Loukia Alavanou

London, United Kingdom
APT Dubai
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  • Documenta 14 is so vast, dispersed, and enigmatic, that it is literally impossible to experience all of it (not to mention that the other half of the quinquennial exhibition has yet to take place, in Kassel, Germany). Yet the earnest visitor should make the effort, while in Athens, not only to take in what he or she can of the international offerings of documenta, but to wander off the beaten path of the biennial map, and sample what the local art scene of Athens has to offer.

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Loukia Alavanou (b. 1979, Athens) lives and works in London and in Athens.
Her practice involves visual and acoustic collage. She usually takes elements from well-known and iconic movies, together with static images from personal and social sources and subjects them to a dramatic choreography.

Often emerging from an intense black background, the images move with startling vitality and color, and as we watch them we experience an unsettling reversal: charm becomes terror, hope becomes despair and clarity becomes confusion.Acoustically, there is a parallel process: the continuity of sound becomes discontinuity, and the beauty of a perfectly pitched voice becomes stark and tragic. Strange intrusions punctuate both the visual and acoustic threads, indexing a reality much closer to ourselves than what the products of popular culture are designed to protect us against.

The abyss that these works pinpoint is much more than the simple question of the vanity of desires or human mortality dear to religious art: rather, it is something more structural, a basic cut between the registers of sound and image, as if the two could never coalesce or be evenly superimposed.

Alavanou’s recent work continues this elaboration of the question of temporal frameworks, with an emphasis on the relation between frame and material. She is interested in the intrusion of time as a real, material substance: certainly as an embodiment of symbolic, clock-determined time, yet as this is made bodily, as it is incarnated.

In film collages such as ‘Put your loving hand out’ and ‘There is nothing between us’, the rhythmic sound of a clock ticking becomes both an external temporal marker and a vehicle of an obscene force, as if to fuse the most abstract and the most concrete. Its beat is at one moment a framework for action and at another caught up within this very action, articulating the pulsations of sexuality.

Alavanou completed her M.A. studies in Photography at the Royal College of Art, London, 2003 – 2005. In 2007 she was the winner of the fifth Deste Prize. Recent residency programs she has participated in include Ulap/ Upload Art Project, Trento, 2011, Viafarini, Milan and Diva (Danish International Visual Art Exchange Program), Copenhagen, 2010.

Solo exhibitions of Alavanou include Rodeo, Istanbul, Haas & Fischer, Zurich upstairs berlin, Berlin, The Breeder Gallery, Athens.Recent group exhibitions and publications include: in 2012 “The Greek Pavilion”, Berlin Kreuzberg Biennale 2012, OPEN MUSEUM / Palais De Tokyo, Paris in 2011 “Roadside Picnic/Stromboli” produced by Forucci Art Trust, in 2010 “Terrain Error”, Verein zur Forderung von Kunst und Kultur am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz e.V., Berlin; “Identity, Body It”, nca/ nichido contemporary art, Tokyo; “Conformers and Purposers," Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Herning.