NIKOS TRANOS | Crimen Majestatis (A Little Regicide)

10.01.07 - 24.02.07

"The Cell", 2006, cardboard construction, mixed media, 170 X 171 X 194 cm

With this work Tranos poses the issue of time relativity. Acting like a prisoner who, by his application and insistence to his craft, will be transformed from a violent, imprudent person, to a tool that will fulfill his role with absolute precision. The work in jail functions as an effective medicine to the deviation of his imagination*.

Forty portraits of people interwoven with the law (criminals, judges, policemen, defendants) have been created from publications of real events. All of the portraits are drawn on the backside of personal evaluations documents of civil servants, with indelible black ink and an "immortal" golden frame.

In all prisons, the use of such reports allows the director, the warden, the priest, the teacher, the doctor and the informer to record the observations on the behavior of each enclosed. Amongst the drawings we encounter two apes, referencing the lost paradise, Adam and Eve.

Included in the exhibition is a mock up of an escape and the model in its real dimensions (400x400x80 cm) made from packaging boards. A holding cell, also in real dimensions (220x160x160 cm) is made with the same material. In this cell, one can see seeds from fruits, "sterile" ejaculations, telephone cards (exchange units in jail with equivalent value of 50€). On the walls of this cell, the viewer encounters painted swirls that aim to provoke instability of time and space (paintings used during the Spanish civil war as a form of torture).

The exhibition is completed with a face and 400 minus 4 skulls made from porcelain, that search for a fragile relationship. In the meantime, a silicon Barbie is ready for everything. Simultaneously, 20 old chairs found from the rubbish in Athens, poses again the question of urban marginality provoked by the disappearance of the middle class that bloomed a few decades earlier. In the gallery's video room we watch a man and a woman shedding tears, while the man's stubble grows. Both people are the artist himself.


* Michel Foucault: "Surveiller et punir. Naissance de la prison".

 image gallery