Aglaia Konrad, Mystery 3 Elefsina Mon Amour Elefsina, les images

Aglaia Konrad, OBSTAKLES, 2023
6 recto/verso uv print on canvas, metal rings, diameter 370 cm

A propos de OBSTAKLES, la dernière production d’Aglaia Konrad, Katerina Gregos, commissaire de l’exposition Mystery 3 Elefsina Mon Amour : in search of the third paradise, écrit ceci : 

Since the early 1990s, Aglaia Konrad’s photographic practice has examined the social, economic, political and historical parameters that shape architecture, public space and human geography in large urban centres and their environs. In particular, she focuses on the impact of globalization and rapid economic growth on urban space, observing the transformations taking place therein, in a series of homogenized non-spaces (suburbs, urban centers, transportation hubs). Konrad’s new photographic series OBSTAKLES (2023) is based on research in Elefsina and the wider areas of the Thriasian field that define and determine the routes of the distribution of goods. From the port of Piraeus where they arrive, to the hinterland of Elefsina where they are distributed and spread all over Europe, the Fyli landfill, where material waste is collected, the TITAN Cement industry, Hellenic Petroleum, and Chalyvourgiki steel mill and further afield to Salamis island, Aglaia Konrad documents the traces, effects and processes (political, physical, structural) of continuous commercial activity and its intersections with the environment, cultural heritage and social relations. Visual fragments and elliptical signs of consumer society and the supply chain make up the visual vocabulary of the OBSTAKLES series. Konrad observes and documents the multiple, intertwined mechanisms of production, distribution and disposal of goods, which take the form of a perpetual cyclical process in late capitalism. Her gaze departs from the logic of conventional representation and landscape photography, with the focus on places as lived spaces, emphasizing, rather, the need to analyze issues of landscape, architecture and interaction through a multi-level investigation that touches on intimate aspects of human history and culture. For the artist, her own artistic practice cannot be separated from the architectural particularities of the space where she presents her photographs. OBSTAKLES takes into account the specific space of the X – Bowling Art Center, and is presented in large double-sided circles, creating an architectural rhythm that disrupts traditional photographic forms of presentation, while reflecting the circular nature of the subject matter itself. The circle evokes: the wheel, coins, a clock, binoculars, or a flashlight while suggesting movement, rhythm and performativity. Finally, as part of her solo presentation at X – Bowling Art Center, Konrad also presents three videos which highlight the complex, very particular landscape of Elefsina: the antiquities, the urban construction and the sea surrounding the area, with close-ups of the circular ripples, a commentary on the ecological impact of tourism and overdevelopment.

Aglaia Konrad s’explique à propos de cette nouvelle production : 

The work was specially developped for this very particular space. Its part of my artistic practise to work with and from out the space and in the case of Bowlingspace
I didn’t want to divide the space by walls but use the existing columns structure (an analogy to the ancient columns).  I want the visitor to experience the work and the architecture of the space where its exhibit, work and display become inseparable.
The big circles are the work, caring the images and constructing a temporary architecture in the space. And there is no front or back you can walk through the space and see different imagery, as the circles are carrying images on both sides.

The narrative is a human activity looked at in the landscape of what I call the ‘banana’, reaching from Elefsina to Piraeus, a banana of human history starting at the archeological site in Elefsina going to Piraeus, as an example. A narrative of production, distribution, consumption, economies, ecologies, landscape.  Products being delivered at the port of China in Piraeus, transported to Elefsina for further distribution throughout Europe,

Departure for the circles was money, round are the coins of early civilisation and round is the image of a bitcoin.  But also a photographic lens, an zoom, a wheel, a clock etc
Like the scattered stones lying around purposelessly, the chain of industrial economical activities have sprawled over the landscape, with its daily routine from mythological past til ultramodern service industries. A hebdomeros feeling of time being past and passing.
Trade – Retail – Landfill – Walls – Sea – Migration – Ruins, decay, entropy….