Sophia Kosmaoglou Lost Weekend, 2001. Automotive acrylic enamel on aluminium, 155 x 125 cm


Welcome to my website. This is an archive of previous work, home to current projects and launch-pad for future projects. Please click for a bio▾

I was once unequivocally an artist and it turned out to be a job that I didn’t enjoy half as much as my teaching job. I left my gallery and did a PhD to figure out why I ended up making expensive stuff for rich collectors, because that was not my idea of what being an artist was about. It turns out that producing exclusive commodities is just one of the many functions of the art world. It also legitimises power, receives state funds to carry out state policy, enhances sponsors’ corporate image and visibility, converts cultural capital into financial capital for institutions, generates profits from unpaid labour, accommodates money-laundering, arms-dealing and the list goes on. By the time I got to the end of my research I had lost all ambition to be part of the art world. In the mean time, I went underground and discovered Exploding Cinema, an open-access, open-membership, unfunded film collective. It’s just one of many small independent organisations that have the potential to create a shift in the power dynamics of the field, by recognising that it is the producers who legitimise the institutions and not the other way around. Artists might not be able to change society, but they can change the role that art plays in society.

I studied sculpture and work with all kinds of media. Collaboration and process are central to my work, I’m interested in social structures, institutions and networks and in ways of making their dynamics visible. The underlying concern in my work is with identity, and how it is constructed through relationships, between individuals, societies and authorities. I’ve used mimetic critique and performative self-representation as means of deconstructing structures and conventions.

My recent work is a series of sound interventions, Her Master’s Voice Presents (2012) periodically broadcasts announcements in public spaces, challenging the disembodied voice of authority. These are modelled on public service announcements and their content is drawn from political speeches, institutional Tweets, news articles, advertising, personality profiles, horoscopes, self-help books and personality assessment tests. This work reflects my interest in challenging the authority of institutions and exhibition conventions and my ambition to escape the confines of the art world by producing work in public space.

My PhD interrogates the scope of ambition in contemporary art and demystifies the art world. Entitled The self-conscious artist and the politics of art: from institutional critique to underground cinema, my thesis is a critical reassessment of aesthetic autonomy in art as culture industry. I define the art world as an institution of legitimation that disempowers artists and audiences alike. I address the institutionalisation of critique and the once-controversial relationship between art and politics alongside a critique of “participation”. I consider the displacement of meaning and value from the work of art to its context and the conditions of its production and circulation. The final chapter makes the case for building a network of autonomous art spaces and practices.

I am compiling a database of independent and artist-run spaces in the UK and researching the practices, histories, motivations, funding sources, goals and constitutions of independent venues and networks through interviews and surveys. This work will culminate in a Festival of Independents, a week-long event for independent organisations to engage with the concept of independence.

I teach studio practice, curating, critical theory, history & philosophy of art and video & film production. I taught Critical Studies and Studio Practice at Goldsmiths (2007-2010) and I currently teach short courses at Chelsea College of Arts, UAL (2009-present).

In 2015 I founded ART&CRITIQUE, an alternative art education network based in London and 2019 I co-founded the Radical Pedagogy Research Group, a research project on alternative art education, radical pedagogy and self-organisation.


Sophia Kosmaoglou

  Born 1970 in Johannesburg. Lives and works in London.
2012 Goldsmiths, University of London. Practice-based PhD in Fine Art: “The self-conscious artist and the politics of art: from institutional critique to underground cinema”
1995 School of Fine Art, Athens. Ptychion in Fine Art (Sculpture) First Class Honours with Distinction. Photography, Printmaking, Stage Design, Graphic Design, Theory of Art, History of Art, Philosophy of Aesthetics, Architecture, Pedagogy & Psychology of Education and Didactics in Art Education
1991 School of Fine Art, University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Foundation Course in Fine Art. Painting, Drawing, Photography, History of Modern Art and Architecture
2012 Her Master’s Voice Presents: An Ideal for Living, Goldsmiths, London
2002 Leng Tch’e: the Diamond Body, Ileana Tounta Con/Temporary, Athens
1998 Utopia Project, Alexander Cultural Centre, Florina
  You Don’t Have To Say Please, Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art, Athens
1996 The search for truth is on, Icebox, Athens
2019 Alternative Art School Weekender, Ugly Duck, London
2016 Flying over the Abyss, Athens Conservatoire, Athens
2015 Flying over the Abyss, Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki & Museum of Contemporary Art, Rethymnon
2014 Encyclopedia Galactica, GV Art, London (co-curator)
2013 Neon Paths: Echoes of Silence, ReMap 4, Athens
  Exploding Cinema, MS Stubnitz, London
  The System of Objects, Deste Foundation, Athens (Cat)
2012 Exploding Cinema Expanded, St James Hatcham, Goldsmiths, London
2007 Till Death Us Do Art, The Arches, London
2006 Masquerades: femininity, masculinity & other certainties, MOCA, Thessaloniki (Cat)
  Territories of Duration, Karsi Sanat, Istanbul (Cat)
2005 In Media, APT, London (co-curator)
2004 Breakthrough, Casa Alcala, Madrid (Cat)
2003 Brave New World, Ileana Tounta Con/temporary, Athens
  Acquisitions 2001-02, Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (Cat)
  I, Me, Myself, Centre for Contemporary Art, Rethymnon (Cat)
  Free Transit, Zappeion Megaron, Athens (Cat)
2001 Art Athina, Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art, Athens (Cat)
2000 Communication, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (Cat)
  Girls art pleasure 3, cur by COM & COM, Galerie Brigitte Weiss & Art Magazin, Zurich
  Hautnah, ACC Galerie, Weimar (Cat)
  Art Cologne, Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art, Cologne
  Cutting Edge, Arco Int. Contemporary Art Fair, Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art, Madrid
  Big Torino 2000, Cavallerizza, Torino (Cat)
  Jeux d’ Amour, Battersea Arts Centre, London (Cat)
  Art Athina, Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art, Athens (Cat)
  Kiss from Greece [3], Galerie Wohnemachine, Berlin (Cat)
1999 Cutting Edge, Arco Int. Contemporary Art Fair, Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art, Madrid
  Kiss from Greece [2], Galerie Edition Stalzer, Vienna (Cat)
  Art Athina, Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art, Athens (Cat)
1998 Cutting Edge, Arco Int. Contemporary Art Fair, Ileana Tounta Cont. Art, Madrid
  Art Athina, Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art, Athens (Cat)
1997 5th International Biennial, Istanbul (Cat)
  Take Off, Galerie Krinzinger at Benger Fabrik, Bregenz (Cat)
  Greek Realities, Kunsthallen Brandts Klaedefabrik, Odense
  42nd Salon D’Art Contemporain, Montrouge (Cat)
1996 Greek Realities, Stiftung Neue Kultur, Galerie im Marstall, Berlin (Cat)
  School of Fine Art Graduate Exhibition 1995, National Gallery, Athens (Cat)
  Spring Collection 96, Deste Foundation, House of Cyprus, Athens
  Stockholm Smart Show, Icebox, Wassahallen, Stockholm (Cat)
1995 Insignificance, The Agency Contemporary Art, London (Cat)
  More DNA stories, Icebox, Athens (co-curator)
1994 Body Politic, The Factory, School of Fine Art, Athens (co-curator)
  Fax-Art International, Heidelberger Schloss, Heidelberg (Cat)
2020 Alternative Art Education (Slow) Marathon, Conway Hall, London (organiser)
  Self-organisation for a co-operative art school, Antinuniversity Now!, London (facilitator)
2019 Workshops for a co-operative art school, Conway Hall, London (workshop facilitator)
  Conway Hall Research Residency, Conway Hall & Artquest, London (artist residency)
  How To Start Your Own Art School, Alternative Art School Weekender, Ugly Duck, London
  What is alternative art education? Alternative Art School Weekender, Ugly Duck, London
  Anarchist Pedagogies, Radical Pedagogy Research Group, Anarchist Festival, London
  Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Radical Pedagogy Research Group, Larc, London (facilitator)
  Radical Pedagogy Research & Reading Group Launch, LARC, London (organiser, facilitator)
2018 Deptford Art & Gentrification Walk Pt. 2, Deptford, London (organiser, facilitator)
  What is alternative art education? UK Commons Assembly, Tate Modern, London (facilitator)
  Frottage & Collage Workshop, Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden, London (facilitator)
  Deptford Art & Gentrification Walk, Deptford, London (organiser, facilitator)
2017 What is alternative art education? First Alt. Art Education Open-Day, SET Space, London
  Self-organisation for education and pedagogy, LARC, London (workshop facilitator)
2016 ACT Deptford Community Theatre, Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden, London (performer)
  A Better Besson Street: The Proper Consultation, The Field New Cross, London (campaigner)
  A Very Short Course in Self-Care & Mutual Care, Antiuniversity Now! The Field, London
2015 Exploding Cinema, Cinema Museum, London (programmer)
2014 Between & Across Disciplines: Art & Science in Higher Education, GV Art, London (organiser)
  London LASER 02, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London (speaker)
2013 Exploding Cinema, Stubnitz, London (organiser, programmer)
2012 Exploding Cinema Expanded, St James Hatcham, London (organiser, programmer)
2011 Exploding Cinema 20th Birthday Show, Dogstar, London (organiser, programmer)
2008 Exploding Cinema, Collision, Area 10, London (organiser, programmer)
2007 Inventing Methodologies2, Goldsmiths University of London (organiser, chair)
  With Not For Independent Media Conference, Star and Shadow, Newcastle (presenter)
  Project 2, Another Roadside Attraction, The Griffin, London (screening)
  Act Art 5: Till Death Us Do Art, The Arches, London
  Exploding Cinema, Half Moon, London (programmer)
2006 Exploding Cinema, The Albany, London (organiser)
  God said Albert…, Exploding Cinema, Hoxton Hall, London (screening)
  Between Actualities, East London Film Festival, Rich Mix, London (screening)
  Discourse Power Resistance 5, Manchester Metropolitan University (paper, screening)
  Interval [2], Slade / Cine Lumiere, London (paper, performance)
  Manifesta 6 Coffee Break, Arabahmet Cultural Centre, Nicosia (Goldsmiths research rep.)
  Exploding Cinema, Peckham Multi-Storey Car Park, London (organiser)
2005 Inventing Methodologies? Goldsmiths, London (organiser, paper)
  In Media, APT, London (performance/ panel discussion chaired by David Mollin)
2001 Skinnerbox, Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (discussion with Memos Filipedes)
1999 Une Petit Mort, Fleischerei Blasse, Galerie ACC, Weimar (performance/ sound installation)
  European Studio Programme, ACC Galerie / City of Weimar, Weimar (artist in residence)
1998 Millennium: Lectures on Greek Art at the End of the Century. Christie’s, Athens (artist’s talk)
  World Conference on Culture. UNESCO / KLYS, Hasselby Castle, Stockholm (paper)
  Emfietzoglia, Alexander Cultural Centre, Florina (artist in residence)
1997 On Love, Friendship & Other Possibilities. 5th Istanbul Biennial (panel discussion)
2021 Co-operative College, Manchester
2019 Incidental Unit, London
  AltMFA, London
  Radical Pedagogy Research Group London. Co-founder, coordinator, facilitator
2015 The Field New Cross London. Coordinator, admin 2015-2017
  ART&CRITIQUE London. Founder, coordinator, web developer, admin 2015-2019
2014 Deptford Cinema London. Programming Working Group 2014-2015
2005 Exploding Cinema London. Programmer, coordinator 2005-2019
1999 If No One Starts, No One Will Move artists’ network, Athens (co-curator)
1994 Body Politic, Athens. Founding member 1992-1994
1992 Katalipsi (Κτίριο Καλλιτεχνών), Athens. Member 1992-1999 (treasurer & caretaker 1992-1997)
2020 Emergency Response Fund, Arts Council England
2019-20 Conway Hall Library Research Residency, Conway Hall / Artquest, London
2006-07 Research Support Grant, Department of Visual Art, Goldsmiths College, University of London
2005-06 Research Support Grant, Department of Visual Art, Goldsmiths College, University of London
2003-06 Postgraduate Sculpture Scholarship, IKY Scholarship Foundation, Athens
1999-00 Resident Artist, European Studio Programme, ACC Galerie / City of Weimar
1993-94 Honorary Scholarship, IKY Scholarship Foundation, Athens
1992-93 Honorary Scholarship, IKY Scholarship Foundation, Athens
S. Kosmaoglou, A co-operative art school is pie in the sky. Towards New Schools, Epistemic shifts in art and design education. Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, Dec 2023.
S. Kosmaoglou, Interview with Feral Art School. URgh! #1: Alternative Art Education., Jul 2020.
S. Kosmaoglou, ed. URgh! Issue 1: Alternative Art Education., Jul 2020.
S. Kosmaoglou, Research Residency at Conway Hall Library (Editorial). Ethical Record, London, Apr 2020, pp. 3-4.
N. Kaplony, Conway Hall Residency 2019: Interview 1 with Sophia Kosmaoglou. Artquest, London, 29.10.2019
S. Kosmaoglou, This Much I’m Worth: A postidigital critique of value. Future Now, Aesthetica, York, 2017.
A. Angelidakis, M. Didero, The System of Objects, Deste Foundation, Athens, 2013 (Cat).
S. Kosmaoglou, Interview with Leila Nadir & Cary Peppermint of Ecoarttech, Furtherfield, 20 Apr 2012.
S. Kosmaoglou, The self-conscious artist and the politics of art, PhD Thesis, Goldsmiths, Univ. of London, 2012.
S. Kosmaoglou, A Report to the Academy, Inventing Methodologies2 conference report, Goldsmiths, Univ. of London, March 2007.
Marina Vishmidt, Something in the Interval, Vertigo, Vol. 3, Issue 3, Autumn 2006.
Irene Gerogianni,  Masquerades: Femininity, Masculinity, and Other Certainties MOCA, Thessaloniki, Artforum, 20 Dec 2006.
Syrago Tsiara, Masquerades: femininity, masculinity and other certainties, MOCA Thessaloniki, 2006 (Cat).
Memos Filipedes, Dispersed Urbanity of Aegean Archipelago, 10th Venice Architecture Biennale, 2006 (Cat).
Karen Edwin, Negotiating the In-Between? Mute Magazine, 19 Jun 2006.
Gulsen Bal, Territories of Duration, Karsi Sanat, Istanbul, 2006 (Cat).
J. H Rolling & L. M. Brogden, Two Hours or More Away, Pennsylvania State University, 2006.
Sophia Kosmaoglou, Inventing Methodologies, Research Hallmark 22, London, Autumn 2005.
K. Gregou, D. Zacharopoulos, Breakthrough, Casa Alcala, Regional Cultural Archives, Madrid, 2004 (Cat).
Dimitris Rigopoulos, Portrait of a young artist in Athens, View, Kathimerini, Apr 2003.
Elena Hamalidou, Contemporary Greek Artists, K. Koskina, E. Matthiopoulos ed, Athens: Melissa, 2003.
Nadia Argyropoulou, Free Transit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Athens, Jul 2003 (Cat).
Eleni Kypraiou, I, Me, Myself, Rethymnon Centre for Contemporary Art, Rethymnon, Jul 2003 (Cat).
Memos Filippides, Reality Kaleidoscopes, Vimagazino, Dec 15 2002.
Manos Stefanides, Greek Museum: Six Centuries of Greek Painting, Athens: Militos, 2001.
Paulina Proteoy, 10 Great Expectations, Epsilon, Athens, Dec 2001.
Sotiris Kyriakou, Athens Toward 2003, Tema Celeste 88, Milan, Nov/Dec 2001.
S. Kosmaoglou, Walkthrough, The Breeder, Athens, Jun 2001.
S. Kosmaoglou, Great Expectations bring Unexpected Results, The Breeder, Athens, Mar 2001.
M. Tsilimidou, Synoptic Birth of a Museum, Ependytis, Athens, 7-8 Oct 2000.
Lia Yoka, Women-Producers, Symbolic Women: Cont. Art & Current History, Univ. of Thessaly, Volos, 2000.
Anna Kafetsi, Lia Yoka, Four Reversals & A Return, Synopsis 1, Athens, Oct 2000 (Cat).
Maria Vlachou, Phase Portrait of Desire, Ozon/a.maze, Athens, Apr-May 2000.
Henry Meyric Hughes, Cleaning the Windows, Hautnah, Weimar, Apr 2000 (Cat).
Robert Fleck, Aggressive Multimedialty, Big Torino, Torino, Apr 2000 (Cat).
Hybrid, Jeux d’ Amour, London, Feb 2000 (Cat).
Hariklia Hari, Kiss from Greece [3], Athens, Jan 2000 (Cat).
Sophia Kosmaoglou, Elizabetta Kazalotti, ed., To seize life directly, Eleftherotypia, Athens, 8 Jan 2000.
S. Kosmaoglou, Socrates Socratous, ed., Spirit of the Millenium, Ependytis [Symbol], Athens, 31 Dec 1999.
Christian Meyer, Ein Happening in der Fleischerei, Thuringische Landeszeitung, Weimar, 7 Dec 1999.
Matthias Dell, Hautnah in der Fleischerei, Weimar Kultur Journal, Weimar, Dec 1999.
Nicole Richter, Fisch, Glas und Haut als Grenze, Thuringische Landeszeitung, Weimar, 12 Oct 1999.
Hariklia Hari, Kiss from Greece [2], Athens, 1999 (Cat).
Marina Fokidis, Review, Flash Art International, Oct 1998.
Rosa Martinez, Biennal 5+, Istanbul, 1998 (Cat).
Maria Marangou, Puppets and Emotions, Eleftherotypia, Athens, 2 Apr 1998.
Memos Filippedes, (Dis)Enchanting The Dolls, You Don’t Have To Say Please, Athens, 1998 (Cat).
Tomur Atagök, On Life, Beauty, Translations and Other Difficulties, n.paradoxa, 1998.
Lia Yoka, Post-feminist art in the Greek market. Possibilities and Limitations, Norwich, 1997.
Sureyyya Evren, Microsoft bienal ‘97, Arredamento Dekorasyon, Istanbul, Dec 1997.
Rosa Martinez, Istanbul Biennal 5, Istanbul, 1997 (Cat).
Lia Yoka, Women Creators of Culture, Papers of the Int/nal Conference, Univ. of Thessaloniki, 1997.
Dr. Ursula Krinzinger, Peter Weiermair, Take Off, Vienna, 1997 (Cat).
Peter M. Hornung, Graesk Kunst Fort Ajour, Politiken, Copenhagen, 10 June 1997.
Nicole Ginoux, Sania Pappa, 42eme Salon Contemporain, Montrouge, 1997 (Cat).
Alexandros Psychoulis, Sophia Kosmaoglou, Bored, CD ROM, Aeon 21, Feb 1997.
S. Helfrich, Greek Realities, Aktuel Kunst, 1996/1997.
G. Tzirtzilakis, Self-consciousness of a generation, Art Magazine, Athens, Dec 1996.
Paraskevi Katimertzi, The new Greek miracle, Ta Nea, Athens, 26 Nov 1996.
Thanasis Moutsopoulos, Exportable Realities, Anti Political Monthly, Athens, 8 Nov 1996.
Elfi Kreis, Der Piranha im Aquarium der Kunst, Der Tagesspiegel, 25 Nov 1996.
Carmen Boker, Akropolis, Adieu, Berliner Zeitung, 25 Nov 1996.
Birgit Hoffmeister, Giorgos Tsirtzilakis, Lia Yoka, Greek Realities, Athens, 1996 (Cat).
Katerina Gregou, Spring Collection, Zingmagazine, New York, 1996/1997.
Memos Filippides, Leaving the Operating Room Unscathed, Oxy magazine, Athens, Sep 1996.
School of Fine Art Graduates 1995, National Pinakothek, Athens, May 1996 (Cat).
Emily Tsigou, Spring Collection, Flash Art International, May-Jun 1996.
Smart Show 96, Stockholm, Feb 1996 (Cat).
Katerina Gregou, Spring Collection, Art Magazine, Athens, Jan 1996.
Helena Papadopoulos, Spring Collection 96, Athens, 1996 (Cat).
Martin Coomer, Insignificance, Time Out, London, 4-11 Oct 1995.
Bea de Souza, Insignificance, London, 1995 (Cat).
Emily Tsigou, On More DNA stories, Flash Art International, Oct 1995.
A. Koroxenidou, Body Politic -What does the piranha see? Art Magazine, Athens, Jul 1995.
  3E Collection, Athens
  ACC Galerie Collection, Weimar
  Dimitris Daskalopoulos Collection, Athens
  David Collection, Athens
  Anastasios David Collection, Athens
  Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens
  Make Collection, Goldsmiths, London
  Museum of Contemporary Art Collection, Athens
  Dimitris Paleokrasas Collection, Athens
  Gregory Papadimitriou Collection, Athens
  Papageorgiou Collection, Athens
  Private Collections