Friday, September 30, 2011

Konstantin Dimopoulos believes the term "Art in Odd Places" is a misnomer ...

Get to know another Art in Odd Places 2011 artist before we officially kick off the festival later at TheaterLab (see invite information here) . The Art in Odd Places Festival brings artists all over the world. This year, we have Konstantin Dimopoulos hailing from Australia. Learn more about him and check out what he plans to bring to the festival.

Konstantin Dimopoulos, photo provided by artist

AiOP: Tell us about you?
KD: I see myself as a conceptual and a social artist; an artist who believes strongly that art can change the world, that we all have the capacity in us to effect and change our environment through art.

I like the idea of social art - bringing it into the very fabric of society – into the streets. In fact Art in Odd Places is a misnomer in my opinion, because art began outdoors not indoors, scratching on walls, on the ground, in caves and it has returned outdoors through the work of graffiti artists and performance artists. I see galleries and museums as being the Odd places to show art.

I am based in Melbourne, Australia, but I create public artworks around the world. I have 2 streams to my art practice - social art installations; and public sculpture.

AiOP: How  did you hear about Art in Odd Places?
KD: I have always loved the idea of New York. The architecture, the gritty ness, the jazz, the theatre, the arts, it’s a living artwork in itself, always breathing and evolving. And so I have been following various events in the city and feel the idea of Art in Odd Places because in some way I feel that’s where artwork belongs. I hope that other cities globally take note of what you do.

AiOP: Walk us through your thought process in creating your piece for Art in Odd Places.
KD: Ideas flutter around my head constantly and the idea of The Tattooed Tailor, the idea of bringing a bit of the history of my tailoring ancestry to the city that never sleeps – the idea of fabric, of material and looking at it and transferring it onto the streets like a graffiti artist was the crux of how the process began. Threads that come together to make a whole. I am using lace patterns to describe RITUAL because lace is often used in ritual - we see it in ecclesiastic robes, christening gowns, wedding dresses.

Lace on Bench, photo provided by artist

AiOP: How is the preparation coming along?
KD: It's all going really well. What is particularly exciting is that this type of work involves getting on the street and beginning the process right there so that its both experimental and performance. The unknown is something that appeals to me because I may find something on the street to link my idea to something that wasn’t planned, so as I said before, to some degree the work is spontaneous, relevant to the context of its site.

AiOP: Where will we see you along 14th street during the festival? 
KD: Again like all ideas they can change on the day but I like the idea of using bus shelters (terminals of exits and entrances) and covering them (around 9th and 10th Avenues) and linking those to a number of shop windows or bags of rubbish found lying out there. I like to create a work that is in effect a living, changing work - surprising people.  It's an evolving, organic process so that when I get to 14th Street something from the street itself may trigger where the work will go. And you might see me at 14th Street Park.

AiOP: What do you hope to bring to the festival?
KD: I see myself as part of a beautiful tapestry and when put together with the other artists this will make sense.
I hope that people see the beauty in both the lace patterns themselves and in the structures the patterns cover. The beauty that is “their” street and when we leave “the street “ will still be there, and then memory will keep our works alive. I like the idea of memory playing a part in the work. Also I am a stranger in NY and whatever I bring I also hope to take back to Melbourne, Australia - the vibrancy and energy of ” the street” back with me.

AiOP: Any message to the people who will be in 14th street during the festival?
KD: I hope people come up and talk to me while I am creating the lace graffiti forms. Interaction with the public is always part of the work I create.  Life is about change and how we cope with it. It’s about the individual rituals that are created to make sense of it all. Often these are invisible because they occur behind closed doors, in churches, in homes. The festival removes these doors for a small period of time, so you can see them. Your environment changes every day but because it's gradual you don’t notice it. The festival is like fast-forwarding time so that for a brief moment the hand of the artist, "the shaman" becomes visible.

AiOP: Where can we reach you

AiOP: Any final words?
KD: "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." Albert Einstein (thanks Albert you rock!)

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