Curated by Eszter Szakács
Nitra Gallery presents the newest chapter of the Quest of Query project by Theodoros Zafeiropoulos “Applied Altitudes”. Quest of Query is an ongoing, collaborative project initiated in Bergen, Norway in 2013. The exhibition showcases an installation of a 20-meter long landscape panorama digitally (re)mastered from over 500 images that were taken in Norway. This digital archive was manipulated by editor George Boulasidis and is printed with UV inject on pre-coated linoleum tiles.
The exhibition activates one of the core concepts of Quest of Query, the notion that “landscape is not innocent,” while it engages with the theme of the flow of development in the global system. The digitally processed photo collage presents an immense mountain top view of Fløyen, an amusement landmark and natural fence for Bergen. This symbolic mountain site, hidden from the city, is a culmination of a series of infinite digital transformations, in which the very real issues of global environmental politics today—such as the financialization and commodification of nature—are im-planted and compressed. The panorama contains numerous signifiers of human transcendence and interventions within an illusionary, sci-fi representation: machineries and constructions such as deep-water oil drilling rigs, power plants, touristic facilities, waste disposal sites, as well as solar parks, hydro, and wind power units as alternatives to fossil fuel energy production. This environment is not a natural habitat but a field of social and political imprints.
Applied Altitudes, as an invented model of perceiving the world, operates through the creation of illusion. This constructed environment of carbon footprints, human interferences, traces, and leftovers has “real” objects and elements, but taken as a whole, it is a “natural allegory,” an image of a non-existent conceptual land. The monumental panorama builds on the alluring illusion-effect, while it also contains the dangers inherent in the (ab)uses of nature. This picturesque synthesis, not unlike a testimony with morals, is more of a narrative than just an image; it is a display of parts of a new world that we are building for ourselves.
** The exhibition Applied Altitudes is the fourth chapter of the project Quest of Query. The first two chapters were presented in Budapest in 2014 at theinternational contemporary art organization tranzit.hu and at the Deák Erika Gallery. The third chapter will be presented at the Center of Contemporary Art of Thessaloniki (Warehouse B1, port, part of the State Museum of Contemporary Art) from January 23 to March 9, 2015, entitled Quest of Query: Interpretations of the Actual curated by Eszter Szakács.
Born in 1978. He graduated with honors from the School of Fine Arts, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (2003). He participated in the Erasmus program in the University of Barcelona (2001). He graduated with honors from the MFA program of the School of Fine Arts in Athens (2006). He graduated and was honored with the Paula Rhodes Memorial Award from the MFA program of the School of Visual Arts, New York, USA as recipient of the Fulbright, Gerondelis and Al.Onassis Foundations scholarships (2009). He participated in the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2009). He is a current PhD candidate in the School of Architecture, University of Thessaly. Since 2001 he has presented 8 solo shows and has participated in more than 50 international group shows, residencies, and projects in Greece, USA, and elsewhere. He received commissions to create site-specific installations in many institutions and Foundations including the Morton Arboretum in Lisle Illinois, USA, the Museum of Civil Aviation in Athens, and many more. His artworks are part of many public and private collections in Greece, Switzerland, London, USA, and elsewhere. Articles and reviews of his works have been published in many Greek and international magazines, newspapers, and web-media. In 2013 he was resident artist in the Flux Factory in NYC and the USF residency program in Bergen, Norway. In 2013 he was selected to represent Greece in the 16th Biennale of European and Mediterranean Young Artists entitled Errors Allowed, in Ancona, Italy. In 2014 he participated in the Photo Biennale of the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography. He lives and works in Athens and NYC.