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De-inventor, 2007-9

(print outs on paper, frames, paintings, flash animations, cut outs on wood)

A significant part of Lina Theodorou’s artistic work, is based on elements that she herself seeks out or discovers on the World Wide Web, collecting data from its sites. The greater part of the drawings she created for her work entitled Deinventor is based on technical designs from deposited patents for industrial and military products available on the Internet. Observing the relations of similarity between these and her own personal manner of designs of icon-symbols, she familiarized herself with the primary material and appropriated thereon, altering the original utilization and creating an enigmatic and ambiguous world of her own.

Her work is presented in the form of an interactive installation, consisting of drawings, print-outs, cut outs, flash animation and a desk with a computer connected to the Internet, which ‘spies on’ the artist’s private space. Lately, spying has been the object of interest for numerous artists. Theodorou –who has systematically gone into matters of intelligence and control of public life– installed a Web camera in her house, in front of her PC, in order to ‘expose’ her artistic activities to the spectator of the exhibition. Through the exhibition’s computer, the viewer is invited to spy on the ‘artist’s studio’. The act intimates Theodorou’s own sarcastic comment on her obsession with the Internet, which constitutes for her not only a source of inspiration and research but a sphere for artistic experimentation as well. The element of spying in this context is no threatening bogey – it takes on a dimension of voyeurism and exhibitionism.

Functioning as ‘de-inventor’ –as declared by the title of the work– Theodorou entirely dispenses with the function of the original technical designs, and contrives a new application. The work induces the viewer into a world of virtual reality, dominated by childish symbols and vivid colours, whilst at second sight acquiring a threatening and ominous dimension as the dark side of the Internet is displayed. The artist creates a world of equivocation and uncertainty, revealing the ambiguity of the images she presents. Her work is articulated upon the yoking of opposites: the innocent meets the subversive, the dangerous the playful, the destructive the enticing, and the threatening, the joyful.

Daphne Vitali, Curator, Art historian.

Installation view from different exhibition spaces.

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