Christina Mitrentse image

Concerned with certain esoteric qualities of cultural construction, Mitrentse uses manifold processes of drawing, painting, site-specific installation and vintage book-sculpture. Since 2004 she continued to freely create new narratives and poetic ensembles of non-normalized but temporary self-institutions i.e. schools, libraries, museums. The initial starting point was’ The Secret School’ (2005) demonstrated as a site-specific installation based on the Greek myth, housed at a WWII bomb shelter just before the London bombings.

In a globalised environment increasingly dominated by the digitization of the book, e-learning and hypertext, Mitrentse’s project ADD TO MY LIBRARY (2008-ongoing),alludes to a non-normalised Meta-Library that is designed to provoke changes in the function of the material book, and the user’s relationship with it, while de-institutionalising it in the process. It is dialectically related with the book practices of renowned British artist John Latham, and with Walter Benjamin’s essay ‘Unpacking my Library’ among other reference points, while invites the public to re-interpret their own belief systems, and re-contextualise bibliographic experience.

For the realisation of ADD TO MY LIBRARY Vol II (2010-ongoing), Mitrentse has invented an ongoing systematic methodology. An Online Bibliographic Data Flow that compiles favorite book titles/authors selected by invited international contributors from the art world. (artists-curators-historians-theorists-critics-gallerists -writers etc). Being a critique on the book as sacred object and site of subjectivity, she creates a series of large-scale drawings that depict books as the building blocks of idiosyncratic institutions, print editions and sculptures. i.e. STONEHENGE, WWW, NEW TATE, EMBLEM, RUINS I. The demystified books are organised as emanations of social experiences. Having transcended any thematic organization, they amalgamate into an infinite Meta-Library.

Mitrentse considers this project as addressing the relationship of disembodied knowledge to embodied experience and materiality. It critically questions the fragility of distributing knowledge in the current Educational and socio-political persecution as this is widely experienced within the global crisis. Who manages and has access to the repositories of knowledge and information in our society? What is the value of the traditional book nowadays? What does materiality mean in a digital era?

Mitrentse is multidisiplinary artist and art educator based in London. With an Onassis foundation fellowship, she holds an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design and a PGCE from University of Greenwich. Her artworks are included in major private and public collections in Europe and the United States. Selected shows include: ‘ADD TO MY LIBRARY VOL. I & II’, Departure Gallery London, Art Work Space and Trinity 2010-11, Salon Art Prize, Matt Robert Arts London 10, Brussels Art Fair ‘09 – Apartment Gallery Athens.Public Project Commission at Greenwich Foot Tunnel 08-09 London. ‘Time’ Stephen Lawrence Gallery-Greenwich. ‘Terra Extremitas – The End of the Earth’at NDSM- Amsterdam 08.‘Emerging Artists Explore Cinema’ Griechishe Kultustiftung Berlin 06. ‘The Secret School’ – Solo Project at a bomb shelter, London 05. Contemporary Art from Beltsios Collection Athens 06. She also co-curates international shows in London and Greece, most noticeably LINEAR B, Stephen Lawrence gallery, London 2011-12, Celestial Contrakt, 09, selected top shows by Time Out-First Thursdays, 09, ‘Who Cares About Greek Art?’ Athens 06, and ‘The Flat Pack’ Deptford London06.