Graeme Gerard Halliday (aka Hallidonto) and Hara Piperdou have brought together two such narratives to create ‘Trans-cending to the Void’ which will be exhibited from September 27th at the Thames Side Studios in Woolwich, London. In short, this is a thought- provoking exploration of a dystopian human existence, but the two artists have taken slightly different approaches…not least because one hails from Scotland and the other is Greek.
It’s rare for two artists to share a vision. When this vision involves the role of organic life within a post-human society, then it’s almost unheard of. Put two artists with this wildly modern vision of humanity together…and you find you have something really quite unique.
Hara Piperdou’s figures are still metamorphosing, so to speak. She confronts our notion of what it means to be human where instead of protective casings, bodies act as shackles to reality; the forms suffering an existential trauma so that instead of people, they become ‘system machines’.
Hallidonto’s cyborgs go a step further; his figures are devoid of all humanity- a testament to the suffering of the born in its struggle against the manufactured. Despite the symbolic nature of his work, Hallidonto’s cyborgs beg the question: what happens next? The result is a challenge to the viewer, deconstructing the remaining self-image as the artist’s Hallidonto’s forms are depicted in stages of life that are painfully familiar: birth, the past, family, death, sorrow and the future.
We’re left with some resounding questions: can human life really survive in a contemporary society? What happens when flesh transcends metal and electrical circuits replace human veins?
Both artists are at pivotal moments in their careers; Hallidonto is fresh from the presentation of his ‘Cyborgia Manifesto’ at thePost Human Forum in New York by invitation of the philosopher Dr Francesca Fernando whilst Piperdou, as well as being a hugely respected professor at the Benaki Museum in Athens, has works collected privately as well as by institutions.
As an exciting first for the contributors, Tagsmart will be tagging the works, taking all sales online alongside the archive…a fitting touch for an exhibition such as this. Similarly topical is Hallidonto’s funding from The Stephen Bloch Image of Disability Charitable Trust, who work to promote the understanding of disability within the arts. Goose Island Beer are most generously providing the bar for the private view and both artists look forward to welcoming a number of collectors, curators and press. The exhibition promises to be profoundly eye-opening, inciting our own thoughts on humanity and on self-reflection within art.