• Biography
  • One-person and Collective Exhibitions
  • Performances
  • Works
  • Bibliography
  • After a series of technological investigations, Costis achieved the production of lightning from high voltage current. Playing the major role in his work, this lightning is programmed to appear and disappear, to flash and then fall silent.

    Upon entering the exhibition space, we find ourselves inside an audio and visual field. The sounds are more or less sustained, protracted, with an isotonic base and numerous staccatos. The orchestration of the sounds is accelerated with the setting of a timer switch. Energy sculpture, endlessly variable, demanding - Costis' work amazes and seduces the eye.

    In a 1994 interview with Jacques Donguy, the theoretician of Fluxus and visual poetry, Costis spoke of the first appearance of lightning in his sculpture: "The first time I showed lightning was in 1989. And this was a sculpture called "Vision": the viewer was reflected in a concave mirror where lightning provided its flash. Parallel to that, I also showed an installation entitled 'No Man's Land: Ritual of the Explosion.' The lightning was driven through commonplace objects, as well as lava, coal, granite, and the vital lead ended in the explosion."

    Responding in the same interview to the question of whether "there are many things to say about the bond between lightning and electricity, notably in relation to those arts linked to new technologies," Costis defines the relationship between myth and technology: "The world of technology, the electronic era, contains as many myths as do more ancient societies. From one century to another, mythological baggage has traveled like a secret for survival that now reaches us with an artificial logic in the same context."

    "His work is a meditation upon nature and light. Lightning, having become a poetic medium, permits the work to become integrated into the sensorial field as well as the mythological and philosophical," writes Xanthippi Skarpia-Heupel, President of the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art.

    "He reduces the heavenly phenomenon to the microcosm and the dimensions of man, not to proclaim it a ghastly symbol as primitive man would have done, but to propose a new relationship among nature, art, and technology," states art critic Anna Hatziyannaki.

    The well-known art critic Pierre Restany, who characterizes Costis as "Promethean," writes at one point in his lengthy discourse on the artist's work: "Costis' enterprise is presented indeed as an exposition of philosophical objects, whose presence has as an ultimate justification the fact - at once simple and formidable - that it incites us to reflect on the dual valence of alchemical fire. A way of making us witness the permanent victory of life over death and of light over the ashes of darkness."

    (Translation from the Greek and French: Andrea Gilbert)

    © ART TOPOS, 1996
    Last update: