Dio Horia Gallery is excited to announce Elias Kafouros’ solo exhibition titled Push Buttons. The exhibition’s title 'Push Buttons' comes from the space of contemplation and unavoidable acknowledging of the unique, and uniquely technologized, conditions we all have found ourselves in, in the year 2021.
The exhibition Push Buttons marks a distinct point of departure and further deepening of Kafouros’ ongoing practice.
Drawing from such disparate and wide-ranging points of reference as film, online culture, Renaissance painting, or Buddhist meditation mandalas, Elias Kafouros (b. 1978, Athens, Greece) weaves dizzyingly complex and prodigiously oversaturated compositions that are unmistakably idiosyncratic and instantly recognizable. Kafouros’ phantasmagorical tableaux roil with density of vernacular characters and elements derived from the inescapable cacophony of our ever-expanding quotidian media landscape, inspiring comparison to the obscenely frolicking characters of Medieval illuminated manuscripts and the canvases of Pieter Bruegel. The latter’s Twelve Proverbs, a composition of twelve scenes of moral feebleness arranged in a grid of consecutive monocular inserts, did indeed, serve as a direct point of reference for Push Buttons.
The exhibition’s title comes from the space of contemplation and unavoidable acknowledging of the unique, and uniquely technologized, conditions we all have found ourselves in, in the year 2021. Not reactionary or tendentious, the thematic terrain it addresses is presented as an inevitable continuation of the artist’s ongoing rumination on the specific aspects of the endlessly lateralizing informational landscape of our lives and its affective impact on the mental topography of modern subjects. Push Button – as both a command, a temptation, a lever of control, and a point of immediate access – is, Kafouros writes, “about the asymmetric forces exerting each other against the flipping backdrops of the physical world and digital space, forging shapes through which our inevitably augmented perception processes, exposes itself”. It is, equally, an allusion to the notion of pushing one another’s buttons, a deliberate provocation that the colloquial meaning of the phrase would suggest, as well as the way the tech industry structures its omni-pervasive presence in daily life around just this type of trigger dynamic, constantly pinging, prodding, and overwhelming with irresistible oversaturation of input. In addressing this condition, all the pieces in this show embed an exacerbated reflection of that very mechanism into their own composition.
This new body of work presents an expanding departure for Kafouros in terms of its technical style. Deviating from the customarily flawless technical virtuosity of his earlier works, Kafouros has consciously decided to employ a more raw and exuberantly coloured technique in the express service to biting immediacy of impact. While still presented as exercises in technical virtuosity, these works employ the sheer astounding density of their composition to blur the lines between abstraction and figuration in an authentically original manner. “I don’t wish to be didactic”, Kafouros notes, “It is very important for me to keep things open. Neither this nor that. Keep things open while being specific”.