Decayable time: Snapshots of variations in spacetime.
The following artwork series conceive the act of ‘seeing’ as a mental process rather than a simplistic imprinting: a reflection of vision onto the brain. This process is interpreted as a reformulation of visual data, based on norms and rules. Norms and rules that have been refined based on factors such as experience, education and are affected by a number of other parameters such as the contemporary state of mind. Video artist Bill Viola explains: “Our relationship with reality does not derive from our visual impression, but is rather formed by the impression synthesized from the models of space and objects that our brain creates… Images are nothing more than a source, a set of incoming data”. In other words, when we look at a space, we direct our gaze along its’ different points. The mental image shaped within our minds ultimately derives from the synthesis of all those partial images. The adventure of discovery within an urban environment, the Flâneur allows the acquaintance with ones’ surroundings.
It encourages the discovery of the cities offering various visual perceptions, fragments; points, boundaries which synthesize this partial image that forms ones’ reality. In this thesis, a collection of scattered photographs capturing the decomposed surfaces and traces of modern ruins that coexist with the human presence in everyday city, compose the first impression of one’s imprinted reality. Analyzing the decomposition of surfaces, traces and modern ruins which form a palimpsest within the modern city, a personal visual vocabulary and the main axis along which this painting installation is evolved is formed1.
Geometry: point, line and form, surface and depth, the play between the visible and the inconspicuous, concealment and revelation, their meeting points and their boundaries, form the main toolset for capturing the perceived reality.
Τhe urban fabric is approached as an adventure. The reading of its different realities leads to the perception of its totality. The city is not seen as a system of enclaves, exclusions and proprietorships, but as a variety of identities, of senses, qualities and versatile interpretations, a scene of action, an effective and holistic experience, a timeless architectural composition, a palimpsest body of information with successive records and deletions2.
The familiarization and understanding of the city stems from the reading of its traces and its ruins, facts that form its redefinition. Areas that are in desertification and disuse within the active area of the city are approached in terms of their former use, the aesthetics and the continuously changing needs of the city that redefine these spaces. The process of aging, the passage of time, transforms a building into a ruin. It is a process of continuous creation of geometries, shapes and forms that add to the building – ruin this constantly changing visual character.
The next section of artworks depicts this adventurous journey within space and time, displaying the memories of the city in isolated time frames: snapshots that compose this changing character of a new reality. Time shapes and transforms space, leaving plenty of traces. The reconstruction and imprinting of these traces restores the memory as the presence of traces brings back memories of the past, the present but also the future.
The present, the reality we live in, is treated as a painful, non-cohesive place, as a time of forfeit and darkness, interwoven with the unknown. Seeking a shelter as a counterpart to restore the security of the past, the moments that have passed are purged through the filter of our imagination, covered with an idyllic – mythical veil. Unconsciously, we seek the return to an earlier time and place, a place which is associated with the images that stimulate our senses. We seek the escape from our historical continuous and its’ painful memoirs. Recognizing the utopia of our escape, we remain captives, embedded within the historical continuum that we stumbled to during our journey within time.
The nostalgia of returning to an earlier time in our real ‘homeland’ is commented on in this series of works. The ontological condemnation of the irreversibility of time, the inability to avoid physical deterioration and death are expressed. Each snapshot is isolated from its past, making its own space and time, inviting the viewer to explore it. It invites the viewer to create his own reality by composing fragments and imprints that have been isolated during this exploration of space and time.