Michail Pirgelis ‘Los Angeles’ @ Sprüth Magers London

German-born, Greek artist Michail Pirgelis is presenting his first solo exhibition in the UK titled ‘Los Angeles’ at Sprüth Magers London.

Pirgelis’ keen interest on aviation and luxury travel is clearly demonstrated in his work. Since 2003, he paid frequent visits to ‘boneyards’ of retired aircrafts in Arizona and California, where the vessels await to be re-deployed or to have their parts re-used for other still viable planes. Although Pirgelis carefully picked important parts and transformed them into sculptures, these components can be easily come back to their previous life and function again as vital parts of an aircraft.

‘Telescope’ (2011) and ‘Mainframe’ (2011) are two very good examples of the artist’s work that show his intentions to explore the instability of the luxury travel industry and how the golden age of flight has gradually been taken over by budget airlines. The highly polished aluminium surfaces of ‘Mainframe’ is a great indication of how expensive material has been replaced by inexpensive substitutes.

Despite the visual parallelisms with the plane crash, Pirgelis does not aim to trigger such thoughts. In fact, none of the parts that he uses comes from plane wreckage. His main attempt is to explore the significance of flying, which is something that humans dreamt of since ancient times. The employment and the progress of technology have made flying possible however the sense of fragility and in some cases the psychological frustration still prevents some individuals from flying.

This is an exhibition with material from a source that everyone is accustomed to but also achieves to generate emotions and memories from travel as well as epxeriences on an individual basis.
|Kostas Prapoglou