Aikaterini Gegisian (b. Thessaloniki, Greece) is a visual artist of Greek-Armenian heritage that lives and works between the UK and Greece. Investigating, assembling and deconstructing archives of popular culture, she has developed a rigorous research-based practice, that examines the role of images in the production of national and cultural identities. Working across video, photography, installation and collage her work utilises a variety of audio and visual material, ranging from found images, location footage, archival and popular films. After a period of questioning the image as a historical document, her recent work marks a formal and conceptual shift towards gender identities, the sculptural qualities of photographic images and the photobook form.
Gegisian received a BA (Hons) in Critical Fine Art Practice by the University of Brighton (2001), an MA in Fine Art by Chelsea College of Art and Design (2005) and a PhD by Practice by the University of Westminster (2014). In 2019, she was an International Fellow in Art and Theory at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen (Austria) and in 2018 a British Kluge Research Fellow, at the Library of Congress (US), where she developed the ambitious archival project, Third Person (Plural), produced with the support of Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK and Arts Council England. In 2015, she was one of the exhibiting artists at the Armenian Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale, which received the Golden Lion for best national participation. She has been awarded the Nagoya University Award in 2001, and she was shortlisted for the First Book Award in 2015. In 2016, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art organised the first survey of her moving image practice.
Her work was presented at recent survey exhibitions including the 8th Brighton Photo Biennale, UK; 6th Moscow Biennale, Russia; 3rd Mardin Biennal, Turkey; 2nd Tallin Photomonth, Estonia; 1st Thessaloniki Biennale, Greece and 6th Gyumri Biennale, Armenia. Her work has been shown in museums, galleries and in festivals internationally including The Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, Valencia; the Whitworth, Manchester; Beirut Art Center, Beirut; Kunsthalle Osnabruck, Germany; DEPO, Istanbul; BALTIC, Newcastle; Calvert 22 Foundation, London; Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre, Athens; National Arts Museum of China, Beijing; Centre for Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki; Spike Island Gallery, Bristol; Kasseler Dok Fest, Kassel, Germany; Oberhausen Film Festival, Germany among others. Works of the artist are included in prominent private and museum collections.
Gegisian’s works on group show hypnagogia (March – June 2020)
Falling Tight by Aikaterini Gegisian is a series of photographic ready-mades gleaned from a heterogeneous body of material, including images of gymnasts and space missions, scientific illustrations of Einstein’s theory of relativity, flower patterns and autoerotic images from both Soviet and Western photo albums and magazines. In the series, the juxtaposition of different found mate- rial is expressed not as a traditional layering of fragments but as a type of de-collaging. The series repossesses pre-existing images and explores the cinematic logic of the jump-cut, which becomes a mechanism for reflecting on the constructed nature of representations and for alluding to a surrealist imagination.
Falling Tight sets against each other two nostalgias: the ideological conflicts of the cold war and the past of the photographic image. This double mirroring is translated as the double movement of the female body, ascending and descending in space and fluctuating between different poles. The diverse photographic images placed side by side connect the female body with a series of spaces (from outer space, to natural world and dream space) and compose a continuous sense of movement that expresses a re- lease and constructs a female experience beyond gender polarities. Moving between lovemaking and fantasy, the work both deconstructs and articulates female sexuality and questions how women are positioned literally and symbolically in the space of the future.