Yiannos Economou

Video Art, photography, new media

Γιάννος Οικονόμου - Βίντεο, Φωτογραφία, Νεα Μέσα

WELCOME TO YIANNOS' ECONOMOU PERSONAL WEBSITE

Anemomilou 3, Kissonerga, 8574, Paphos, Cyprus. yiannoseconomou@gmail.com

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THERIANTHROPES

Video and Photography, 27.04.2022 - 18.05.2022 at A+

The video art and photography exhibition “Therianthropes” by Yiannos Economou will open on the 27th April 2022, at 19:00, at the A+ Multipeurpose Event Space, 266 Ermou Street, Nicosia. The work consists of six video screens playing in synchronicity with sound, and a small collection of photographs. The footage was shot in Cyprus, Bulgaria, and Iceland over a period of 10 years, with a contribution from musician Galina Dimova – Georgieva and sound artist Patricia Jäggi, on two of the five acts. This is the first part of a diptych, with the second part taking place at the Knapp Gallery of the Regents University in London in November.

This project, like many others currently, is a product of the new - post-pandemic and pre-environmental crisis - realities, a discernible trend, if not a total shift, in global perceptions. What is important is the cultural attitude of a - possibly religious - practice and not the artefacts, which depict creatures that are half human and half animals, known as Therianthrope, such as the Minotaur or Anubis. It signifies a self-perception of human society as an equal component with the rest of nature, a non-privileged group among many others living on the planet, in an arrangement of interdependence. This prehistoric state of non-separation between sapiens and the rest of the fauna and flora is becoming again essential for the survival of humanity, and the avoidance of major disasters in our biosphere. The awakening sensation that we are not invincible leads to the opportunity of a new, spectacular, albeit simpler, world with infinite possibilities and new pleasures, out of our techno-consumerist cave.

One could regard this video installation as belonging to the genre of landscape painting in the classical sense. Movement, sound, multiple screens and mechanically reproduced images and sounds are of course used, which formally differentiates it from a painting on canvas, but in principle it is expected to be viewed by static spectators in a standard indoor gallery set up. This contrasts with the interactivity, the use of natural elements such as sunlight, raw natural materials and objects, or even living organisms that contemporary environmental and land artists employ. However natural and human elements interaction have been incorporated into the work, often in serendipitous mode, such as the acting up of aggression by the arctic terns, and the dialogue between he chirping of the birds and the birds.

It also follows Joseph Beuys,’ and other artists’ turn to radical ecology, but diverges from the Symbolist and Surrealist depiction of animals and therianthropes as mysteries, subconscious threats, the “Other”, and who had a lasting impact on artists such as Francis Bacon and Louise Bourgeois (the Spiders) later. In popular culture it is the horror movies or quasi horror movies, such as the Birds, (for which there is an unintentional reference in the work) that demonised animals. And certainly, Therianthropes goes against the unethical exploitation of living things by Damian Hirst.

The exhibition will be on until the 18th of May 2022 Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 11:00 – 17:30, Saturday 12:00 – 20:00, Sunday 11:00 – 15:00 For more information: 22452885, 99413594

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Intellectual historians have never really abandoned the Great Man theory of history. They often write as if all important ideas in a given age can be traced back to one or other extraordinary individual - whether Plato, Confucius, Adam Smith or Karl Marx - rather than seeing such authors' writings as particularly brilliant interventions in debates that were already going on in taverns or dinner parties or public gardens (or, for that matter, lecture rooms), but which otherwise might never have been written down. It's a bit like pretending William Shakespeare had somehow invented the English language. In fact, many of Shakespeare's most brilliant turns of phrase turn out to have been common expressions of the day, which any Elizabethan Englishman or woman would be likely to have thrown into casual conversation, and whose authors remain as obscure as those of knock-knock jokes - even if, were it not for Shakespeare, they'd probably have passed out of use and been forgotten long ago.

David Graeber & David Wengrow: The Dawn Of Everything