The ephemeral and fleeting value of objects: An interview with Vangelis Tzolakis


Tell us about yourself

Through my experimentations and particular ways (and, my duo  projects TÅHUME, with the invaluable collaboration of Tanja Kapoglou) I try to construct an individual visual idiom. Found objects, elements of mass culture, parallels drawn between our times and a distant prehistoric past, meditation on societal structure, identity formation, cultural peculiarities and the associations that intersect them are all contained in the trigger mechanism of my creative procedures. I dare to say that the aforementioned inspirations tend to, quite often, manifest in a symbolic manner. 

My visual patois undermines the stability of conventions while, in some cases, approximates the generally considered notions of cheap and bad taste. In some cases I try to defend the ephemeral and fleeting value of objects by bringing forward a possibly previously unthought of quality in them. My devices attempt an alteration or suppression of common understanding in order to allow my inner cosmos to emerge. My narrative despite its fictive, fragmented and hermetic qualities is my impression of and reaction to our world.

What is your main challenge being an artist?

I think it is more about balancing my everyday life and my art practice. I also have the need to know that when I am creating something it is because I really have to express something urgent.

Being raised in Athens, has this impacted your work and how?

Living in the so called periphery is a very big deal sometimes, a very multifaceted subject. I have covered some aspects of this topic in my work “BLAUHAUS”.

Can you tell us a bit more about Easyism Collective, how did you decide to create this collective and what are you working on with them at the moment?

Easyism Collective consists of 4 artists from 3 different backgrounds that London brought together. However as it became obvious from early on, initially as a group of friends and then also as a collective, the common points where clearly more, compared to the differences and also of a more fundamental quality. The current active members apart from me are Tanja Kapoglou, Alberto Maggini, and Sandy Lin. At this point we are working on a project that follows our current situation in a  somewhat documentary-like manner. It is a project that we envision and hope traverses and transforms with us in the following years, a deep dive.

Which are your biggest influences?

My biggest influences come from somewhat diverse backgrounds. Joan Miro, Paul KleeAlexis AkrithakisMetahavenRafal ZajkoHypercomfPavlos NikolakopoulosRyan TrecartinCharles BaudelaireTim Hecker are some of the names.

Is there any fictional character from literature or film you relate to ?

I would say Jodorowsky’s fictional self in the movies The Dance of Reality and Endless Poetry.

Name 3 books and songs that inspire you.

Quai Ouest by Bernard-Marie Koltès, In the Embrace of Kris Yaourti, y Otros Tachydramas y Weird Historias by Pit Koutrouboussis, A–Z Life Coaching by Keren Cytter

What have you been working on at the moment? What’s next?

Beyond the TÅHUME projects we are working on with Tanja, I am lately experimenting with music as a side-project. I would like to combine it more with my visual art practice at some point. We were also thinking about applying to some residencies as a duo but now, with the Covid crisis this is rather questionable for the foreseeable future. Another thing is that a few weeks ago Tanja and I formed a collective with two friends, Alberto Maggini and Sandy Lin, called Easyism Collective and we are currently preparing some exciting stuff

If you could ask one question, what would it be?

I am wondering about how will the Post-Contemporary be, and whether it will be at all.

FoIlow Vangelis on Instagram @vangelis_tzolakis,  @tahumeduo , @tanjakapoglou , @iziizm_collective or visit his website

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