London based artist Henry Krokatsis makes site-specific installations, sculpture, paintings and drawings. Most of Krokatsis’ work derives from found objects and other discarded material which is then re-fashioned in order to play with archaic representations of bourgeois or aristocratic culture.
For Cure Krokatsis has transformed the entire gallery into a sort of off-kilter “trophy room”. The transformed space falls somewhere between a functional yet subverted version of a white cube and a displaced, bleached and post-modern trophy room – obsessively crafted yet thoroughly corrupted. The gallery walls are overlaid with hand-crafted Georgian-style raised paneling made, in part, from reclaimed materials. The panels have been roughly coated in thick off-white rubber.
The cement gallery floor has been overlaid with a parquet floor based on the parquet flooring of Versailles. Instead of traditional quarter sawn oak, this floor has been made using discarded materials – rejected off-cuts, abandoned wardrobes and broken kitchen units—all more or less white. These have been dismantled, painstakingly cut down and laid by hand.
Hung on the walls are several sets of cast aluminum antlers – all cast from sets found in London junk shops and flea markets. In the back room are several of Krokatsis’ smoke drawings, where the image is made from the smoke from a burning rag. The artist uses a cut-out template, which is held at some distance from the paper while smoke is directed onto the surface. Krokatsis controls and directs the intensity of the fumes, creating different layers, surfaces and contrasts. This innovative drawing technique leaves the process of image-making more open to chance or mishap.
Krokatsis explains his work in the following way:
What interests me is how perception is shaped, how consciousness is extended. My works and installations start from a similar position – an act of faith in the seemingly bankrupt. They share an intention to turn this into something that cannot be easily familiarized. You could say it’s about saving things from oblivion or obscurity and a faith in the obsolete.
The elements, the room and the works in it are based on—the white cube, the trophy room and the trophies are currently, or have previously been, conveyors of wealth, privilege and the authority of status. It is a collector’s abode rendered both ridiculous and ideal, imbued with a nervous beauty at odds with its physical presence. “I wanted the feeling here to be of something that oscillates between the divine and the destitute,” says Krokatsis.