Nikos Arvanitis
Flora vs Fauna

solo exhibition
April 28. May 23. 2023
Kunstraum Memphis, Linz, Austria
 


Flora vs Fauna , lightbox at the facade of Kunstraum Memphis, 2023




Flora vs Fauna, Soundscape , audio, duration: 45min, 2023
With the voices of: Elli Arvaniti, Nikos Arvanitis, Giorgos Asimakakis, Eleni Chalavazi, Natasa Kopsaftopoulou, Andrianna Panagiotaki, Aggeliki Soupiona, Apostolos Tsorfolias, Xenofon Vardaros, Despoina Vaxevanidi, Christos Zafeiris, Maria Zervoudaki and Magdalena Zotou.




Flora vs Fauna, exhibition view at Kunstraum Memphis, 2023



Is there still time, within the emergency of planetary crisis, to reweigh our anthropocentric view of the world? In Flora vs Fauna Nikos Arvanitis sets out a series of symbolic gestures and unexpected reversals to accent the inscriptions of nature in the multiple manifestations of anthropogenic invasiveness. The landscape becomes a billboard, the natural soundscape is synthesized by memory-based performance.  watchtower resembling those scattered on Hymettos mountain, one of the last forest reserves of Athens, is rendered a hybrid listening and viewing device - a subtle reminder that our positions are determined through constraints.

The artist instigates a process of open interpretations of the spatial, the visual and the sonic. Upon entering the space, one is confronted by a billboard with a view of the city from the mountain. While the city and the forest are getting stifling close, in a coexistence that seems impossible to last long, the listeners/viewers immerse themselves in a soundscape that oscillates between a fixed depiction of the urban landscape and a wavering representation of nature. The polyphonic texture is composed through memory-enacted human performance, in a studio recording process where people imitate the sounds of flora and fauna. A counterpoint of human voices mimicking domesticated animals, birds singing, dogs barking, wind whistling, insects humming, leaves rustling, pulsates in the exhibition space and creates a chatter of vocalisations at distinct frequencies and acoustic patterns.

The sonic and spatial stimuli allow for the listeners/viewers to inhabit a liminal space between two locations or else two states of coexisting with the natural world and non-human species. Every sound of the piece is a snippet of communication originally situated within the limits of the forest, yet paradoxically produced and presented in urban context. Conditioned within its intrinsic contradictions, the chorus opens up to immaterial threads connecting the rural and the urban, the human and the non-human.

Tuning in with this idiosyncratic synthesised environment, one can draw connections with the environmental crisis of our times. What will be remembered from this natural world of astonishing diversity? Flora vs Fauna amplifies the anthropocentric perspective to question it, inviting the viewers/listeners to participate in an open meaning-making process. Will their anthropocentric perception be attested or challenged?

Text by evi nakou & Eleni Michaelidi




Flora vs Fauna, Observation Tower, wood, 140 x 140 x 302 cm, 2023




Flora vs Fauna, Soundscape , audio, duration: 45min, 2023
With the voices of: Elli Arvaniti, Nikos Arvanitis, Giorgos Asimakakis, Eleni Chalavazi, Natasa Kopsaftopoulou, Andrianna Panagiotaki, Aggeliki Soupiona, Apostolos Tsorfolias, Xenofon Vardaros, Despoina Vaxevanidi, Christos Zafeiris, Maria Zervoudaki and Magdalena Zotou.




Flora vs Fauna, Billboard, wood, digital print, 236 x 130 x 250 cm, 2023




Flora vs Fauna, Billboard, wood, digital print, 236 x 130 x 250 cm, 2023




Flora vs Fauna , lightbox at the facade of Kunstraum Memphis, 2023



Billboard photo: Xenofon Vardaros.
Exhibition photos: Jakob Dietrich.



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