Greek artist Thanos Zakopoulos of CTRLZAK studio based in Milano presented his solo exhibition “Between Realms” at Galleria Bianconi in Milano between 16 November – 21 December 2018.
–text by the authors
Time is the moving image of eternity. This is how Plato, in the Timaeus, defines time in our world, punctuated by the regular movement of the stars. The cosmos created by the Demiurge is a living organism whose temporal existence is marked by repetitive cycles that animate it like pulsations and breathings. But this transitory world is nothing but the reflection of eternity, of Aion, time that does not itself pass but allows for the existence of our time which does pass.
According to the myth narrated in Timaeus, the world was created by a divine artisan, artist, philosopher and scientist: an artist in being able to give a sensitive form to the idea, to give it substance in matter; a philosopher for the speculative capacity to contemplate the ideas, truths abstract and eternal; a scientist for the mathematical rigour of the laws that govern reality and render it intelligible.
But in what spacetime does the Demiurge operate?
This is the question posed by Anna Longo, a philosopher and curator, in her presentation text for the exhibition “Between Realms”, a solo exhibition by the Greek artist Thanos Zakopoulos, which opens at the Galleria Bianconi in Milan on Thursday 15 November.
The proposed hypothesis is that the Realm of ATHΑΝΑ (ΑΘΑΝΑ) is the interstitial dimension of creation, the liminal space-time between the a-temporal eternity of Aion and the empirical transience of its image, namely Chronos. This is the epiphany of the Artist – Demiurge presented to the people of this world through this exhibition.
Therefore, as a philosopher, the demiurge accesses the eternal idea and, as a scientist, provides the laws that allow the succession of events to unfold according to a certain necessary order in line with a set mechanism that follows certain rules or laws that ensure its functionality.
But it is as an artist that the demiurge has the possibility to choose the perceptible appearance and the rules of the world that are realised as an image of the idea, or in other words which film, of all possible films, will form the most appropriate image of the intuition. In fact, the same idea, as a virtual one, can be embodied to a plurality of worlds, or rather its image can.
As the author Anna Longo points out, this exhibition offers us the point of view of the demiurge’s interstitial dimension, the present between eternity and sequential perception. The works presented, do not reproduce in fact the chronological sequence of their production, as in a retrospective, but the exhibition makes explicit the sense of creation as the production of a moving image of eternity.
Contrary to what happens in a retrospective exhibition, that allows us to look into the past according to the incidence of the facts (order of perception), here we access the present which is the condition of creation of each past.
For this reason, each of the works offered by Thanos Zakopoulos generates, through a stratification of images and matter, in a continuous interplay between real and the virtual, a portal capable of transporting the observer in another universe, or better still, to put it in the words of the Artist, in another Realm, regulated by its own particular spacetime laws.
The images overlap without respecting a chronological order: from the point of view of the demiurge, to which we find ourselves elevated, the various frames are shown in the simultaneity of the present, a present which is the moment of creation for the entirety of the series, rather than the present of the perception that would last a sensible encounter.
The exhibition makes us aware of the fact that our personal history, the sequence of events that we have experienced subjectively and the things we have done, is a series of frames necessarily linked together according to the rules and laws that render it coherent in its totality as in a film, a cosmos which nonetheless, like all other things, does not have in itself any necessity.
“Between Realms”, therefore, is a short-circuit of sorts, thanks to which we can intuitively access the ideal conditions of the exhibition’s creation as a temporal dimension in which we are observers.
We are called, in fact, to elevate ourselves not only to the perspective of the Artist who produces the spacetime of our own perception of the exhibition, but to go further, to look beyond the mirror and see that on the other side eternity is reflected.
ATHΑΝΑ, as manifested through the exhibition by Thanos Zakopoulos, is the present of creation that makes possible the duration of perception, but which also makes us aware that every creative act is, in reality, the production of a moving image of eternity.
Thanos Zakopoulos is a creator of varied forms and contexts. An artist, a designer and a photographer amongst other things, he likes to bring together different disciplines and situations creating projects that balance between contemporary art & design. A keen observer of the natural world that surrounds us, he is interested in transcending the limits of conventional anthropocentric perception bringing together the fields of art, science & philosophy. He has participated in numerous exhibitions around the world and has given lectures in various occasions in Europe and China. In 2008 he founded together with Katia Meneghini CTRLZAK Art & Design Studio based in Milan of which he is also the creative director. When he is not there his research trips take him to strange places sometimes as far as the reaches of spacetime and beyond.
Thanos Zakopoulos will be amongst the speakers of the upcoming ΕΣΩ Interior Design & Architecture Conference which will take place in Athens on Monday, February 4th 2019. Book your ticket now, here!
Facts & Credits
Exhibition title Between Realms
Location Galleria Bianconi, Milano, Italy
Duration 16th November – 21st December 2018
Photography Tiziano Doria & Athanasios Alexo