The Island Club presents I’m going to film the shadows, the first solo exhibition of self-taught fashion designer, artist and poet Dimitris Tsouanatos (b. 1944).
In 1978, together with his brother, musician George Vanakos, Dimitris Tsouanatos founded Remember Fashion, a clothing label that set out to define “new ways of dressing” inspired by Post Punk and New Wave culture. Soon after, the Remember Fashion boutique became one of the most important meeting spots for the Athenian underground scene. Theatrical, extravagant and embracing a DIY aesthetic, Tsouanatos’ designs drew inspiration from Surrealism, Dadaism and Retrofuturism. These references informed an array of sculptural and structurally intricate outfits created with unusual materials such as cork, polystyrene, rubber piping, transparent plastic and aluminium sheets, amongst others. Tsouanatos consistently opted for unconventional settings for his shows and photoshoots, including the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland, the Pyramids in Giza as a backdrop, the London underground, a bullfighting ring in Madrid, or a ship en-route to Mykonos as a stage.
In 1984, Tsouanatos published his first book of poems, Light in the Darkness of the Day: After – Before – Thoughts, dedicated to his brother-in-law who had died prematurely. In the years to follow he compiled an ambitious anthology of poems, stories and collages (After Before Thoughts No.2, 1991), exploring how “daily sensory stimuli shall lead oneself and others to a better future”. During this period, his practice expanded to include video and sculpture, both proving to be integral, albeit external elements of this project.
Dimitris Tsouanatos lives and works in Athens where he is preparing his fourth publication.
Twenty-one original collages from After Before Thoughts No.2 as well as the complete series of his never-before-seen video works will be exhibited at The Island Club. A fashion show, showcasing a selection of outfits from the collections Gladiators Netronians & The Rythm of Shadows (1981), Wayfarers to space (1987), Sperm (2011), Anti-Gravity (1989), Protect (1993) and Take a dive to paradise (1991), will complement the opening of the exhibition.