Angelo Plessas’ International Portrait Gallery Slideshow for Sedition is linked to his installation Temple of Play at the 2013 Frieze Art Fair, Regent’s Park, London, where it is part of one of the activities available for spectators to get involved with. Located adjacent to the projects area of Frieze, Plessas’ Temple of Play is “a multimedia playground - part installation, part education space, part performance area, part meditation zone - that offers all visitors, particularly children, the chance to experience art in a relaxed, informal environment. (It) is intended to be fully interactive, enabling visitors to create their own aesthetic environments via different activities physical or online or both”.
One part of Temple of Play includes the Emoticon Theatre, an installation exploring portraiture and the art of creating faces, both traditionally and with the help of digital tools. ‘Emoticons’ are glyphs made up of punctuation marks used in emails or texts to indicate an emotion or attitude - and Plessas is showing a slideshow of images that resemble such emoticons by chance: his International Portrait Gallery Slideshow. The latter is an online archive of the same name - InternationalPortraitGallery.com - where the artist collects photographs of objects, environments and situations with anthropomorphic qualities, resembling emoticons. Plessas uses these images as inspiration for his work, and collects them as a study of the evolving role of portraiture in the time of virtual reinvention of the self-image and forms of communication.
InternationalPortraitGallery.com was presented during Frieze 2013, where the slideshow was updated with new works and images produced by spectators visiting Temple of Play. Sedition has made a selection of the pre-Frieze slideshow exclusively available to its members - a key piece of Plessas’ ongoing investigation of both the real and the hyperreal in his journey to map the changing role of art and social practice in the digital age.