Organic reading participation and wind ink browsing
Black in white: The book in art
PIOP HISTORICAL ARCHIVE
(Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation)
Participation in the group art exhibition in the context of the celebration Athens 2018 – World Book Capital
Review by Louisa Karapidaki
[M.S.’s] narration flows harmoniously with writing and painting depiction from living room to living room, while the pages of the book are tied -symbolically and substantially- to the back and to the outside with threads, thus creating a single book-shaped art object…
«Black in white: The book in art», PIOP Historical Archive (Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation)
Unique works of applied art, handmade books by artists form the core of the exhibition “Black in white”. Bound books; leporellos; books with painting, engraving or photography works; books made of rare papers in conventional or unconventional form; books-sculptures are presented with their polymorphic artistic expressions while maintaining their narrative power.
Zoe Keramea traces with pencil the morphological adventures of geometric shapes in leporello books. In her schematized writing, the minimum is successively mutated and transformed into the mega. In the path of pictorial iconographic metamorphosis, the floating shapes are rendered with precision, despite their absolutely minimalist character, and are projected masterfully by the skillful combination of linear and ethereal perspective through the chromatic contrast of the painted on blank surface of the paper.
In her handmade book “organic participation of reading and ink foliation by the wind”, Maria Stamati expresses thoughts, questions and reflections by intervening painterly on her manuscript. The narrative flows harmoniously with writing and the pictorial illustration from living room to living room, while the book pages are bound – symbolically and essentially – at the spine and threaded on the outside, thus creating a single book-like art object.
Through the pages of the unique copy of the book “Light. Schisms in Matter”, Kostas Vittis visualizes the penetration of light from matter into spiritual, immaterial space and he conveys these visual transformations to us. In his photographs he captures material forms with a peculiar, photo-impressionistic approach. As a result, the depicted image is multiplied, the movement is dominating, the transformations are being permanent and a new narrative visual record is created.
Konstantinos Xenakis presents the book “Ithaka” inspired by the poem “Ithaca” by Konstantinos Cavafy. The pages are full of images, portraits, maps, scripts and symbols. They are transformed, they acquire a different volume and form, while alien objects are incorporated into them, so that the whole work takes the form of a sculptural prominent composition. Essentially, the artist negotiates the intangible meanings of the poem by pictorially rendering its universal dimension.
Yannis Psychopaidis exploits the structure of leporello to develop pictorially his favourite themes by incorporating in them reflections, opinions, doubts and other associations of his critical thinking on social and political issues. The characteristics of his mannerist painting remain unchanged with the organized realistic references of a fragmentary rendering suggesting a peculiar spirituality with meditative overtones.
Pelagia Kyriazi presents the independent edition of 80 copies of “VIA”, consisting of her own text with typesetting (letterpress), hand-pasted images and signed silkscreen. While respectfully maintaining the format and specifications of a conventional book (cover, front cover, title, subtitle, bookbinding, text typesetting…), she treats the publication as a single work of art and she skillfully projects the coexistence of her written word and her characteristic expressionist images.
Giorgos Giotsas disassembles his books. With the individual pages, he creates an entire installation entitled “Uncertain Alphabet”, while keeping the idea of writing as a central theme. Letters of the alphabet, ideograms or writing symbols have taken the place of words and march scattered over the detached floating pages and they create the illusion of a three-dimensional alphabet.
Stefanos Zannis presents for the first time the book “Iliad, Rhapsody e”, part of his giant project on Homer’s poetry. This is not a simple illustration but free thematic illustrative compositions after Zannis’ long engagement (since 1992) with “deep learning of Homer’s language and immersion in the stories and commentaries of ancient and modern scholars. The book relates the visual to the philosophical part of the theme realization and the linguistic to the commentaries history on the themes that Homer opens up in his poetry”.
Venia Dimitrakopoulou presents unique copies of books in leporello format. On rare papers using ink and coloured watercolours, she leaves her written-painted testimonies. This whole series of her works is part of the idea of a diary, inspired by the artist’s lived experience of keeping diaries as a young child “sometimes with drawings and sometimes with words”. The process of rendering through the art of painting and the transmission of personal daily experiences in the form of personal notes, constitutes an extraordinary visual interesting result.
Markos Campanis creates leporello books with his painted compositions and spectacularly exploits the structure of these endless books with the narrative power of his successive representations. His chosen subjects, such as urban traces, are being narrated with the help of small paintings or same-sized- monotypes, mapping the industrial area of Tavros, Attica, where the Historical Archive of Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation is housed, or taking us on a journey to prehistoric times by depicting the maps of the places mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey.
The viewer discovers through the visual books of the exhibition “Black in white” the three-dimensional recording approach of Xenakis; the stories without writing of Keramea; the pictorial and plastic extensions of the Greek mythology of Zannis; the sequences in the narrative depictions of Kambanis; Dimitrakopoulou’s applied visual approaches; Stamati’s interdependence of writing and virtual narrative; Vittis’ photographic incarnations; Psychopaidis’ semantic references; Kyriazi’s multidimensional imagery and Giotsas’ adventures in deconstructing visual art. The identity, the personal writing influences and the conceptual approaches of each artist are revealed through the high art of “artist books”.
Exhibition curator: Louisa Karapidaki
See more: Photos of the exhibition «Black in white: The book in art».