Argianas presents a new series of Clay Pressings, wall-based relief works created through a process synonymous with their title, whereby the artist presses objects directly into clay to make a mold. Casts are then made in brass, chrome, marble powder, or synthetic resins. Argianas has frequently worked in a series format, which includes his Song Machines (2007–), Lyrical Machines (2008–), Silence Breakers Silence Shapers (2014–). reading machines moving machines is the first solo presentation of Clay Pressings.
Despite the specificity of the Clay Pressings method, the results are unpredictable to the extent that the works are designed in an inverted manner. Indentations are cast into protrusions, and scrapes and cuts are cast into lines. The process suggests a tactile viewing, whereby objects create visual sequences and form structure. Rhythm and pattern further outline a territory of passed duration, with objects literally displacing clay as they move through its volume.
As in much of Argianas’s work, patterns suggest a score or other codified language. Here, specific objects such as string, oysters, spines of books, clock hands, or hands that gesture numbers are referents to dimensions of time and the act of measuring. The original text is embedded in the visual score of the work, and often conveyed in full in the work’s title, as in:
Sea a zero
To see to zero
To sea two zeros
reading machines moving machines proposes a shift away from discursive thought, carrying more tactile and physical forms of information. The physical properties of Argianas’s diverse materials are significant and often presented in unexpected forms. Rigid materials take fluid forms, and soft materials are given structure. Such transformations suggest a liminal space where systems and mechanisms freely swap with intuition, break down and open up to their inherent potential: poetics.
Athanasios Argianas (b. 1976 Athens, Greece) received his MA from Goldsmiths College London and studied at the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf.
This June he is participating in Documenta 14 with his installation The Length Of A Strand Of Your Hair, Of The Width Of Your Arms, Unfolded at Fridericianum, in Kassel.
Recent institutional exhibitions include the Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; NEON Foundation Athens (in collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery, London), Fondazione Prada, Venice; the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, St. Louis, MO; and the Galeria D'Art Moderna (GAM), Milano.
Other recent exhibitions include Galerie PCP, Paris (2016); Lisson Gallery, London (2016); Aanant & Zoo, Berlin (2015/2014); Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin (2014); Performa 13, New York (2013); The 30th Biennale of Sao Paulo, Pavilhão Ciccillo Matarazzo, São Paulo (2012); Centre Rhénan d'Art Contemporain, Alsace, (2012); Art Now, Tate Britain, London (2011); the Barbican Gallery, London (2011); EMST, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (2010); and the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, London (2008).
Athanasios Argianas works in diverse media, ranging from broadcast (Channel 4 / Tate media: Music Sideways, 2013) to releasing acoustic electronic music as Gavouna (his mother’s maiden name) and orchestrating live performances that serve as standalone musical compositions as well as performance pieces (Canon For Three Voices, 2008–12 and Branching Music, 2013).
He lives and works between London and Athens.