Publicscapes :: “Root”



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Durational multi media performance, sand, digital sound composition,

performers Christina Reinhardt & Nondas Damopoulos

5m x 4.2m / 23 minutes

IMG_9762 IMG_9768 IMG_9777 IMG_9782 IMG_9787 IMG_9757 IMG_9796Acclaimed Athenian choreographer Iris Karayan and composer Yorgos Simeonidis and have been invited by the artist to collaborate in the evolution of a multi media work in response to a geometric pattern known as ‘The Flower of Life’. This geometry can be created by inscribing a circle with compasses, placing the compasses on the circumference of the circle and inscribing a second circle. The compasses are then placed at the points where the arc of the second circle intersects the first and another circle inscribed. This method can be repeated indefinitely to result in an exquisitely beautiful and philosophically significant tessellating pattern.

The performance opens with a sudden and overwhelmingly loud block of sound sampled from recent political demonstrations in Athens. Individual voices are only barely discernible. The sound stops abruptly and a new digitally generated sound is heard. Part played and part programmed the sound has the quality of the classical Greek double reed pipe called Avlos. The ensuing composition has a Middle Eastern quality that reflects the modal system that is used in the Arabic countries and Turkey since the 15th Century and is based on a melodic system that dates back to classical Greek music and Pythagoras. The foundation of the composition is a continuous sound derived from the idea of circular movements through sand that echoes the physical movements in space and time of the performers

In this work two performers – a naked man and a woman – use their bodies to describe archetypal geometric forms into pure white marble dust that fills a 5m x 4.2 metre metal framed rectangle, revealing the black surface of the floor beneath as the line of the drawing. Standing as archetypes the performers move slowly and with intensity, absorbed in a meditative task – creating a form individually or in unison, then erasing the marks with a wooden level run across the surface of the dust. The work explores the relationship between the ubiquitous mathematical phenomena that exist below the surface of all things that in turn inform and define the specifics of our sensual relationship to the world

The performance occurs on the opening night of the exhibition and the ‘drawing’ remains as a ‘relic’ in the gallery over the course of the show accompanied by a filmic document of the performance screened alongside. The work will also be re-presented as a free public event in the location of Monastiraki square in the heart of historical Athens at the end of the gallery exhibition

Developed as a site-specific project in the birthplace of modern geometry, ‘Root’ attempts to go beyond a direct reference to the extraordinary events unfolding in the social and political fabric of Greek society at the time of the works conception, but instead concentrates on what unifies us as a species rather than that which divides. Rooted in the proportions and bilateral symmetry of the human body and the asymmetrical nature of its expression in the world, the work combines elements of the past, present and future in an enigmatic experience that defies a definitive reading



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