Self Aboutness

As images, the works of art carry out a mediating operation, which is recommended to bridge the gap that separates the unified, internal and mental reality, which results from the representation of world by perception, from the external, multiple and natural reality that surrounds us and is articulated by what we see.

 

Having the above as the main principle, we could say that the works of DimitrisTsoublekas, besides the proposal of a series of such mediating-unificating images, try at the same time to bridge the gap between the various versions of the same culture, where the elements of a Major Culture -which is nothing but the one that assembles all the characteristics that constitute the cultural expressions of the civilization of a country-are innately intersecting with the elements of a Minor Culture which consists of the experiencing, vivid and present part of that culture, that is to say its ethos.

In other words, D.T. combines in his works the par excellence cultural element of the culture of the country he lives in and works as this culture survives and is presented nowadays, by attempting multifarious and phenomenally outrageous combinations, which exempted neither humor, nor irony are exempted from, which in many times becomes sarcastic; where the playful disposition of the artist does not cover up, but on the contrary elevates his critical attitude opposite to the reality that he experiences.

The outrageous character of D.T. pictures does not aspire to constitute another reality, but it rather equivalents to the revealing capacity of those things that construct his everyday life. Consequently, it is a bit bizarre to imagine a flock of sheep pasturing in front of the National Library of Athens, but it is not such an improbable picture altogether, supposing how much 'ecologically correct' is a city with vital spaces of green in front of its educational institutions. We could also be somehow surprised by the swimming-pool that stretches out charmingly in front of the building of the Greek Parliament, but even this is not completely incompatible with the reality that everybody can testimony each summer at the fountains and pads of Athens. As one can fully realize, by seeing the pictures proposed by D.T., the spark for these ostensibly incongruous connotations is the very city of Athens, which, in any case, is fully charged both of its civilization, and its culture.

Having to bear on one side the burden of its history and its monuments, and on the other the weight of that "promisingness" which is included within the essence of a modern metropolis, this city seems to transmit the taciturn message of an extensive work in progress, of a permanent worksite, which reflects both the undeniable presence of those precious ruins, and the aspiration for a reconstruction of a modernization as well.

Therefore, the fact that someone may approach the Propylaia (Gates) of Parthenon on sliding stairs, or to wander around the holy place of Acropolis walking on a totally reassuring and comfortable turf, or even the possibility that the temple of Parthenon itself has been coated with black marble, or to have acquired a second floor, as well as the possibility for anyone to park his car right under the western frieze, is no more outrageous, or more sacrilegious than the coating with a wooden flooring of a central avenue of the city, or the intrusion of an enormous swimming-pool/river along the length of another central avenue of Athens (which, in any case, runs the broader region where the river Ilissos was spreading before it was finally drained many decades ago), or even by the projection of an ultramodern monstrous building behind the holy half-ruined buildings of the Acropolis.

The pictures of D.T. are not that much outrageous as they seem, because they are in fact an exercise of reasonable crystallography, since their unique occupation is nothing less than to reveal in a masterfully accurate intervening way a diffuse situation, that reflects the tendency of every modern society for prosperity, well-being, progress and development.

On the other hand, his works are the multiple expressions of a metaphor about his own city, Athens, which is expressed through a series of transformations. Through this coexistence of various monuments or buildings, which are considered as trade marks for the city, with incongruous or unusual elements, Athens maintains its identity, by means of a series of replacements, having as an objective to enlighten the city under the prism of these new characteristics.

The mediating reality that the work of D.T. proposes is a reality of self-aboutness, that on one side concerns the cultural parameters of the urban space where he lives, and on the other what he would personally wish, or not, for himself.

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Marilena Karra

from "Self aboutness" catalogue