Island: the wind constantly

Stergia Baraklianou (Photographer)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


Title: Island. The wind constantly
A solo exhibition by Stella Baraklianou

Place: Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun, Leeds

Preview Evening - Wednesday 22nd March 2017 - 7pm - 9pm

Gallery open hours, weekdays by appointment, weekends 11pm - 4pm

‘Island’ designates a place that is artificially constructed, fluid and ephemeral. Island is a place that is part fictional, part reality. ‘Island’ designates the ideal fantasy of the non-place, the utopian.

With references to Thomas More and J. G. Ballard’s fictional utopias this hedonistic paradise has been constructed of reflective shiny material.

It includes two still-life photographs, previously exhibited at the ‘Photography is Magic’ show in Aperture, New York, over the summer of 2016, ‘Shell’ and ‘Starfish’ respectively. Like the reality depicted in the photograph, it shows a perfectly true to nature object, which can have a fictional life of its own.

Two new pieces have been especially created for the exhibition,
‘Sun lounger’ an installation in a real scale, using double-sided reflective material and a laser-cut of Thomas More’s map from ‘Utopia’.

The exhibition continues the exploration of the artists chosen material, double-sided reflective Mylar, both in the photographic works as well as the installations. The uses of laser-cutting for this particular material especially seek to test the boundaries between reality, depiction and fiction.

‘Utopia’ is a Greek word. Utopia is effectively a non-place, from the ancient Greek term ‘ou’ designating –not and the word ‘topos’, meaning place. Utopias are places of abundance and wish fulfillment. Food seems to grow from the trees and fish flow in the waters, the inhabitants can languidly sleep and wake as they desire, doing nothing much other than self-indulgence.
Since Plato’s Republic the term has been significantly deployed in philosophy and literature to propose a political system of an imagined perfect place or state of things.
The more modern versions of Utopia include Thomas More’s (1516) visions of Utopia in which he stages Utopia in the setting of an island.
In ‘Vermilion Sands’ J. G. Ballard writes about a paradoxical future paradise version of utopia: “it is an overlit desert resort, with large skies, that geographical lies in the 3,000 mile long linear city stretching from Gibraltar to Glyfada beach, along the northern shores of the Mediterranean” (J. G. Ballard, 1971).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


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