Oct 23, 2011

'This joke ain't funny anymore', 2009, Zina Athanassiadou gallery, Thessaloniki , Greece

Lying at her feet, calm and filled with joy,
Delphine gazed at her hungrily, with burning eyes,
Like a strong animal watching a prey,
Which it has already marked with its teeth…
Condemned Women, Delphine and Hippolyta – Charles Baudelaire

In Marianna Ignataki’s works we stand in front of the requisitions of the ideal body i.e. Beauty- Reason- Moral. The Grotesque instead promotes the Ugly, the Irrational and the Immoral, otherness itself. Eating as a substitute of sexual intercourse is of prominent importance. “By eating, the body exceeds its own limits”. The “man-eating” words of lovers denote the desire of incorporation and appropriation. “Desire is not a form but a process, a progress, a merging, a transcendence”
According to G. Bataille eroticism plays a central role in thetransgression of limits. Boundaries are set aside and reason gives way to the senses. We are invited to “escape our head”, “to either become other, or else, cease to be”.
It is about an eroticism “that the head should not; it cannot participate. The masks are worn, and behind them, there can be an eroticism without boundaries, without faces”.
The compositions are frontal, theatrical. Figures either gush ftom a dark abyss (Baroque) or from a bright surrounding (Rococo). Identities change, bodies are tangled up, disguising themselves, transforming.
Referring to architecture, H. Wölfflin describes the Baroque as the absolute segregation of interior space from its exterior shell. At the exterior, the garden and the façade (the face) are transformed into an immense theatrical stage, while the interior (the soul) remains as a room without openings. The face is fully cut from the soul.

We are one step before the culmination of a sentimental tension. The pressure becomes unbearable. The masks become suffocating. Wölfflin said: “Baroque = Irregular Breathing”. Let’s take a breath.

Curating: Apostolos Kalfopoulos, Architect, Independent Curator, Lecturer at the University of Thessaly