ΜΕΜΟS – Aias Kokkalis x Natalia Manta for Art for Tomorrow in Venice

The common project of Natalia Manta and Aias Kokkalis called MEMOS is the meeting place of the works of the two visual artists.  It is an ever-expanding series of diptychs, sculpture and 3d animation that takes occasion from the most important events in human history to talk about the non-human other. Each diptych is a phygital (physical + digital) work, a new kind of burial monument.


MEMOS live in the cracks of history. They are those insignificant organizations, the collateral losses, the necessary sacrifices, that cannot fit in the pages of history books next to a Julius Caesar, or a Christopher Columbus. They are the incredible real stories that are stripped from events like the eruption of Vesuvius and the destruction of Pompeii, just as the scanty paint and moss are stripped from a statue found underground, to be presented in the all-white pure form that man has made to avoids talking about the real history of the ecosystem that hosts it.

On a curatorial level, the idea revolves around the need to view the exhibition as an experience rather than a visual consumption. Through the “need of contiguity of paradoxical things” that Foucault talks about, the exhibition proposes a different approach to things in the light of otherness where through humor and imagination the signified itself is liberated and re-meaning.

 

The work of Natalia Manta
The memorial tools, or tools of memory, are a unit of ceramic sculptures, small in size, with an irregular shape and unexpected forms, which invite us to dive into our individual subconscious and confront the multiple forms and manifestations of memory. The fragile and transitory character of the clay material is surprising in relation to the exact representation of the resulting paradoxical depictions, like psychoanalytic ready-mades that refer to an archeology of knowledge. Memory tools, as their name suggests, have both utilitarian and intangible properties. Their earthy and familiar material helps to familiarize the viewer, while this familiarity is at the same time a trap for the eerie forms that are finally given to them. The viewer constantly has the feeling that despite their materiality, something constantly escapes him, because after all these objects do not come from the real world, but from the dream world.

 

 

The work of Aias Kokkalis
The work of A. Kokkalis, with a background in the film industry as a VFX artist but also as a computer scientist, emerges where biology, ecology, the machine and post-Vitruvian man meet. Deeply influenced by Donna Haraway, Rosi Braidotti and Gilles Deleuze, this is a research which, by means of realistic simulations and depictions in three-dimensional environments, brings back the non-human (posthuman) perspective of viewing the world to the fore. In this intimate-unfamiliar environment that is created, the viewer is invited to re-examine questions such as how we came to define something as human and what effects this definition has on non-human others.