Posts Tagged ‘Kostis Fokas’

Eyeshadows

Next Thursday in conjunction with the ArtHole exhibition launch, local electronic duo the Eyeshadows will join us in the laser basement for a special live performance at 8pm. As they’ll be celebrating the launch of their debut EP, we caught up with Y.O.T.I. and Mark from the Eyeshadows to find out behind their sound and ethos…

How did Eyeshadows come into being?

Everything started from a simple loop, playing around with a voice processor and the band name EYESHADOWS. That was all we had. I think we both had an instinct for the type of band we’d like to be but nothing was set in stone. It’s been interesting seeing the band almost take on a life of its own. It’s all been very organic.

What one record from the others collection sums up for you the point where your taste converges?

MARK: I’d gladly take Dirty Sanchez’s Really Rich Italian Satanists EP from YOTI’s CD rack. I’m not a huge fan of electronic music as I’m more of sweaty punk kid, but I loved the electroclash/elektro scene from the early 2000s which YOTI introduced me to. It had an energy and attitude and sense of humour, which I feel electronic music often lacks. It wasn’t “funky” it was rough and I do like a bit of rough.

YOTI: Even if I’m not a great fan of what Morrissey’s turned into, I have to say that his first solo album Viva Hate is one of those mile stone records in my life. That’s one of the records that I believe means a lot for Mark too and we both admire his ability as a lyricist. It must be obvious to everyone that he was always trying to empathize or connect with his audience on an emotional level and that’s something to admire.

What are your individual musical backgrounds?

MARK: I’ve been a variety of bands since my teens. Singing, playing guitar and trying to be Kate Bush.

YOTI: I did a fine art installation around eight years ago about a fictitious pop star, so I had a go at producing some tracks for that without any previous musical knowledge. I wasn’t really happy with the results but I used them for the project which went really well. Four years ago when I had a bit of a break from the visual arts I thought of trying again as I go a bit loopy when I am not creating. This time it worked for me and I got really into it. I created a solo project and EYESHADOWS grew out of that.

You’ve been performing live for two years now, how come it’s taken so long for you to get in the studio and make your first EP?

We’ve been perfecting our art, slowly, carefully with precision.

Tell us how you came to work with photographer Kostis Fokas for the EP artwork….

We discovered his work on a variety of sites and fell in love. We felt what he was doing which in some way tied in with the music that we’ve been trying to make and so approached him to see if he’d be interested in working with us and were delighted when he said yes. Kostis is an incredible guy and amazing artist and we’re thrilled to be working with him.

Eyeshadows EP cover by Kostis Fokas

If you had a time machine and could go back in time to any dancefloor anywhere/anywhen, where would you want to go dancing?

YOTI: Studio 54 in 1977, FAZ an Athenian Club in the early ’90s and Nag Nag Nag in 2002.

Mark: Donnington Monsters of Rock festival 1995 in a mosh pit, at the front being squashed by 10,000 metal fans.

What will your live set encompass?

Moving imagery, darkness, smoke, flashing lights, dirty looks, heavy petting.

Why is it important to have a multimedia aspect to the Eyeshadows?

We think pop music is a visual medium and that all great pop music is linked to a strong iconic visual identity. When you begin to combine music and imagery or film you can create something incredibly powerful and that’s what we try and do. Whether that’s with the videos we’re producing or our performances. Some of the imagery we’ve used for our videos could be considered controversial, but we’re not intending to shock. Whatever we do, we do to strengthen the message and the experience of our music.

Sum up the EP in one sentence?

A friend of ours described us as sounding like “The best post-club shower sex you’ve ever had” so we’ll go with that.

Join the EYESHADOWS for their EP Launch at Dalston Superstore on Thursday 5th February between 8-9pm.

Kostis Fokas

Tonight sees The Queer Archive present the first UK solo exhibition from Greek photographer Kostis Fokas. I Am Not Malfunctioning, You Are, explores the human body in a provocative manner, using faux-eroticism as a window to the artist’s surreal alternate universe. Ahead of tonight’s private view party with DJs A Man To Pet, 2Dads’Boy, Nic Fisher, Jacqui Potato and Miss Lexi Shu, we caught up with photographer Kostis to find out more behind the images themselves… 

What is your favourite body part to photograph and why?

What made the creation of this project so enjoyable was the intimate look of the human body through my lens – either mine or other models’ bodies (basically those of my friends). I became familiar with it and loved it even more! In this particular project I worked with human genitalia and came very close to it. I had so much fun, eventhough I sometimes felt quite awkward. I would definitely do it again!

Do you carefully plan out your composition in advance or do you work more spontaneously? 

Despite the spontaneity that seems to exist behind those images, many of them were already captured inside my mind for quite a longtime even before embarking upon the actual shoot.

By Kostis Fokas

Do you find your own images erotic- as opposed to finding eroticism within the images?

The images of the I’m Not Malfunctioning, You Are, are not meant to be erotic photographs. Although I must admit that there are sexual messages which I want to pass through this series of images. The naked bodies serve as a metaphor for how we feel when we get undressed, the uncomfortable feeling of exposing ourselves. So with these I felt myself to be exposed.

What influence does your upbringing in Crete have on your work? 

Crete for me works as my refuge. It was the place where I found myself and the place where I am able concentrate on the things that are important to me. A place away from cities which distracted from the things that I want to do. What I managed was to find myself again and discover the true goals I want to achieve.

It was like the right place at the right time.

What’s the meaning behind the name, I Am Not Malfunctioning, You Are? 

I created the title of the project when I came across ‘glitch art”, and I was trying to find its deeper meaning. When something doesn’t work properly, then the malfunction gives meaning to the artwork. That’s my inspiration and that’s how I developed the whole project. It is something very personal – how it feels to be the malfunctioning one, when society wants you to be absolutely perfect. How it feels to push to be someone else, someone completely different from who you are. Through my work I try to accept myself… and to be real!

Who are your art heroes (of any medium)? 

I’m more into great pictures than great photographers or artists.

Anonymity is recurrent in your photos- can you explain why your subjects are always faceless and concealed and yet naked? 

The main idea behind this project is to give to those bodies the opportunity to talk about my story. It is almost as if you let the body explore itself, speak for itself on what is carrying in it.

For me these bodies are not faceless. They are perfect, and no facial expression would make them more complete.

What’s your personal favourite image from the full series, and how did it come into being? 

That’s a good question… I think that the picture where I’m in my boyfriend’s shorts is my favourite. That’s the reason why I used this image for the exhibition poster, as well as why it is the most representative of the project. It is the most personal photograph, with the most personal message for me. I am looking straight into the camera but you can’t see my eyes – I am hiding, but at the same time I am so exposed to peoples eyes.

 By Kostis Fokas

Describe the alternate universe we can see through the frame of your photos… 

For me it is not easy to live and concentrate in this world. There are so many things that I can’t accept, so I always try to find ways to escape. Even being a normal guy is sometimes difficult for me. This is exactly how I felt at the time I created these images. The alternate universe is my surreal world, where everything is under my conditions and my own rules. My work is the place where I feel totally safe.

Join Kostis tonight for the private view of I’m Not Malfunctioning, You Are at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 3am.

I AM NOT MALFUNCTIONING, YOU ARE

I AM NOT MALFUNCTIONING, YOU ARE

A photography exhibition by KOSTIS FOKAS

Presented by THE QUEER ARCHIVE and DALSTON SUPERSTORE

PRIVATE VIEW – Friday 14th November 2014

EXHIBITION RUNS – 15.11.14 – 08.02.15

CURATORS – Saskia Wickins & Konstantinos Menelaou

ASSISTANT CURATOR – Emily Bryson

DALSTON SUPERSTORE 117 KINGSLAND HIGH STREET, LONDON, E8 2PB  

In his first solo exhibition in the UK, Greek photographer Kostis Fokas presents a selection of photographs from his series “I Am Not Malfunctioning, You Are”.

The exhibition provides an unparalleled insight into Fokas’ evocative work and shines a light on his world of erotic surreality.

In this body of work Kostis Fokas searches for a new take on the human body and seeks to explore its infinite capabilities. 

His photographs are a testimony of human sculpture; a landscape where the bizarre meets the ordinary.

In this alternate universe, everyday objects and props are contrasted with partial nudes and covered faces, suspended somewhere between reality and fantasy.

As the title suggests, the artist allows his models to interact freely, most of the times in uncanny and unpredictable ways, often conveying a sense of surrender and submissiveness.

Instead of capitalising on the feelings of the objects portrayed through the use of faces and expressions, Fokas shifts his focus on the complete freedom pertained to the image of a human body. “Stripped from its clothes, I leave it fully exposed and completely surrendered”.

Fokas views the exhibition as the conclusion and completion of the creative process surrounding this series of work and as an intermediary step for new projects to follow.

For this next exhibition Dalston Superstore is proud to welcome a very long awaited collaboration, colliding two elements that have ran perfectly in unison for some time, The Queer Archive.

The Queer Archive is a platform for visual content and communication. Through a series of parties and events the Queer Archive brings together established as well as new artists and assists them for the production and exhibition of their practice in their chosen art form.

The Queer Archive is also an online library of film and video work, a point of reference beyond contemporary trends and persuasions. Its content covers current as well as older issues and our contributors span from a wide range of backgrounds and agendas.

For sale and press

art@dalstonsuperstore.com

konstantinos@thequeerarchive.com

@galleryDSS

***This is Saskia Wickin’s final curtain call curating at Dalston Superstore. After nearly three years she has exhibited over 20 shows working with a variety of mediums with a huge range of people and specialists and been an integral part of the Dalston Supestore team***