Apostolos Kalfopoulos teaches (lecturer) architectural design, interior design, strategic design, design thinking and history and theory of architecture, art and design at the School of Architecture of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. He is an architect, art critic (A.I.C.A) and an independent curator. He is the founder and director of DYNAMO project-space, an independent, non-profit body that supports, promotes and disseminates contemporary creative and original research by generating, knowledge, creativity and innovation.
The topic of the proposed research work concerns the change of the paradigm of the observer, manifested through the avant-garde in art and architecture from 1900 to 1940. This is a period during which established views on observation and perception are put into «motion». Views describing perception as static, continuous and uncompromising give way to descriptions which increasingly include the dimension of time and duration. This is a «motion» that is clearly linked to the radical changes taking place in the fields of thought, science and technology and especially in philosophy, physics and mathematics, physiological optics and psychology, social theory, theory of art and architecture and the very experience of the metropolis.
Within this research project we study the ways in which, during the most dynamic development of the metropolis, the construction of identity of the modern subject is associated with multiple "motions" that take place both in philosophical, scientific and aesthetic modernisms and the very nature of representation. If the relationship between space and identity is directly linked to representation then this research project aims to study how the explosive production of representations of the avant-garde in architecture and art is directly associated with the emergence of this new identity of the modern subject.
The work will focus on the ways in which the modernization of the observer takes place in a new complex spaces, constructs, formations and artifacts, where the whole range of mechanisms of the capturing of attention operates. John Rajchman calls these places "Spaces of Constructed Visibility». These include the artistic and architectural work of the avant-garde, the exhibitions and performances, pavilions and all of their selective affinities such as theater, typography and film as well as the museum, the shopping arcade and the national and international exhibitions.
As part of the research will be studied the ways in which "Spaces of Constructed Visibility" pragmatic objects, material practices and representation methods reject the humanist subject and its identification with the world of perspective and set anew the identity of the modern subject. This specific study involves the compilation of a theoretical, analytical and critical framework that interprets the special ability of "Spaces of Constructed Visibility" to make things "visible" in a certain way and a demonstration of the ways in which this capacity is linked to the broader expression of "seeing" and "being seen" (visibilités) of that historical period i.e. the "broader subconscious of vision", that determines what is and what is not "visible" during this period.
Here, the word «broader subconscious» refers both to the collectiveness of the anonymous body of theory and practice that determines what can and what can not be "seen" during a specific period to the ability of this body to remain invisible without being hidden. In the same manner the concept of «visibility» borrowed from Foucault, "in no way relates only to vision and the gaze, that is to a subject-observer, but to the whole of "perception" as an assemblage comprising of all the sensory mechanisms and techniques of capturing attention.