Stergos Håkan Machlis (°1983, Rhodes, Greece) is an artist who works in a variety of media. By experimenting with aleatoric processes, Machlis creates work through labour-intensive processes which can be seen explicitly as a personal exorcism ritual. They are inspired by a nineteenth-century tradition of works, in which an ideal of ‘Fulfilled Absence’ was seen as the pinnacle.
His artworks are often classified as part of the new romantic movement because of the desire for the local in the unfolding globalized world. However, this reference is not intentional, as this kind of art is part of the collective memory. By investigating language on a meta-level, he tries to increase the dynamic between audience and author by objectifying emotions and investigating the duality that develops through different interpretations.
His works feature coincidental, accidental and unexpected connections which make it possible to revise art history and, even better, to complement it. Combining unrelated aspects lead to surprising analogies. By referencing romanticism, grand-guignolesque black humour and symbolism, he absorbs the tradition of remembrance art into daily practice. This personal follow-up and revival of a past tradition is important as an act of meditation.
His works are characterised by the use of everyday objects in an atmosphere of middleclass mentality in which recognition plays an important role. By using popular themes such as sexuality, family structure and violence, he often creates work using creative game tactics, but these are never permissive. Play is a serious matter: during the game, different rules apply than in everyday life and even everyday objects undergo transubstantiation.
His works never shows the complete structure. This results in the fact that the artist can easily imagine an own interpretation without being hindered by the historical reality. By parodying mass media by exaggerating certain formal aspects inherent to our contemporary society, he makes works that can be seen as self-portraits. Sometimes they appear idiosyncratic and quirky, at other times, they seem typical by-products of American superabundance and marketing.
His works often refers to pop and mass culture. Using written and drawn symbols, a world where light-heartedness rules and where rules are undermined is created. By examining the ambiguity and origination via retakes and variations, he uses a visual vocabulary that addresses many different social and political issues. The work incorporates time as well as space – a fictional and experiential universe that only emerges bit by bit.
His works focus on the inability of communication which is used to visualise reality, the attempt of dialogue, the dissonance between form and content and the dysfunctions of language. In short, the lack of clear references are key elements in the work. By contesting the division between the realm of memory and the realm of experience, he formalizes the coincidental and emphasizes the conscious process of composition that is behind the seemingly random works. The thought processes, which are supposedly private, highly subjective and unfiltered in their references to dream worlds, are frequently revealed as assemblages.
His works bear strong political references. The possibility or the dream of the annulment of a (historically or socially) fixed identity is a constant focal point. By merging several seemingly incompatible worlds into a new universe, he touches various overlapping themes and strategies. Several reoccurring subject matter can be recognised, such as the relation with popular culture and media, working with repetition, provocation and the investigation of the process of expectations.
His collected, altered and own works are being confronted as aesthetically resilient, thematically interrelated material for memory and projection. The possible seems true and the truth exists, but it has many faces, as Hanna Arendt cites from Franz Kafka. By taking daily life as subject matter while commenting on the everyday aesthetic of middle class values, he tries to grasp language. Transformed into art, language becomes an ornament. At that moment, lots of ambiguities and indistinctnesses, which are inherent to the phenomenon, come to the surface.
His works are saturated with obviousness, mental inertia, clichés and bad jokes. They question the coerciveness that is derived from the more profound meaning and the superficial aesthetic appearance of an image. Stergos Håkan Machlis currently lives and works in Stockholm.
Wooster Goobs #he Exhibitions, Further Complicates The Reception Of Their Manifold Layers Of Meaning. By Emphasising Aesthetics, He Seduces The Viewer Into A World Of Ongoing Equilibrium And The Interval That Articulates The Stream Of Daily Events. Moments Are Depicted That Only Exist To Punctuate The Human Drama In Order To Clarify Our Existence And To Find Poetic Meaning In Everyday Life.
His Works Are Saturated With Obviousness, Mental Inertia, Clichés And Bad Jokes. They Question The Coerciveness That Is Derived From The More Profound Meaning And The Superficial Aesthetic Appearance Of An Image. By Parodying Mass Media By Exaggerating Certain Formal Aspects Inherent To Our Contemporary Society, He Tries To Create Works In Which The Actual Event Still Has To Take Place Or Just Has Ended: Moments Evocative Of Atmosphere And Suspense That Are Not Part Of A Narrative Thread. The Drama Unfolds Elsewhere While The Build-up Of Tension Is Frozen To Become The Memory Of An Event That Will Never Take Place.
His Works Are Given Improper Functions: Significations Are Inversed And Form And Content Merge. Shapes Are Dissociated From Their Original Meaning, By Which The System In Which They Normally Function Is Exposed. Initially Unambiguous Meanings Are Shattered And Disseminate Endlessly. Goobs Wooster Currently Lives And Works In Solvang.## %# Rosado Mike