Laughing to the Joke Told by the Sour Oranges

Curated by Hugo Wheeler

No Narrator for the story

Listening to the music on the street you get carried away by the groove

In a daydream you forget and start to giggle

It could be you, it could be me or it could be the sour oranges and you are just laughing at their jokes on a walk one sunny morning

Aristeidis Lappas presents a body of work that initiates an altered interpretation of his mother city, Athens. Throughout the series Lappas questions how we choose to perceive the streets and what we colloquially attach to these environments, contextualising fleeting moments of the everyday. Lappas evokes a conscious naivety envisioning encounters we all undertake whilst walking these streets, presenting these familiar scenes with a humour and serene modesty. When entering the show form and aesthetic concern amalgamate into one, individual works contribute to the enigma of the street, while simultaneously engaging in their own characters. Spectators are invited to see the space not merely as a generic white box, but a place of happening, a ‘communication zone’, a place of non-scripted social interaction. Lappas adopts narrative through the eyes of the bystander thus being left anonymous raising questions as to how we choose to perceive these surroundings. Lappas uses abstraction not as a form of ambiguity, but as an instrument for question and a form of exploration, pushing familiar imagery to its limits. The series shifts principles of simplification and reduction from the tangible world to a completely visceral matter, producing a phenomenon of presence. Lappas foresees a withdrawn space resisting a conformed narrative; form escapes any form of purity or hierarchical materiality, creating matter that manifests a presence, as opposed to material imitating the illusion of presence. The removed narrator is connected to aesthetic experience, bound only to symbolic function within the work. At a time when the standing of artistic production within Athens tends to gear towards socio-economical downfalls, Lappas utilise abstraction as a form of non-objectivity, yet still self-conscious and specific in form, thus linking to ideas of utopia, a far cry from the dystopia Athens can be to easily branded within. Abstraction is perceived as a semi-autonomous zone, a materiality that is far from attained, emulating a neo-romanticism of the street paradoxically being far from concrete. Lappas work connects with the idea of ‘no place’ a term ancient Greek equates to utopia.

Text: Hugo Wheeler

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