Τετάρτη, 2 Ιουλίου 2014

Βy Gertsakis for Magdas Christopoulou degree exhibition... English text


This week in Florina, for three days, there was a graduating visual arts degree exhibition of final year students distributed in 50 locations around the town and outskirts in vacant and deserted buildings. I didn't visit them all as it was hot and we were are a little on the weary side. However, the handful we did, were of interest and there were at least two which were stand outs. I do have a list of names but for now will only post some images here. I think the most exceptional work was by a woman artist called Magda Christopoulou. She had selected a selected a small house from the period of the Balkan wars and later, the Greek civil war, to do a piece about poets who have committed suicide. Greek poets, as well as more well known ones such as Sylvia Plath, Ann Sexton, Mayakovsky and others.
She scratched through the surface layer of paint in various rooms already in a ruinous state to reveal below a paint coat of darker shade, she used the contrast to expose the portrait of each poet, leaving the piles of scratched paint dust on the ground. Each room was darkly lit with a very traditional oil lamp. Readings came from a half open closet or from under a stair well. One of the major pieces was a group image of 'unknown poets' who died by suicide guns, one for each of the number of them, attached pointing into the wall. A dark piece but very very beautiful both in its materiality of residue and ruin but also in its revelation of tones from scratching the walls to expose the ghosts of lost souls. This was the first exhibition I saw and in many ways it set the agenda for the studio influence on these graduating students in terms of leadership regarding use of ruins as essential materials and as a philosophical understanding of history in ruins.

Doctoral candidate, Department of History and Philosophy, Univ of Melbourne; Artist, curator, writer


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