Dionisis Chistofilogiannis: Hi Ellie, I would like to ask you to talk briefly about your biography.
Ellie Antoniou: Hello, thank you for having us here today. My name is Ellie Antoniou and I am currently living in London. I am in my ﬁrst year of my Masters Degree in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, for which I got I one year scholarship from NEON. I spent the previous school year (2017-2018) in Athens, taking a break from London and initiating ERGO Collective, for which I hold the position of cofounder along with Antonia Economo, as well as curator. Before that, I did my Bachelors Degree at Goldsmiths University of London, on Fine Art and History of Art. In 2013, I attended the Foundation Course in Art and Design, at Camberwell College of Arts, London. In the past two years I have participated in another four exhibitions with the same group as this show: Clementine Bruno, Ruyin Nabizadeh (artists), Adele Koechlin, Julia Thoma (The Gold Figure) in London, as well as Paris and Basel, while in during the young life of our ERGO Collective, I have curated and participated as an artist to another six shows, of more collaborative and event based nature than the shows done with The Gold Figure.
DC: How would you describe your work?
Currently being in a transitional and explorative state, I ﬁnd it difﬁcult to deﬁne the nature of my practise. It could potentially fall under ‘digital/virtual sculpture’, which would engage within a dialogue between the virtual and the physical. I say a transitional state, considering that I have been mostly interested in the idea of our relationship to our surrounding environment and the landscape. However recently my focus has shifted to the human ﬁgure and more speciﬁcally, to the virtual body. Inspired by Bruno Latour’s Politics of Nature; How to Bring the Sciences into Democracy1 and Timothy Morton’s term of ‘ecomimesis’2, since 2017, I have been working within 1 2 the context of my personal cli-ﬁ (climate ﬁction); an ecological dystopia of the future, when people live under earth due to intense heat and winds. The ﬁrst piece within this terrain and still one of my favourite, was Overnature, 2017; a seven minute CGI (computer generated image) ﬁlm with sound by Milad Halvaei and narration by Catarina Dos Santos, map projected on a 2.5 meter steel curve mounted on the wall. While the visuals were a long horizontal shot of an artiﬁcial horizon line in a desert, the narrator, a youth of the future, explains the state of her times, when latest technology is used to simulate the experience of the horizon, something that her people have lost by living under earth. Today, intrigued by 3D body scanning, I am exploring the idea of what it means to be a sculptor, a greek sculptor, in 2019 with so much experience in the digital world. Inspired by the characteristics of the world in Underature, I tried to imagine the future of sculpture and due to difﬁculty of transpiration, it seemed most probable that sculpture would go all digital; holographic. It is in this context that I am working currently. In effort of this far future of sculpture, I have gone back to the origin of sculpture for Western Culture and my own country. As you will see in both videos of the exhibition, I have tried to simulate my life experience of sculpture; in other words, marble ﬁgures against a blue sky. The process of 3D scanning however, have raised further questions in my head concerning what it means to have a virtual self; to have a 3D digital copy of your form. It is on this note, that I collaborated with the ﬁlmmaker Christos Adrianopoulos for the ﬁlm shown in this exhibition: SenseTheDifference, 2019, as well as materialised by the choreographer Antonia Economo and the performers: Iraklis Kotsarinis, Periklis Skordilis, Xenia Stathouli and Xenia Tabourlou, for the activation of my piece Quarry_2130, 2019, an automated machine programmed to simulate the hand gesture of a hand during a 3D scanning process.
1 Feliu López I Gelats, “Latour, Bruno (2004). Politics of Nature. How to Bring the Sciences into 1 Democracy,” Papers. Revista De Sociologia 82 (2006): , doi:10.5565/rev/papers/v82n0.2054.
2 Emmanouil Aretoulakis, “Morton Timothy, Ecology: Without Nature. Rethinking Environmental 2 Aesthetics.,” Synthesis: An Anglophone Journal of Comparative Literary Studies, no. 1 (2008): , doi:10.12681/syn.16693.
DC: How you experienced the fact you exhibit in Athens a body of your work/research of the last months in London?
EA: Currently based in London, it is always a thrill to be exhibiting in my own city as a way to keep up with the art scene here, as well as seeing peoples responses to work that has been made in a different context. This time was especially important, with the two pieces I showed being inspired by Ancient Greek sculpture. I was anticipating since London, peoples’ reaction and thoughts on this digital take of the notion of sculpture and I was thus, very happy to see its appeal to the crowd. At the same time, our series of shows with this group revolving around the idea of dislocation and exhibiting in each of our hometowns, put an extra value to this show for me, considering I was the host this time. Even though we only had a few days to ﬁnalise the works and set up, it was such a fulﬁlling experience to be working with local carpenters and makers. It is also the ﬁrst time to be working in such a big space and though terrifying at ﬁrst, given that we are only three artists, I am very pleased with the result of the show and looking forward to our next exhibition.
DC: What is your view from the front? Do you have specific projects or goals that you are looking for in the near
EA: This question we would like to reply as a group.
Taking upon the your offer for the one month residency for space52, we have already started preparing for it and its consequent show: ALL DRESSED UP AND NOWHERE TO GO: THE SYMPOSIUM by THE THIRD POSSIBILITY
Revisiting the term ‘symposium’ and in fact its etymology: late 16th century (denoting a drinking party): via Latin from Greek sumposion, from sumpotēs ‘fellow drinker’, from sun- ‘together’ + potēs ‘drinker’, collectivity and crowd dynamic is key to our proposed project. We are considering the symposium’s multiple possible roots from various layer of origins: our research dating back to the Elefsinian Mysteries. Thus, the part of our title, ‘all dressed up and nowhere to go’, represents this regroupment of artworks as actant, waiting to be seen or looked at by an audience (or themselves), in an intertextual play (dialogue), engaging the works themselves, the artists, the audience and the space. To quote Ina Bloom essay “Media Animism: Rachel Harrison’s Living Images” : “Whenever you look there is appeal and beckoning, instruction and admonishment, a perpetual “look at me” as well as “do you see what I am seeing”1. Considering the symposium as a celebration, we thought of this form as a possible articulation for the show; this celebration forms through a set of sequences; a degenerative structure of distinct genres and forms of representation taking place in various locations and including different artistic practices. The project will aim to unfold a mode existence as being a state of ‘becoming’, a state when artworks become’ ‘alive’ differently, and thus in opposition to static modes of representation. Further from being a mode of existence materialized through the work themselves it will be emphasized by the core of the project itself as laying the ground for a non-conventional curatorial engagement. Thus, ‘All dress up and nowhere to go’, assembles a short-lived, yet ever evolving and malleable set of events.