Introvert / Extrovert
Kostis Fokas & Gerardo Vizmanos
OPENING FRIDAY 14 2020 / 20:00-23:00
SATURDAY 15 2020 - SUNDAY 16 2020 / 13:00 - 21:00
SUPPORTED BY ONASSIS STEGI
For their exhibition ‘Introvert Extrovert’ at Void, artists Kostis Fokas and Gerardo Vizmanos display a series of photos that is as much personal as it speaks to a general theme that overshadows their work: the exploration of the human body as a site of social and political enquiry.
By drawing on discourses around the construction of the self, body, queer, and posthumanist theories, the performative structures of their work look into the relationship between identity and physicality, while approaching a sculptural language to forge a new visual vocabulary. ‘Introvert Extrovert’ expands on the poetic nuances of corporeality and prompts the viewer to reflect upon the performative potentialities of the body against linear, culturally-constructed narratives that are so commonly visible in today’s society.
The interlaced images are filled with a powerful emotional charge; models occupying, appropriating and engaging with the photographic frame are addressing the human body as a site of aesthetic potency. Their posture reveals a sense of improvisation and their bodily presence, and the body’s expansiveness into space, constructs playful and surreal corporeal formations. Striking and immediate, fragmented and vulnerable, the subjects featured in these works are constantly in flux. A physical and spatial tension unfolds, as subjects and objects engage in an interplay of attraction, seduction, detachment and resistance.
In an increasingly alienating and unified world, the artists here question the body’s constant pressure to perform and to conform. Unwilling to succumb to the given norms of corporeal existence, the bodies strive to reclaim and reconfigure their bodily presence by embracing the body’s fluidity and vulnerability as a form of resilience.
Undoubtedly, in Fokas’ and Vizmanos’ photographic work, the bodies cease to be mere subjects to the observer’s gaze but playfully reverse that gaze back to us.
Gerardo Vizmanos was born in Bilbao, Spain and lived in Madrid. After developing a career as a lawyer, he studied photography in Madrid and in 2012 he was awarded the new talent support contest in Italy to study at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Since then, Vizmanos lives and works between New York and London. His work has been exhibited and published in Europe and in the United States.
Vizmanos’ work is focused on the human figure with special attention to aspects relating to movement. Vizmanos’ work is related to the perception of the subject and he proposes to undermine the idea that the self is a real thing. By avoiding portraiture and documentary languages his work deals with emotions such as, desire, loneliness, love, anxiety and sexuality. His work deals with emotions coming from the memory of a future with no past. As a result, his images become anonymous with no clear identity, addressing a paradox contrast between serenity with the tension of the latent emotions that are present and absent.
Vizmanos often works with people who have committed their lives to exercise the body from a very early age like dancers, gymnastics or acrobats. People who become a subject by making their performance a central part of their lives, placing the action and their physical capabilities as a central part of their being. Vizmanos uses his perception of their practice to connect them with the emotions of his own memory.
Vizmanos’ personal experience as a gay individual in a society which set clear rules he had to accept or deny have had an influence on his work. He understood that being gay was a political action based on building an identity to respond to how society addressed him. The despair and frustration caused by these conflicts forced him to search a meaningful understanding of his own existence that now inspires his work and his ideas about the subject.
Kostis Fokas, born in 1979 in Athens, Greece, is a conceptual photographer whose artistic practice revolves around the exploration of the complexities of the human body.
Fokas’ works have been exhibited in the USA and Europe including, The Louvre Museum, Colette in Paris, Art Basel Miami, the Benaki Museum in Athens and the Museum of Modern Art in Thessaloniki, among others. Fokas has collaborated with and published his work in Zeit Magazine, Les Inrockuptibles, i-D, Dazed & Confused, The Advocate, Gay Times, Gayletter magazine and many more international publications, websites and art books.
This year Fokas produced his first self published art book, ‘Untitled’ which covers a selection of more than 120 photographs spanning 7 years of photographic work.