For this solo exhibition, Leontios Toumpouris presents a site-responsive installation that consists of a new series of works made of clay, leather, steel and paper, drawing from sixteenth- and seventeenth-century emblems and alchemical writings. The exhibition is representative of the artist’s ongoing interest in body and matter correlations and the evolving role of language in his practice.
“Of particular images” negotiates with the morality of emblems and their tripartite structure (image-motto-epigram) in which a pictorial enigma, whose relation to a sententious motto commonly registered on a banderole within the image, is resolved by an accompanying text or an epigram.1 Bodies and processes involved in experimenting with matter and making are (re)presented on leather banderoles in a non-linear manner. These fragmented procedures are connected to the invention and origin of a fictional language that derives from the convergence of body and clay. The dual voice of alchemical writings where rational and fictional language intertwine, informs a series of mottoes printed on paper.
The works in the exhibition act as self-referential indications of everything physical outside of themselves, hovering between autonomy and dependence, perhaps suggestive of ways to perceive (physical) reality.
1 Heckscher, William S. & Karl A. Wirth, Art. “Emblem, Emblembuch.” In: Reallexikon zur deutschen Kunstgeschichte
. Vol. 5. Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler, 1959, 85-228.a.