Text by Charis Kanellopoulou
Efi Spyrou sets as the starting driving force of her artistic expression the personal experience; she moves in the environment of an art that springs from self-reference and she invests in memory with the aim to penetrate to the deeply felt experiences and bring to the surface those that root in time without having healed.
At her “space”, Spyrou, presents the work Antivainin, an installation that converts daily elements and images of a personal story in “poetic” items, defined by personal experiences, open however to different interpretations by the viewer. The central element of the installation is the bed that is formed as a simple structure, stripped of anything descriptive, defined by simple outlines and a dominant frame. The “openings” of the structure penetrate strips of artificial light –looking like window grilles that allow sun beams to pass– capable now simply to shed light rather than to convey the inner life of the bed, traces of the human existence, the concepts of life, love, and even death that “breathe” in it.
This environment is recorded through the truth of the artist as an imaginary “cell”, as a space between light and darkness, with no inner flame. Restoring memory to present time, Spyrou seems to seek the antidote for the wound; for her, the experience reoccurs but not in vain. She denies the inability to respond to the “wound”, she looks for a way to soothe her mark that is continues to evolve as life does. The final picture of the bed is moved now to her drawings: there the bed, without volume and perspective, becomes a “text” of white and black stripes, where (the side of) memory and the conscious gaze of present time take up equivalent space.
In the same orbit of introspection, Spyrou’s video that accompanies the installation, brings back human presence to the “bare” space. In the triptych, white and timeless space that develops around her –a reference to the beauty triple-mirrors and the wallets of painting– a female figure rotates around its axis, carrying out the ritual process of combing. Despite the coquetry of this action, she “exploits” the repetitive motion of the comb like a whispered prayer, that gives her rhythm so as to sink into a journey of self-consciousness, liberating for herself and revealing for the viewers. She is the protagonist of a dream, where she can touch desires unscrupulously, fears and innermost thoughts, before she surfaces back to reality and bathes under its sharp light.
Art Historian| Curator