglou (1982 Athens) lives and works in Athens. He graduated from Edinburgh College of Art, the University of Edinburgh -BA- (Hons), Department of Sculpture, -MFA-. He has served as an executive member of the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop and is the founder and artistic director of the Snehta residency in Athens. His works have been exhibited in Great Britain, Estonia, Holland, Switzerland and Greece, while he counts residency participations in USA, Italy, Turkey, Holland, Scotland and Greece. Amongst other artistic distinctions he has recently been awarded the ARTWORKS fellowship.

Special thanks from the artist to:

Rebecca Deutsch for her superb support during the preparation and setup of the exhibition.

Nikos Mantzios for the exhibition’s text and art contribution *wall painting.

Toby Short for his excellent technical support *metal work and arches.

 

 

Station Retrograde

Our first encounter took place in Edinburgh, roughly 15 years ago, in a dark basement where A, wearing a horse mask, played the guitar, sitting in front of an easel. A series of exploratory Sundays followed, checking-out bazaars in underground garages, along with afternoon visits to harbour pubs and foggy nights in the old underground town.

Throughout his numerous wanderings, A’s artistic research has been oriented towards space itself whilst his technique evolved as a portrayal of structural fossils and banished elements from the city’s marginalized extremities, which are architecturally reshaped like paired off memories.

The next stop was a large-scale construction, something [what?] -a Kippenberger-inspired monumental edifice, white on the outside and black on the inside-, like a hatch somehow that shields its own underground extensions, -while having all the traits of an architectural trap. It was a trap after all, a mastermind-conceived one, a space where one would enter into with the suspicion of it extending beyond, only to realise at the end that there was no space, but only time, -as we observed later on as well. These works of A flirt with the temporal distance, the parallel dimension and sometimes with the other as death. This – the chthonic presence – is probably the same tendency that paradoxically gives them the parameters of a melancholic aesthetic ecclesiastical space, and I say paradoxically but why not.

The next stop of A was the exploration of the Cappadocian caves, which was completed with a series of plans of troglodytic complexes which (and here) the interior is rendered as an external form. Probably the beginning of the germ of the creation of a community that eventually lived there five years ago as an artistic residency with the inverted name of A-t-h-e-n-s (final station) which – Athens – has a leading role at the present work.

It has the role of a mother- city’s uterus who is carring a station of the m-e-t-r-o in her womb [carring because it is not what it was but what will become]. This Athens seems to be explored here as if science and mythology were one and the same. Metro is indeed an investigation field of a hidden archeology with molds of components that combine materials of different periods. This station exists to link a dark prophecy of cement, derailed metal and black silicone to its forgotten prophet. An ancient Blade Runner whose damaged non-decoded bobbins adorn the showcases of Panepistimio station and who finally wonders why the wooden ramps have not been removed and why are archaeologists here among us (?)

 

Nikos Mantzios