Denys Zacharopoulos - art historian, art critic, curator and museum director
Diversity within the whirlpool of repetition
"Gesture, that with strained nerve, ceaselessly fills square kilometers of paper, canvas and wood. Tracks, footprints of the wild beast on the ground, the ground a common space of carnal union, a clearing, a passage - and we the hunters following the track, trailing the beast: beast, meaning.
A track like Agamemnon's footprint where Orestes' foot will fail: recognition.
Above all recognition within an arbitrary code of shapes. Arch, cloud, suitcase, airplane, roadsidememorial, heart, ship, sun, etc., constitute a specific code of circulation of significance within the stereotype of portrayal: image - self-image - identity. Like the words in the verses of a popular song, continual repetition, variation, change and repetition: the abc of "transferal".
History, personal and general - for the personal is the general- is continually translated in the alternation of shapes. History as a dream of Traumgeschichte and day-dreaming, fossils of an avoided death. The egg's shell, lizard's tail, snake's skin, the pattern on the turtle's abdomen all measure the stages of ceaseless transformation: Proteus.
Adventure, checking of reversal: we turned them upside down yesterday. And yesterday is everyday: the surprise of waking daily with the pain of the past night - night and day all the same - like an inkspot, a mark stamped on you.
In the end, the body disappears under all the marks and the only witness is the intensity of the gesture on paper: gesture, the body's writing: the body, the stamp of time and death and that of others-and in the end only others: yours is lost under the marks.
The gesture jots down the marks that cover death like the one that brings in death in order to cover it up. The death you give yourself is another death and as such the only death that is yours.
And the gesture writes death's letter as clearly as in a good student's notebook: intimacy with its body.
The luxury of this art is the potential for intimacy with death, the incarnation of fear in its identity, the nakedness of writing, it's nakedness, the body, a marble obelisk with the marks incised on it-history entire.
"Art is deep pain. Art is deep love. Art is the pre-death laugh. WE are art with our faults and passions. There is no advantage in art" (Alexis Akrithakis).
But there are virtues in art-even if for it alone- so that it can flee from what they want it to do it, to flee from itself, to not come to an end, to remain motion, transformation, to react as intensely as it can, to be overthrown and to overthrow.
The materials, wood and any objects from personal, social memory, the memory of space, extracted from the real decay of time, the decay of usability, carnal union suspended in the closed space of a painting, theater scenes, useless objects, are fantastically adapted to each other, crushed under the weight of connection, contraction. Each form of material writing belongs to a signifying sequence, a series without logical continuity, only a codified, tactical consequence. (Chance) in its objective dimension. The meanings, each and everyone, come from another signifying space. The unforeseen is systematized and the signifying code functions inversely, overthrowing the meaning of the dominant, stereotyped and ideological form of communication.
The persistent adulteration of each element, the recording of the signified, the anagrammatic and metaphoric writing make up a village-limit of rational language. Utopian dialect, Esperanto, desperados, seismograph of the resistance to principle, an end continually shifting, the end of meaning.
Animated drawings, animated, like the Rocking chair which narrates and Akrithakis paints, writes mechanically as a game, as a psychiatric test. Mechanically as the machines of Jules Verne, Wells, the machine that travels in time. A rayogramme of memory , of a future memory, imagination, outside the known categories: mingling of languages, amalgam of expressive means, a hieroglyphic, ideogrammatic language, where concepts and shapes are without portrayal. Le temps perdu and WE are art and there is no art outside the occasion without the need of the person-always someone different- to say this, hindered systematically by every society and there is not any art without passions and faults and the greater the passions the deeper the relationship of art with history and the greater the faults the more radical its intervention. For it is not a fault, just outside common measure and passion, and it is endeavoring to break this common measure and art is no more than the faults and passions of society, than the inversion of its history.
History is for the victors, art for the losers.
And lost time is lost forever."
Published in ARTI art magazine, volume 4, 1991