Sublime Disasters

Digital photography environment

8th March - 8th April 2000
Opening on Wednesday 8th March at 6pm

Galerie J&J Donguy, 57 rue de la Roquette, 75011 Paris
Open Tuesday to Saturday from 2pm to 7pm
Telephone + 331 47 00 10 94  -  Fax: +331 40 29 83 84
Désastres sublimes

A new digital photography exhibition by Maria Klonaris and Katerina Thomadaki will open at the Galerie Donguy, Paris, on Wednesday 8th March 2000.

Leading figures of the French experimental film scene, Maria Klonaris and Katerina Thomadaki have initiated the cinema of the body at the end of the seventies and have introduced an innovative approach to expanded cinema and projection environments. Working since the mid-seventies on the hybridations of media, they have gained international recognition through their films, videos, photographs and multi-media installations. As theorists, they have published numerous essays, manifestos and books, which constitute a vast theoretical body of work parallel to their audio-visual creation. In the nineties, Klonaris and Thomadaki have conceived and directed in Paris three editions of the quadriennal Rencontres Internationales Art cinéma / vidéo / ordinateur, a pioneering international event dedicated to the moving image and to technological innovations in art.

After The Angel Cycle (1985-2000), featuring the constant transformations of a medical photograph of a hermaphrodite, which they install in site specific environments, Klonaris and Thomadaki inaugurate a new cycle of works with Sublime Disasters. Here the starting point is a found photograph of a wax figure: two children, conjoint twins, "a double phenomenon with a unique trunk", from the famous anatomical collection of the Spitzner Museum, which opened in Paris in 1856. The artists associate this extraordinary body with marine organisms, photographs of shells and etchings extracted from the Artistic Forms of Nature (1899) by  German biologist Ernst Haeckel. The conjoint twins are thus immersed in a network of sea constellations.

This exhibition is a new stage of Klonaris' and Thomadaki's reflexion on the "dissident body" and the technological doubles. A key figure of the contemporary crisis of identity and normality, the "monster" is both a virtual and a real body. Here the double "monster" goes through the successive simulacra of human invention - from the wax portrait to the technological mirrors of photography and digital processing.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue with texts by Gilbert Lascault, Christian Gattinoni, Anguéliki Garidis, Maria Klonaris/Katerina Thomadaki and an interview of the artists by Jacques Donguy (Editions A.S.T.A.R.T.I., Paris, 2000).


All photos by Klonaris/Thomadaki unless otherwise stated


Les Jumeaux
catalogue Désastres sublimes

Texts and photos: copyright Maria Klonaris/Katerina Thomadaki. All rights reserved