Mirroring reality through art

For years, artist Harris Kondosphyris has used the mirror as the principal medium in his art. He has explored how mirrors can define and structure space but also how they make us aware of our position within it. Through the use of mirrors, he has also examined the relationship between reality and its image, truth and its reproduction. Prompted by intellectual inquiry in each case, Kondosphyris delves into diverse fields of knowledge, such as geometry or architecture, and tries to visually present the issues that spark his curiosity. Some of his ideas come across easily, but others get lost, probably due to their intricate, intellectual content. Even so, his works are always impressive in how they instantly grab the viewer’s attention – often throwing one off balance. They are like visual tricks – which mirrors can easily create – that make a strong first impression but whose deeper, more intellectual meaning is not easily divulged. This is also true of Harris Kondosphyris’s latest work, titled «Projection,» which is on view at Gallery 3 (3 Fokilydou, Kolonaki, tel 210.362.8230) through Saturday, and is supplemented by a comprehensive book on the entirety of his work by Futura Publications. The show itself comprises a large wall projection of the slightly distorted image of a family and friends having dinner in a domestic environment, juxtaposed against what seems like the photograph’s negative image. It is an image that is as eye-catching as his former works but differs in that it seems visually warmer, probably because the reflective surface of the mirror is not visible. Contrary to former works in which mirrors were integrated into the artwork itself, this is an exhibition where mirrors are hidden and are more of a means of creating images rather than the end product. This change reflects a shift in the way Kondosphyris has been thinking about mirrors: In the past he thought of them as surfaces on which reality is to be inscribed, whereas now he conceives of them as surfaces that project reality and are not just its passive recipients. In using the mirror as a parallel to the human mind, Kondosphyris traces this difference to Plato and Plotinus, respectively. Kondosphyris does indeed turn the mirror into a projector. Half of the image shown on the wall is projected via a layered, spotlight mirror on which the artist has carved out the image of the original photo. The mirror is placed on the opposite wall. By turning the mirror into the projector, he also satirizes video art and the use of technological media in art. By reproducing an original photograph he actually found on a rubbish heap, in different variations and through different means, he also comments on the recycling of images and the creative potential of contemporary art. Like most of his work, Kondosphyris’s «Projection» reflects the layered depth of an array of interrelated issues.