Petros Chrisostomou photographs small-scale, ordinary, ephemeral objects in architectural models that he constructs himself, and then dramatically arranges, often employing lighting and staging conventions of the theatre. With the alteration of scale and reversal of the relation between object and environment, between imaginary and real space, his photographs challenge the viewer's visual certainties. The illusionary effect he achieves highlights the artist's playful approach, which fluctuates between mimicry of the real world and construction of a surreallistic reality.
In his photographs, the exuberant assemblage of objects in luxurious interiors - resembling wreckage from some disaster -create paradoxical still lifes that parody the traditional memento mori style of the genre. In his works Rococo bluff I and Rococo bluff 2, the objects he creates out of balloons, chewing gum, fabric and glasses are freed of their ordinary use and become dynamic protagonists. Similarly, the details of the rococo set consist of everyday objects, functioning as contemporary cultural signifiers. Christosomou's photographs become the field for mixing the high- and the low-brow, mass culture and genre painting, the luxurious and the expendable, as indications of social class distinctions. At the same time, the relations between the real and the imaginary in his oeuvre are a commentary on the mediated images of contemporary mass media that distort the natural and immediate dimension of our relation to reality, determining, among other things, the conditions for viewing and receiving art.
Curator, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens
Extract from In Present Tense - Young Greek Artists