Artist: Yorgos Maraziotis
Exhibition title: Monroe Springs
Venue: Base-Alpha, Antwerp, Belgium
Date: September 3 – October 10, 2020
Photography: We Document Art, all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Base-Alpha, Antwerp
Monroe Springs, the new solo show of Yorgos Maraziotis, swings between site and situation specificity; the interdisciplinary artist intervenes in the gallery space in order to create a sleek and salacious topos, full of eerie and disorienting elements.
Drawing inspiration from violent historical events and topographical schemes of Los Angeles, Maraziotis uses the very city as an allegory to question how constructed truth becomes collective belief, and how the pragmatic blurs with the fictitious. His references include infamous Hollywood murders, the 1992 deadly riots, the communities of Sunset Blvd. and in general the self-contained status of the sprawling metropolis. The exhibition’s narrative is based on literature, music, media power-structures and collective imagination, considering that the artist has never physically visited Los Angeles. In this way, he builds an intimate and alluring installation that resembles both a playground and a torture chamber.
By exhibiting for the first time together paintings and sculptures, Maraziotis shifts his role to a conductor of diverse mediums and techniques. The paintings are composed within a certain color palette while the sculptures bring together copper, aluminium, wax, glass, neon lights and plants. The works mystically combine familiar and domestic characteristics with sharp and discomforting forms. Their strategic alignment in space creates tension which drives visitors to shift their viewing agency from optical to somatic.
Monroe Springs highlights the coexistence of antithetical notions in the practice of Yorgos Maraziotis such as safety and danger, concealment and disclosure, fragility and rawness. This research engages with the intersection of promise and play as a precarious territory standing between excitement and inertia.
Born in 1984, in Athens (GR), Yorgos Maraziotis is an MA graduate of the Royal Academy in Antwerp. He has also studied Silkscreen printing at the School Of Visual Arts in New York City and holds a First Class degree in Visual Arts from the Wolverhampton University (UK). Ηe uses various media such as sculpture, installation, painting and publications, and often works in thematic series. He is a member of the participatory art group November and of the cultural initiative AthenSyn. His work has been exhibited in group and solo shows internationally, in galleries, art institutions and museums such as Marres House for Contemporary Culture Maastricht, Museum Tinguely Basel, AC Institute New York City, 7 Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, SVA New York City, Royal Academy Antwerp, CICA Museum South Korea, Benaki Museum Athens, Box Freiraum Berlin, Matadero Madrid among others. He is awarded with the 2020 Artworks Fellowship from Stavros Niarchos Foundation and has been a resident artist in Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA, USA). He lives and works in Antwerp.