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Kelly Spanou

PhD Work

Towards a “postabyssal” curation: exchanging perspectives between subjects and objects drawing from the forest.

In this PhD by practice, I investigate how architectural elements – such as corridors, walls, ceilings – within museums, embody the colonial ideologies of such institutions, and in turn enforce these ideologies onto the body. The case studies of my research include the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Tate Britain in London. Online platforms such as 'Google Street View', 'Instagram' and 'Twitter', are means to interrogate spatial strategies of such museums, and to draw parallels between their physical and virtual curation.

I focus on epistemological questions around anthropocentrism and the body, drawing from feminist and anti colonial theory and I consider a relationship between the sensorial, rational, and physical (Ahmed 2006,2014; Santos 2018). Situated against technocratic determinism of 'smart' objects and cities as it manifests in the spatial organisation of the gallery, I review data driven curatorial approaches in terms of their impact on body and space relationship. In order to frame ways via which such relationships could be shaped beyond the limits symbolic representation, I draw thinking from the world of plants, and I consider the gallery and the forest as a symbiotic system.

MA work

A perpetual landscape

This project was inspired by the combination of narrative, motion through colour, composition and brush strokes in J. M. W. Turner ’s painting Snow Storm—Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth making Signals in Shallow Water, and going by the Lead. The Author was in this Storm on the Night the Ariel left Harwich. It recognises landscape as a human construct, whilst aiming to give tangibility to the material appearance of things, in relation with our experience. Extracting components of the landscape in the English seaside town of Margate, and reproducing them with digital and physical fabrication techniques, I question the relationship of physical and virtual in our understanding of our surroundings. 


  • PhD


    School of Communication


    Communication Research, 2017–2021

  • MA Degree


    School of Communication


    MA Information Experience Design, 2016

  • Degrees

  • Diploma of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens, 2011; MA Information Experience Design, Royal College of Art, London, 2016
  • Exhibitions

  • Apeiro, 9th Jena FullDome International Festival, Jena, Germany, 2015; Sonar, 10th Jena FullDome International Festival, Jena, Germany, 2016; Apeiro, Latino Dome Festival, CAP, Medellin, Colombia, 2016; Sonar, RCA Full Dome Research Group, Call & Response Exhibition, Royal College of Art, London, UK, 2016; Melusine (Tabeling,Grogan, Spanou), Ponyland Exhibition, Hockney Gallery, Royal College of Art, London, UK, 2016; Myopia, Exhibition for Le Corbusier’s 50th death anniversary, N.T.U.A, Institution Le Corbusier, Swiss Embassy,French Institute, Int. Foundation Le Corbusier, Greek Institute of Architecture,at Romantzo, Athens, Greece, 2016
  • Awards

  • First Year Students’ Award Prize sponsored by California Academy of Sciences 9th Jena FullDome International Festival, Germany, 2015; First Year Students’ Award Prize, in Latino Dome Festival, Medellin Planetarium, Medellin, Colombia, CAP, 2016
  • Conferences

  • 'Extending the Language of Fulldome Space' (French, Howey and Spanou), International Planetarium Society Conference (IPS) Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw, Poland, 2016; 'Digital Impressionism' (Ferrarello, Pecirno and Spanou), International Conference and Exhibition on Digital Architecture (DADA), Tongii University in Shanghai, China, 2015; 'Apeiro', Screening at the British Association of Planetaria Conference (BAP), Winchester Science Centre, Winchester, UK, 2015