Peter Jellitsch I Niko Abramidis »Codes«


Peter Jellitsch I Niko Abramidis &NE
27 October – 25 November, 2023

Collectors Agenda
Franz-Josefs-Kai 3/16, 3rd floor
1010 Vienna

Wed 25 October, 6 – 8 pm

Exhibition times
27 October – 25 November
Wed–Fri, 12 – 6 pm
Sat, 12-4 pm

With Codes, Collectors Agenda is presenting Peter Jellitsch (*1982, Villach) and Niko Abramidis &NE (*1987, Munich) in a duo show for the first time.

08 codes p jellitsch n abramidis c Florian Langhammer

Through his art, Niko Abramidis &NE explores a wide range of economic structures and future perspectives. With mysterious logos, objects and digital worlds the artist constructs in his drawings, paintings, sculptures and room installations alternate realities. By blending antique symbolism with sketches and creating fictional corporate entities with borrowed elements from the world of economics he makes humoristic observations and draws references to science fiction, philosophy, and economic processes among others.

Peter Jellitsch’s conceptual, initially mainly black-and-white drawings straddle the boundary between the digital and analog. His work can be understood as a contemplation on the socio-cultural changes set into motion by the Internet. The elegance and simplicity of his drawings reveal a story about the representation and alteration of space and the processes intertwined with our daily lives. By engaging in the physical act of drawing, Peter Jellitsch renders the hidden realm of data perceivable, transforming it into a visual representation that captures the essence of the global network. Through his symbolic representation of data in his Data Drawings obtained from ubiquitous WLAN connections, the artist transformed data captures into a creative and non-functional topographical panorama representing a new approach to making space itself visible.

04 codes p jellitsch n abramidis c Florian Langhammer
03 codes p jellitsch n abramidis c Florian Langhammer

In the exhibition at Collectors Agenda, the two artistic positions are juxtaposed and interwoven. Where Abramidis &NE crafts prototypes of machines that appear to originate from another time but introduces them into the contemporary world with an archaeological patina, Jellitsch creates rearranged grids, serving as a fundamental design system of modernity with the aim to foster uniformity and replicability – a principle, that can also be applied to standardizing social systems and broader socio-political developments.

06 codes p jellitsch n abramidis c Florian Langhammer
02 codes p jellitsch n abramidis c Florian Langhammer

The edition Creature PNL (eagle) consists of eight different metallic shiny plates. Niko Abramidis &NE relates them to a work from the well-known work cycle of the so-called Cryptic Machine Prototypes - enigmatic, archaic-looking machines or automata that seem to unite symbolism and technology from different periods of human evolution. Mystical colored light penetrates through raw steel. Enigmatic, indecipherable symbols and PIN pads suggest a possible functionality and operability of the machines by humans, which nevertheless remain inscrutable.

For Creature PNL (eagle), the artist hand-engraves each version of an eagle in wood, accompanied by a symbol reminiscent of a currency sign. The eagle typically functions as a symbol of power for governments and is often used to signify strength or to instill confidence. It is not for no reason that the eagle often appears as a heraldic animal or is proudly emblazoned on banknotes and coins. The comic-like execution of the artist, however, pulls this symbol of supposed strength into the grotesque. Sometimes the eagle looks grim, sometimes almost pitiful.

11 codes p jellitsch n abramidis c Florian Langhammer

As the title of the work suggests, references can also be made to Niko Abramidi's &NE's ongoing series of works entitled PNL, which translates drawings into engravings, where they are interwoven with sign systems. PNL stands for "profit and loss" in the world of finance. On various levels, the artist seems to be telling us that our often unshakable faith in the capitalist forces of the free market and its rulers may be unfounded.

07 codes p jellitsch n abramidis c Florian Langhammer
14 codes p jellitsch n abramidis c Florian Langhammer

For the exhibition Peter Jellitsch created a series titled September Variations, consisting of multiple drawings of a combination of colored pencil and acrylic. In this series, the artist employs the same image in various colors and forms, effectively divorcing it from its original context. During this process, Jellitsch deconstructs the original image and manipulates its attributes, such as size, proportion, and color, as he sees fit.

The origin of these drawings can be traced back to Jellitsch's canvas series of Rearrangements, wherein he meticulously merges four canvases, with the result of distinct reiterations of the same image. The series also suggests Jellitsch's increasing interest in recent years in the scaling of his motifs and the confluence of drawing and painting. Jellitsch's regularly used motifs of palm leaves or entire palm forests were originally inspired by his discovery of artificial palm trees in Los Angeles, which were disguised cell phone towers that emulated the natural environment to integrate seamlessly into the cityscape.

13 codes p jellitsch n abramidis c Florian Langhammer

While Niko Abramidis &NE explores economic structures and future perspectives in his works, Peter Jellitsch focuses on the intersection of the digital and analog worlds. Both artistic positions distort our conventional perceptions of time frames, defining the exhibition space and thus open up a dialogue between past and present, highlighting the intricate and impenetrable nature of present-day economic processes, drawing attention to their complexity and opacity.

Text: Livia Klein
Photos: Florian Langhammer

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