Artemis Kotioni

Artemis Kotioni is an artist based out of the East Coast and Athens, Greece. She received her BA in Studio Arts from Bard College in 2017. Artemis primarily works in painting and installation and has shown work in Brooklyn and Athens.

I am instinctively drawn to working with themes of an existential nature. Timeless phenomena and experiences that recur, perhaps in different manifestations, across recorded history. The notion of traversing space has been at the foundation of my work, ever since I became fascinated by the state and meaning of travel(ing) —near or far— an interest that is rooted in the sense of placelessness that is conferred from this type of movement. Writings by Guy Debord on the dérive and psychogeography, have reenforced my meanderings on these topics.

While my visual language is heavily influenced by artists such as Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and the Russian Constructivists, my instinct for space was informed by being the daughter of architects. Additionally, growing up in Athens, Greece, my eyes became saturated with scenery of the Greek landscape and perpetual sharp light, which has played a role in shaping my sense of poetics concerning composition: planes surrendered to geometries of ruins and temples, whose function turns ambiguous and symbolic through time, as they become one with the terrain.

My process is comprised of three tiers: I begin with a concept or experience and baptize it with a set of words, then that sentence becomes translated into a symbolic space in a 2D composition. In turn, due to the inherent nature of the visual language, that image is full of potential to become manifested into three dimensional space, and that is how my installations and sculptures come into being. In my paintings, it is my intention that the viewer is able to imagine the possibility of traversing the space represented and in my 3d work I design spaces that embrace the philosophy that the artwork should become activated by the bodies that pass through it. The choice to not engage in the representation of the human figure, is meant to create an active narrative, attempting to communicate something that is to be experienced.

As an extension of my use of language and semiotics in the conception of my work, I look to absurdist writings, specifically by Beckett, Pinter and Kharms, in an attempt to imitate the tension that is found in their texts. That is, the tension between something that is easily identifiable by the viewer, that which is deemed “real” —a person or a simple geometric shape— and then that which may or may not be real: the manipulation of the characters through language, or in my case the manipulation of simple shapes through depth, perspective, transparency.