Celestial Contrakt

Artist Profiles:

Christina Mitrentse investigates the esoteric qualities of myth, interpretation and cultural construction through processes of painting, handcrafted sculpture, installation and conceptual appropriation. Her practice oscillates between that of curator, collector and storyteller in an endeavour to designate the peculiarity of this relational space of aesthetics. Ignoring traditional hierarchies of display, Mitrentse creates a freedom to suggest new narratives and poetic ensembles of personal institutions such as schools, libraries, churches, academies and museums. Using the tropes of quasi-science, telluric monuments and celestial exploration, her work offers an ocularcentric pattern of discovering worlds within worlds and meaning in allegory. Through sustained research of cosmological phenomena, explicit for the Celestial Contrakt, she has created a sculptural ‘constellation’ suggesting a humorous, visual transmission from the banal to the monumental. Mitrentses’ use of magnitude relates to her fascination with the spatial model and scale of the megacosm depicted in the ‘The Book of Universe’.

Navigating within these works, we are related to a conception in which the ‘primary’ form of the universe is defined by the significations of natural occurrences within everyday life. Mitrentse is a Greek visual artist/curator and art educator who holds an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design.

Her artworks are included in both private and public collections in Europe and the United States.Selected shows include;Building My Library, solo show, NO:ID gallery ’09, Drench/Absorb, Oblong gallery 09, In/Flux HTAP, London 09. Brussels Art Fair ’09 The Apartment Gallery Athens. Impromptu, Schwartz Gallery London ’09. The End of the Earth’NDSM, Amsterdam 08. The Secret School Solo show in bomb shelter, London 05. An Outing, Beltsios Collection Athens 06. Christina Mitrentse isrepresented by Lola Nikolaou Gallery, Thessaloniki, Greece.



CELESTIAL CONTRAKT is an exhibition curated by Christina Mitrentse and Jonas Ranson which opens at Schwartz Gallery on Thursday 12 November and runs until 6 December 2009. The gallery is open Friday-Sunday 12-6pm.


The Private View takes place 6-10pm on Thursday 12 November 2009.

The exhibition will feature works by


Dominic Allan . Nikos Alexiou . Alex Bunn . Andrew Hladky . Bern Roche Farrelly . Stine Ljungdalh . Christina Mitrentse . Jonas Ranson . Lee Wagstaff . Marc Wayland

Also on the Opening Night there will be Music by DOUCE ANGOISSE and Audio Mixes by EXITJESUS

Late Night View until 9pm ( First Thursdays ) 3 December

Artist talk 2pm Saturday 28 November.

The exhibition Celestial Contrakt navigates through the terrain of the ‘celestial and ‘ethereal’ in an attempt to offer different entry and exit points to the theme and suggests alternate possibilities within the experiential environments. Schwartz Gallery is formed as an uncharted territory which provisionally describes two conceptions of artworks as ‘terrestrial’ and ‘celestial’. These create non-linear journeys that look beyond Materialist thought. The project brings artist and viewer together to a conception in which the ‘terrestrial’ world does not yet exist and can only arise in the sphere of the imagination. A diverse group of international and London-based artists become wanderers in space and time, drawing from a vast fluid field of collective ideas. The celestial as the nocturnal experience filters through from anthropological investigations, focusing on the ontological dimension; the impulse of irrationality in scientific and architectural artifacts and the surreal poetics of contemporary technology which appear to have cosmological associations. If morning is characterized by surprise, expectation, and regeneration, darkness procures a different type of sentiment and consciousness. The premise of night engages many mythical poetic figurations inextricably linked to the nocturnal walk under the canopy of theconstellation.

Suggesting a state of irrational mystical delirium, the two-dimensional works, film, sculptural objects and performance, shed ‘light’ on the perception of quasiscientific phenomena. They can be characterized as positing the supremacy of hallucination, generating illusions from different time and space. The implication is one that places the artists in a position of pre-reflective mysticism. The content of works come alive and give birth to other bodies, free from materiality and gravity. Rather than an opaque geometry, we suggest an all pervading ethereality that is uncontrollable and ungraspable, causing a fusion between the physical and the metaphysical, the familiar and the unspecified. This manifestation serves to offset the potentially ‘oppressive effect’ of ‘earth bound’ conceptual content. Within this context Celestial Contrakt is a positive vision of chaos and complexity that proposes the deconstruction of our conceptual mechanism.