Offerings as a means of cummunication.
For the 4th exhibition of Open 2001, Katerina Apostolidou has created a work in situ, choosing as her site a small flagstoned square with a fountain, opposite the main vaporetto station. This is a work of sculpture consisting of figures made of resin, metal plates and steel-plates, based on her research into forms, and materials conducted over the past few years. From a spiraling, serpentine metal plate held in place by eight metal bases set on the flagstones, four pieces of sculpture are suspended from the sheets of metal, figures made of resin dangling freely.
This sculpture creates a space and is developed over the three and a half meters that run along its narrow side; the work, furthermore, is seven meters long and three meters high. The metallic arabesque on the sculpture’s upper surface introduces intense and dynamic movement into the space. In the center, in the concavity of each of the four, are hanging four sculptural figures made of resin, each pointing in a different direction and extending the feeling of movement from within their very immobility. The figures – double rounded concave objects -end in apertures on both sides. Two by two the four figures are similar and thus the feeling of alternation and symmetry is reinforced. The two exterior figures consist of two elements joined disparately, back to back. The taller of the two has a large concavity and a small aperture, while its siamese twin, larger in volume, ends in an elongated aperture, whose weight pulls it down toward the ground. The two interior figures consist of two symmetrical elements, joined together, exactly alike, hanging in a position that places them parallel with the ground.
The arrangement taken as a whole gives the spectator the urge to perambulate and scrutinize these hanging sculptures which are at about his own height. The material used for these sculptural figures is a honey and wine-colored resin. The semi-transparent chromatic texture of the materials with the smooth, concave voluminousness, alters according to the influence of the light. In the strong rays of the sun it is glittering, taking on a lighter color, a glowing, luminous hue. This honey and wine color plays associatively with the primitive and ancient rituals of offerings and libations.
The forms of Katerina Apostolidou remind one, to some degree, of the rounded “concretions” by Jean Arp. Her forms are also rather reminiscent of a human being. That is, they set off from the human being, since they resemble or have associations with human organs or limbs, such as hips and buttocks, the womb and the phallus. The womb which carries within, protects, surrounds and maintains, the phallus which is in a state of readiness for beneficiary flux. Her forms end up in the human being, since even conceptually they are combined with processes such as libations and offerings, rituals and ceremonies in the service of the needs of the human being. It is the archetypal force of the offering as it was employed in antiquity, with a completely up-to-date and diachronic dimension, to be found in our own contemporary society.
The notion of offering in this work is not stressing the .magical practices that have to do with the divine and the supernatural whose purpose is the orientation of an occult force in regard to a defined source of energy, but rather a ceremony which is connected with the processes of the incorporation of the individual into his or her society. A ritual used as a metaphor for the transition from one state to another, in the course of one’s life, a ceremony aiming for atonement and purification, leading finally to communication itself and the codes of communication employed by the human being. This Greek artist visually formulates the view that the adaptation to the functions of communication by means of the formation of a ceremony, of the standardization of a form of behavior, emotionally motivated, adapted to a collective use, retains the diachronistic sense in a contemporary social context.
In the work she created for Open 2001, entitled “Offerings 4”, her vital organic forms undertake a redetermination of the body, the conjoining and coexistence of the male and female elements, a forging of one being, the convex with the concave, the elongated with the rounded, of that which carries within itself and that which is predetermined to be used for penetration and outflow. She even undertakes to draw up associations related to the archetypal concept of the offering as a means of communication, in the contemporary era as in antiquity.
This interpretation of her sculptural installation also presents her personal form of negociating aesthetically and conceptually this year’s theme at Open 2001, which is “The Globalization of Cultures”. Among her intentions is the participation of the viewer, who can walk around her vesselform -offerings, as part of a communication as well as a partnership, interdependence with nature, as the sunlight makes the forms glow and the rain activates the meanings of receptacle and the flow, introduced by the artist.
Lina Tsikouta – Deimezis