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Comment on the 20th century

In the beginning was the fire
Fragments
  Prothesis
     
 

 

The gender
by Lena Kokkini, Art Historian

I dreamed of a nest whose trees drove death away …
A. SHEDROW

 

With the awareness, and more fundamentally, the feeling that everything is repeated within the continual flux of things and their contradictiona, but without ever being the same, so that the concepts of “new old” are reduced to nothing, Annita Argyroheliopoulou creates works which spring from an unexplored oneiric depth but are at the same time memories both personal and legendary. Her materials are pliable such as wire, straw, pine needles, sticks, Chinese paper and fabric which she uses “ self- evidently” without the emphasis or the provocation of the Arte Povera artists. They are means and not an end. By the time she appeared in the Youth Biennale at Marseilles (1990), she was already looking for Ariadne’s thread in the myth of creation. Constructions, and paintings present strange beings, enormous lizards making love, but they all have an amazing equilibrium suspended between their existence and their shadow. It is no accident that her first solo show (1993) was called Ontogeny. The branching of mysterious trees and the aggressive beaks of birds re strongly reminiscent of a set for a Strindberg play. Since them the forms have become lighter and the black volumes have disappeared, but the aim has stayed the same. An enormous spider, waiting patiently to devour a small insect, projects its shadow on the wall (the group exhibition, “ On the Opposite side”? ). She hs also managed to successfully render fluttering wings before flight in her work “ Wings of Daedalus” (the group exhibition, “ Myth” ). Her present work makes use of constractions, primordial forms and pictorial allusions to arrange space with skilful design and theatrical flare, based on the archetypes of the “ eternal female” . A womb, a nest, a shell, centers of a compressed solitube, so powerful, erotic and primitive they lure one into the intoxication of genesis… A female figure appears to be trying to liberate herself from her bonds of wine. For the first time in Annita’s work red, dark red, plays a symbolic role. It could be the red that leaves turm in autumn, or the color of blood, of “ inner roaming” , direct and aggressive. Outside the games played with shadow, Argyroheliopoulou’s work is marked by the dialectic of “ within” and “ without” in continual motion. As our eye wanders over the farms, it discovers the symbols, curses and tender exorcisms of Eros. And in the magic world they open one finds that, (ehat else? ) erotic love has been protected, “ immobilized” , for a moment, so the cycle can start over again from the beginning.

 
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