Monte Vista Projects is proud to present Terra Firma, the first solo exhibition of Los Angeles based artist, MICHAEL KONTOPOULOS. The exhibition runs from January 19 to February 10, 2013. The opening reception is Saturday, January 19, 7-10pm.
The work in this exhibition borrows strategies from speculative fiction and design in order to explore themes of escapism, the frontier and the illusion of utopia. In collaboration with graphic designers and 3D computer modelers, Michael has fabricated a series of artifacts that contrast the obviously fictitious with the ambiguously realistic and uncanny in an effort to anticipate the political imaginary of abandoning the Earth.
Through print design, sculpture and installation, the works in Terra Firma explore several ideas including the visual vernacular of how rovers and satellites (themselves, unique sculptures) "see" their environment and therefore, how we experience the unknown through them. In addition to this, Michael is utilizing the strategies of graphic design branding campaigns to envision boarding passes for impossible destinations.
At once an imagining of a potential future and a lamentation for an unsatisfactory present, this work investigates space exploration and space tourism as an adult concretization of a childhood need to be subsumed by fantasy.
Michael Kontopoulos is a Los Angeles based artist and educator. After studying electronic and time-based art at Carnegie Mellon University, he went on to receive his MFA in Design and Media Arts from UCLA.
He has exhibited solo and collaborative projects in galleries, festivals and conferences in the U.S., Asia and Europe, including the Santa Monica Glow Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, and the TED conference. He was the winner of a 2010 Rhizome Commission for Emerging Artists, sponsored by the New Museum (NYC). Currently, Michael teaches electronic media courses at USC, UCLA, Cal State Long Beach and Art Center College of Design.