18 September – 20 October 2018
I’M GOING TO FILM THE SHADOWS
The Island Club presents I’m going to film the shadows, the first solo exhibition of self-taught fashion designer, artist and poet Dimitris Tsouanatos (b.1944).
In 1978, together with his brother, musician George Vanakos, Dimitris Tsouanatos founded Remember Fashion, a clothing label that set out to define “new ways of dressing” inspired by Post Punk and New Wave culture. Soon after, the Remember Fashion boutique became one of the most important meeting spots for the Athenian underground scene. Theatrical, extravagant and embracing a DIY aesthetic, Tsouanatos’ designs drew inspiration from Surrealism, Dadaism and Retrofuturism. These references informed an array of sculptural and structurally intricate outfits created with unusual materials such as cork, polystyrene, rubber piping, transparent plastic and aluminium sheets, amongst others. Tsouanatos consistently opted for unconventional settings for his shows and photoshoots, including the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland, the Pyramids in Giza as a backdrop, the London underground, a bullfighting ring in Madrid, or a ship en-route to Mykonos as a stage.
In 1984, Tsouanatos published his first book of poems, Light in the Darkness of the Day: After – Before – Thoughts, dedicated to his brother-in-law who had died prematurely. In the years to follow he compiled an ambitious anthology of poems, stories and collages (After Before Thoughts No.2, 1991), exploring how “daily sensory stimuli shall lead oneself and others to a better future”. During this period, his practice expanded to include video and sculpture, both proving to be integral, albeit external elements of this project.
Dimitris Tsouanatos lives and works in Athens where he is preparing his fourth publication.
Twenty-one original collages from After Before Thoughts No.2 as well as the complete series of his never-before-seen video works will be exhibited at The Island Club. A fashion show, showcasing a selection of outfits from the collections Gladiators Netronians & The Rhythm of Shadows (1981), Wayfarers to space (1987), Anti-Gravity (1989), Take a dive to paradise (1991), Protect (1993) and Sperm (2011) will complement the opening of the exhibition.
Works included in the exhibition:
I’m going to film the shadows.
He was alone the solitary. Hypocritical to himself.
Maybe I’ll meet you at a point where the ideas of good and love will be free to kiss.
On the enormous dance floors with a few passers-by of his life.
Supposedly sacred ground. Now that the cedar trees dance around and the crosses change shape for you candles sprout in the soil like basil that smell scorched. Something is burning you. Perhaps the flame that forgot to extinguish.
So, you don’t believe in anything? But then, do not say it to the water because it may become sterile.
The fire in the fireplace. And the sleepy cat cried the square memories that rounded today’s day.
You will find out the news from the rain and the air which can
be old for many when you find out though for you it is news.
What to eat? Meat or cutlets or rice, what if you eat human flesh?
The Hidden Material dripped its colour behind the sun’s horizon.
Like a hole that sinks.
One endless passage that surrounds the earth.
To stitch the unusual, the vanguard on the wallet of habit.
God, won’t you help me die before you?
We must shorten and unite the words of all the countries with one alphabet for everybody.
The art of history that becomes the neighbourhood market.
In the ditches with the forgotten bones.
Without any medals to be shown.
Which mask must the earth put on the carnival?
Everyone had doubts before about himself.
You wait for the bus of the “Awaiting Saint” route and also for a peeled and chewed apple with always an open mouth that gets tired being motionless.
(After Before Thoughts No.2 (1991), Translated into English by Dimitris Tsouanatos)
Organised in collaboration with Remember Fashion, Alexis Vassiliou and Hugo Wheeler.
All works courtesy of the artist.
Fashion Performance: 15 September, 22:00
Tapper (Eleftherias 62, 3042, Limassol)
With: Aphrodite Koupepidou, Kyriacos Kyriakides, Ula Lucinska, Marietta Mavrokordatou, Yara Christianne Menas, Aris Mochloulis, Korallia Stergides, Garose Venera
Photos: © Mirka K. / The Island Club