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Comment on the 20th century

In the beginning the fire
Fragments
  Prothesis
     
 

 

In the beginning was the fire
by Bia Papadopoulou

Annita Argyroheliopoulou turned to the use of fire as part of her artistic process in 1989 when she was still a student at the Athens School of Fine Arts, The ontological drawings of that period were developed in the third dimension, creating
drawings in space that were first presented in i993. In those constructions, Argyroheliopoulou drew by burning while also taking advantage of the dark signs created by fire. These imprints became a new source of inspiration and opened up
new directions, providing ideas for the continuation and completion of the works.
ln her installation at the Titanium Yiayiannos Gallery, Argyroheliopoulou again uses fire, turning it once more into a creative gesture. Now, however, fire is not only a methodological tool or a mental impetus. It is furthermore the conceptual and thematic focus of the art work as well as an actual, live material of the final composition. Argyroheliopoulou partially burns the two dimensional transparent films that she uses, thus forming microscopic human figures with curves and an airy volume. These fragile existences hang from the ceiling, one next to the other,
composing a microcosm that ignores the laws of gravity. The suspended protagonists move slowly from the pulsating flames of the white candles which are exactly below them. They rotate in slow motions and are carried away in a sensual dance in space. `
The self-illuminated installation imposes a feeling of  absolute silence as the viewer is absorbed by the  tender dance movements of the practically immaterial forms. The
metaphysical environment brings to mind a land inhabited the souls of the dead. The human figures recall fleeting shadows –Homer’s ghosts of those no longer living -but
further remind one in the most poetical fashion of the  violence of war. The carbonized figures of the television scenes have been transformed in Argyroheliopoulous work into  ethereal beings. The dangerous fire has been turned into a beneficial force that helps shape the anonymous theatrical protagonists
while also leading them to a dance of cosmic renaissance. Our common desire —even if it sounds like a utopian dream  is for a better world to rise from today’s ashes; a world more inspired and just, more oneiric and creative, more peaceful and safer than the one we are all now experiencing.  Because unfortunately nowadays fire lies at the beginning of everything, fire is the emblem and landmark of the authoritative empire 
fear and awe, leading the 21st century at a Hesiodian  reality of  absolute moral decline in the oxymoron name of the pacifists  intentions and universal humanist goals of the West. Art that transmutes experiences into poetical images and
intervenes dynamically in present situations is called to play the role of the contemporary Aeschylian Prometheus, that of  an Enlightener, a revolutionary, a pioneer in this world.

 

 
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