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Petros Chrisostomou

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I photograph small-scale, ordinary, ephemeral objects in architectural models that I construct myself, and then dramatically arrange, often employing lighting and staging conventions of the theatre. With the alteration of scale and reversal of the relation between object and environment, between imaginary and real space, my photographs challenge the viewer's visual certainties. The illusionary effect I achieve highlights the artist's playful approach, which fluctuates between mimicry of the real world and construction of a surrealistic reality.
In my photographs, the exuberant assemblage of objects in luxurious interiors, create paradoxical still lives that parody the traditional memento mori style of the genre. In works Division and Forever, the objects I create out of shoes, wigs, fabric and glasses are freed of their ordinary use and become dynamic protagonists. Similarly, the details of the rococo set consist of everyday objects, functioning as contemporary cultural signifiers. These photographs become the field for mixing the high- and the low-brow, mass culture and genre painting, the luxurious and the expendable, as indications of social class distinctions.
At the same time, the relations between the real and the imaginary in this oeuvre are a commentary on the mediated images of contemporary mass-media that distort the natural and immediate dimension of our relation to reality, determining, among other things, the conditions for viewing and receiving art.

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