LOST & FOUND – Soul Substitutes II THE RIGHT DIRECTION
The visual narrative of Dimitrios Antonitsis takes us back to Greece of the 1960s, the decade the artist was born; an attempt to investigate its strategies proven to be significant for the political structure of contemporary Greece.
The series Soul Substitutes, consists of silkscreened images printed on silver leather scraps from luxury cars. The imagery was found as well: a discarded photographic archive of the Hellenic Tourism Organization (HTO). Taken almost half a century ago, these photographs were part of the HTO’s “progressive” campaign aiming to promote Greek touristic attractions in the international press. However, with a twist: For the first time the famous antiquities were not the main subject matter but were displayed as a background to international celebrities visiting Greece. The photography was poor and highly photojournalistic. The only certainty is that the signified and the signifier are entangled together in dubious aesthetics where lifestyle is more important than tradition and cultural heritage.
To the glamorous international campaign of Greece, Dimitrios Antonitsis juxtaposes his latest large scale work Stunned: an installation of printed multiple aluminum foils referencing ephemeral domesticity and fragile homeliness. However, the image is entering the realms of the unheimlich depicting a close-up of the first victim of a notorious rapist in Northern Greece. The story of this criminal, The Ripper of Seih Sou, became a saga that fascinated and troubled the local news for several years. The artist claims ironically: “the victim is more important than the murderer”. (It was never clarified if he actually committed the crime).
Devoted and consistent to the use of aluminium, Antonitsis pays homage to Constantin Brâncuși in revisiting the Infinity Column. Antonitsis’ column composed of aluminium casts of traditional ceramic pots suspends from the ceiling. As he says:” this sculpture is the monument of Undervalue (of cultural heritage) and Adoration (of the design cult)”.