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Athanasios Argianas, Song Machine, 2015

Song Machines, 2015 (Installation view)

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Athanasios Argianas, Song Machine 5, 2015

Song Machine (A Chair For Your Memory) No. 5, 2015
Patinated and lacquered steel, text engraved on brass
29 by 30 by 30 inches
(73.7 by 76.2 by 76.2 cm)

Athanasios Argianas, Song Machine, 2015

Song Machine (A Chair For Your Memory) No. 5, 2015 (detail)
Patinated and lacquered steel, text engraved on brass
30 by 30 by 30 inches
(76.2 by 76.2 by 76.2 cm)

Athanasios Argianas, Mute

(Mute) Pause Series No. 1, 2015
Pink gold-plated steel, brass
30 by 25-1/2 by 25-3/4 inches
(76.2 by 62.2 by 61.6 cm)

Argianas_MuteDetail

(Mute) Pause Series No. 1, 2015
Pink gold-plated steel, brass
30 by 25-1/2 by 25-3/4 inches
(76.2 by 62.2 by 61.6 cm)

Athanasios Argianas, Song Machine, 2015

Song Machine (A Chair For Your Memory) No. 4, 2015
Patinated and lacquered steel, text engraved on brass
39-1/3 by 22-1/2 by 22 inches
(98.2 by 54.6 by 55.9 cm)

Athanasios Argianas, Song Machine 3, 2015

Song Machine (A Chair For Your Memory) No. 3, 2015
Patinated and lacquered steel, text engraved on brass
30-1/4 by 25-3/4 by 25-3/4 inches
(75.6 by 61.6 by 61.6 cm)

Athanasios Argianas

Installation view

Athanasios Argianas, Branching Music, 2015

Branching Music (Score sheet 1-29), 2015
30 C-prints
55-1/2 by 92-3/4 inches
(142.2 by 231.8 cm)

Argianas, Reading Machine, 2015

Reading Machine No. 4 (The colour of your wrist, in the autumn),
2015 (detail)
Text etched on brass finger cymbals, recycled paper, string (diptych)
27-1/2 by 19-3/4 inches each

Athanasios Argianas, Reading Machine, 2014

Reading Machine No. 4 (The colour of your wrist, in the autumn),
2015 (detail)
Text etched on brass finger cymbals, recycled paper, string (diptych)
27-1/2 by 19-3/4 inches each

Installation view

Installation view

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More on Athanasios Argianas

Athanasios Argianas
Swimmer’s Arms Are Oars

April 4 – May 7, 2015

Press
ArtForum
ArtReview

On Stellar Rays is pleased to announce the opening — on Saturday, April 4 — of Athanasios Argianas’s exhibition Swimmer’s Arms Are Oars. This is the gallery’s second solo exhibition with the artist, presenting a new series of his known Song Machine sculptures in steel and brass, photographs and related work on paper.

When read aloud, the title of the exhibition, Swimmer’s Arms Are Oars, has a particular sonic quality – the textures of s and w, fricative zee sounds, the word oars itself – that abstracts meaning into form, in a lyrical and playful manner. How the affective and emotive qualities of sound transform language and environment is one of the central issues in Argianas’s work.

A swimmer’s arms becoming oars suggests a metaphor for the transformations we undertake through our lived experiences: a process of adaptation and transformation tracking our daily life, how our habits and movements shape us physically and behaviorally, and ultimately presents an abstracted idea of form that is based on a more intuitive model of experience, similar to how we listen to music.

Argianas began the Song Machine series in 2005, the basic form being linear structures in steel, wood or brass, often draped in fluid ribbons of curved brass, and etched with text written by the artist. It alludes to the viewer’s body, weaving language throughout space and inviting the viewer to navigate around the work – suggesting an endless cyclical duration. Swimmer’s Arms Are Oars features four Song Machines based on the geometry of the seated body, specifically the dimensions of chairs, such as a modern cube armchair, a high back chair. The fourth sculpture (Mute) Pause Series No. 1 deviates from the others: it is made entirely of polished brass and contains no text. Instead, two casts of chewing gum in bronze and pink gold were made in place on the edge of the sculpture.

A sequence of photos of tree braches originate from a performance that took place in the gallery for Performa 2013, Branching Music (Under The Trees, Above You), in which slide images of the branch photos were used as musical notation for a Theremin. The photos are essentially the score for musical composition, and like the Song Machines, articulated by the shapes and lines found in our immediate environment. Additional works on paper suspend cymbals in paper, partly-hidden and engraved in text – alluding to a button, a wrist, partly-covered in the sleeve of a shirt, partly-tanned after a summer. These intimate drawings are succinct examples of a visual and aural poetics that permeate all of Argianas’s work, promoting a heightened sensitivity and attentiveness to the fleeting and ephemeral beauty of an actual, or imagined, experience of the space between the senses.

Athanasios Argianas (b. 1976 Athens, Greece) received his MA from Goldsmiths and studied at the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf, and lives and works in London and Athens. He is currently preparing a new commission for Whitechapel Gallery, London and NEON Foundation, Athens, and recently exhibited at Art or Sound at The Prada Foundation, Ca’ Corner, Venice; Objects Of Their Own Making at the Pulitzer Foundation for The Arts, St. Louis, MO; The Imminence of Poetics: The 30th Biennale of Sao Paulo at Pavilhão Ciccillo Matarazzo, São Paulo; Coquilles Mecaniques at Centre Rhénan d’Art Contemporain (CRAC Alsace); SilentSpaceStandStill at Tzisdaraki Mosque, Athens.

Other recent exhibitions include On Stellar Rays, New York (2015/2013); Aanant & Zoo, Berlin (2014); Performa 13, New York (2013); Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Berlin/Dresden (2012); Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, Greece (2011); Art Now Live, Tate Britain, London (2011); The Barbican Gallery, London (2011); Max Wigram Gallery, London (2011/2007); The Breeder, Athens (2011/2007); Rodeo Gallery, Istanbul (2011); Art Nova (with Pavel Buchler), Art Basel Miami (2010); EMST, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (2010); The Athens Biennale, Athens (2009); The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, London (2008); Arnolfini, Bristol (2007). In 2009, he was shortlisted for the Deste Prize.

Argianas is also a composer. Aside from the compositions that form the basis of his performance and installation works, he releases electroacoustic pop music as Gavouna – his mother’s maiden name. (Warm industry EP, Melodic records 2003; Stings & Dum Machines, on Arable 2005; and Falling EP, on Lo Recordings 2007).