Of particular images

2019
Laser engravings on leather, bisque fired clay (Stoneware, Earthenware, Earthstone and Calcium Bentonite), spray dye, mild steel, carbon steel, digital prints on paper, dimensions variable

Bodies and processes involved in the experimentation with matter and making are (re)presented on leather banderoles in a non-linear manner. These fragmented procedures are connected to the invention and origin of a fictional language that derives from the convergence of body and clay.

‘Of particular images’ negotiates the morality of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century emblems and their tripartite structure (image-motto-epigram) in which a pictorial enigma, whose relation to a sententious motto commonly registered on a banderole within the image, is resolved by an accompanying text or an epigram. The dual voice of alchemical writings, where rational and fictional language intertwine, informs a series of mottoes printed on paper.

These site-responsive works act as self-referential indications of everything physical outside of themselves, hovering between autonomy and dependence, perhaps suggestive of ways to perceive (physical) reality.

Of speculative indications

Curation of public display at Special Collections, Glasgow University Library

2019
Emblem books from the Stirling Maxwell Collection: SM 1386, SMM 5, SM 1084, SM 1838, digital print on paper, 120 x 180 x 100 cm

In an attempt to negotiate morality and reduce the didacticism of emblems, Leontios Toumpouris installs a series of mottoes, digitally printed on paper, alongside four incomplete emblem books from the Stirling Maxwell collection. He responds to the emblem books and the particularities of the display aiming to convert the cabinet itself into an emblematic device in which images, mottoes and epigram create a system, self-referential and autonomous yet suggestive, correlative and open-ended.

The curation of the Special Collections’ display was one of the three parallel events that accompanied Toumpouris’ solo exhibition titled ‘Of particular images’ at CCA, Glasgow (January – February 2019).