Critics’ Picks

Angelo Plessas, Wi-fi Password, 2011, neon, Plexiglas, 18 x 71".

Athens

Angelo Plessas

Rebecca Camhi Gallery
Leonidou 9 Metaxourgeio
May 30–September 22, 2012

For the past decade, Angelo Plessas’s practice, which is rooted in 1990s Internet culture, has consistently used the Net as a medium through which to explore humankind’s place in the world. Yet, where the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Romantics once painted figures caught in vast, oft-tempestuous natural landscapes, Plessas riffs on this convention through placing the twenty-first-century body within a cyber landscape where boundaries distinguishing the real and the virtual collapse as quickly as social networks form and expand. In his current solo exhibition, “Temple of Truth,” a range of works—such as an interactive website projection, HorizonofResemblance.com, 2012 (also viewable online); digital collages printed on banners with names like The Extropist, Truthtopian, and The Clicktivist, all 2012; and furniture-cum-altars united by trademark black-and-white stripes—form a physical manifestation of the Angelo Foundation, a multipurpose online project space established in 2007 that functions as a headquarters for the artist’s online and offline activities. The result is a revelation of sorts, one that reveals demarcations separating online from offline to be increasingly obsolete.

The exhibition’s focal point is a pyramid structure, Temple of Truth, 2012. Its cushioned, cocoonlike interior houses a screen displaying a variety of images––a majority of which have been sourced from www.reanimationlibrary.org, an online archive of discarded or outdated books collected for their (copyright-free) visual content––including a proposal for fighter jets, diagrams of the moon’s cycles, a man and woman in naked embrace, sci-fi cityscapes, and a desert. Opposite the pyramid, a neon sign hung on the wall spells out the gallery’s Wi-Fi password, T3MPLE OF TRU7H. Between the two works, a space is left clear for happenings scheduled to take place throughout the show’s duration––events that activate the Internet as a social tool for lived experience. Plessas’s works render the individual “always multiple” (to borrow Claude Cahun’s words) in a world that is equally multifarious, a world where one is both the produced and the producer, simultaneously.