• The critical invariant: Avant-garde and change

      Altintzoglou, Evripidis (Intellect, 2018-12-01)
      ‘Change’ is the locus of the avant-garde’s revolutionary character. Historical claims and contemporary theorizations of the avant-garde enforce methodological distinctions between radical and conforming attitudes that fluctuate according to existing political agendas. This process of instrumentalization renders the avantgarde susceptible to the conformity of institutionalization. More importantly it prescribes the avant-garde with a subservient role that controls its operational means and deflates its capacity to produce politics. What is to be done, if the avant-garde achieves its goal for socio-political change? Are we to abandon the spirit of critical reflection and surrender to the conditions of the next system? How can there be an avant-garde after capitalism if its ends are solely confined in the substitution of one system with another? This article traces out this problem, assessing what kind of emancipatory potential we might expect, or hope for, from a post-capitalist avant-garde, by advancing a critical examination of recent theories of political subjectivity, the dialectics of change and the reconciliation of the institution.
    • Deflowered Revolution: An Ethical Examination of Neo-Liberal Tactics of Pacification

      Altintzoglou, Evripidis; Altintzoglou, Euripides (Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2016)
      During the last two decades we have become familiar with new forms of protest. These new types of protest direct their discontent towards the system in ways that involve the general public, trying to affect change by spreading the feeling of discontent so that governments succumb to wider pressure. These forms of protest are radically different from a strike at a factory or a mine in that they do not affect only those immediately involved – e.g. the owner of a business or multinational companies and government bodies. To a certain extent radical forms of protest such as rioting and looting share this principle. More recently, the Tottenham riots (London, UK) led to widespread looting of retail stores and were heavily criticized for being driven by consumerist desire. This was the view propagated by the media, government officials and surprisingly by leading voices of the left (Bauman, Žižek, Hall). Although we should not be hasty in dismissing looting, we should question the nature of the tactics of any forms of protest that allow themselves to become suspiciously linked with consumerist desire. This is so, because the claim that a desire for goods is the overriding determining factor here aims precisely at deflating the political significance of these riots. By employing Alain Badiou’s model of Ethics we are in a position to deal with the root of the problem: what allows for riots that involve looting to be susceptible to the Evils (privations) posed by the accusations of being associated with consumerist desire? What does a public unrest of this nature need in order to avoid ideological demeaning (accusations of consumerist desire) and sustain their fidelity to revolutionary Truth?
    • Digital realities & virtual ideals: Portraiture, idealism and the clash of subjectivities in the post-digital era

      Altintzoglou, Evripidis (Taylor and Francis, 2019-02-26)
      All portraits play host to a number of antithetical tensions, such as ‘private’ and ‘public’, ‘real’ and ‘ideal’, without which they would be reduced to a type of unassuming identification of subjects. Whereas in premodern times the artist was subject to the demands of the commissioner, after modernism the representational desires of the sitter began to clash with the creative intentions of the artist. Prior to the introduction of digital formats, this clash of subjectivities manifests itself in photography during the production of the work, the shooting of a portrait. Digital photography and post-production editing have expanded the methods for idealising external appearance; a desire stimulated by the recent technological acceleration of production and circulation of more ‘manipulated’ portraits than ever. In what ways, therefore, does the introduction of digital post-production editing and composite images affect this double-clash in portraiture, between the real and ideal, and the desires of the sitter against the intentions of the artist? Moreover, how does the evolution of self-portraiture in the ‘selfie’ affect the epistemological character of the genre? As such, is conceptual and aesthetic subservience a matter of technological possibility or creative determination?
    • Grand Detour

      Altintzoglou, Evripidis (Beton7 Arts, Athens, Greece, 2016-02)
      Euripides Altintzoglou returns to Beton7 Arts with a new group of works that engage with a range of issues related to the crisis of late capitalism. The collection of works does not simply address socio-economic phenomena and their effects but attempts to stimulate the generation of new forms of political agency. True to the avant-garde ethos Altintzoglou’s methods draw from the radical approaches of Situationism, while he breaks new ground by using ‘theft’ objects as a creative mode of production.
    • Portraiture and Critical Reflections on Being

      Altintzoglou, Evripidis (Routledge (Taylor & Francis), 2018)
      This book analyzes the philosophical origins of dualism in portraiture in Western culture during the Classical period, through to contemporary modes of portraiture in order to define the increasing philosophical crisis of this dualism, and the possibility of a non-dualist portraiture. Dualism – the separation of mind from body - plays a central part in portraiture, given that it supplies the fundamental framework for portraiture’s determining problem and justification: the visual construction of the subjectivity of the sitter, which is invariably accounted for as ineffable entity or spirit, that the artist magically captures. Every artist that has engaged with portraiture has had to deal with these issues and, therefore, with the question of being and identity.
    • Sunbeam (Artefacts)

      Altintzoglou, Evripidis (Wolverhampton Art Gallery, 2014)
      The Sunbeam project consists of a typology of gates of abandoned industrial sites in the Wolverhampton area, documenting a transition in local economic history. The design of industrial gates is generally driven by functionality and not by aesthetic concerns. Yet, the passage of time and labour have left marks of certain aesthetic interest on these gates, transforming them into iconic monuments of an industrial past that played a major part in the formation of the region’s modern identity. All images were shot in a positive manner under complimentary bright daylight in order to avoid the common melancholic approaches to similar subjects. This allows for conflicting dialectics to come into play, which reconfigure Walter Benjamin’s notion of the ‘ruin’ and revise the ‘straight’ and objective methodology that drives photographic typologies after Bernd and Hilla Becher, and the Düsseldorf School of Photography. As a result, these gates and by extension the industrial history of the Black Country area are celebrated as monuments of a glorious past and in return they offer an optimistic approach towards the future in reference to the city’s moto: From Darkness Cometh Light. The documented sites are located in the immediate area around the Sunbeam factory (the triangle formed between Penn Road - Birmingham Road - Drayton Street) and the area between the train station and the canal side (triangle formed by Walsall Street - Horseley Fields - Middle Cross). A number of these sites are currently undergoing regeneration with new types of businesses and buildings rapidly taking their place.
    • The Ends of Art (Sculpture)

      Altintzoglou, Evripidis (Vidéo Capitale 2016, Champlitte, France, 2016-02)
      This installation consists of a series of video works documenting the stages of the industrial processing of marble into tiles. The videos are shot in a straight conceptualist manner and have not been aestheticized neither during the shoot- ing nor the editing stages. Likewise, the sound elements of the work have been left unaltered in order to evoke the original atmosphere of the factory. The clinical portrayal of the commer- cialization of an otherwise historically traditional material for sculpture (marble) through an in- dustrial repetitive process underlines the recent methodological transitions in sculpture after the readymade: the substitution of the unique hand- made artifact by a massively reproduced object. In other words, it is a ‘behind the scenes’ docu- mentation of the process that produces a would- be-readymade while at the same time the mate- rial (marble) by which this object is produced is considered to be an important constituent of sculpture’s history and tradition. Likewise, due to the fact that this work problematizes the promise of a ‘new sculpture’ offered by the historic transi- tion towards interdisciplinarity it demands an approach that is foreign to the conventional aes- thetic means and phenomenological con nes of traditional sculpture; hence, the choice of video. Despite the radicality of Duchamp’s Fountain it persists as a sculptural form; regardless of how much it expanded the methodological eld of sculpture and by extension the de nition of art it remains an object.