PRETEXTS / DECEPTIONS / AFFIRMATIONS: JOURNEYS OF CONTRADICTIONS by Thaleia Stefanidou

All playthings have the right to break
Antonio Porchia “Voces”

Trying out the tenacity of Art and its multiple contexts, Artemis Potamianou organizes her latest artistic testimony focusing on the triptych “Space-Artist-Creation” and interposing in its folds ongoing questions.
Selecting Tate Gallery as an emblematic exhibition space and freeing Turbine Hall of Tate Modern from its real dimensions, she creates a micrograph –the spectator’s touring vehicle in the space of another artistic reality, whose sole ambition is to put in doubt the dominance of the museum space and its imposition on the eye’s glance -with terms marginally anti-artistic– beyond the works of art/exhibits. Turbine Hall is shrunk, confined, subdued, surrendered as a work of art that aims both at the ironic approach to the “Temples” of Contemporary Art and at motivating the spectator to discover the secret aura of the exhibition place as a minimalist hint of intermediation between the work of art and its shell/shelter. The work, outcome of the ambivalent gesture of the creatress, is composed now by its (literally) ex-position, its defenestration, that is, and its escape towards the horizon of the eye’s stare. The place functions simply as a reminder of the attempt to confine creation in four walls, the creation’s immobilization and the pressure that it receives from the self-complacency of the building/host.
The mocking (and at the same time pensive) attitude of Potamianou is exacerbated as she passes on the podium to the artists themselves (or to their fictitious personae). Movie scenes from the life and work of decisive for the course of Art creators are projected in juxtaposition with filmed interviews of famous artists. Mythoplastic-creation and documentary, “taking off” realism and mythified realities, public clashes and argumentation, explicit arguments that claim the character of interpretation and intimations of private passions. Speaking phobias of treason of the creative process and deed, flecks potentially exact, yet perhaps dissuading, the every time, personal decoding of the work by the viewer.
The creator as image Confessions on camera, centrifugal observations, besieging, to the point of asphyxiating the meaning and disturbing the balances of the created handiwork.
Potaminou cites, supervises, submits. Her gesticulation seems innocent but, deep inside, it is subversive, almost incendiary (she is betrayed by her flame).
Free of guilt, ironical and almost hubristic against the dogmas of history and theory of Art, Potamianou unglues and stitches together, cuts off and recharges selectively and decisively some enigmatic works of art/anti-texts, organizing in this way, with intimate terms, a non-intimate field of action, where the “ready” is destined only as a cancellation of its origin, the “familiar” breaks off its kinship with its (supposedly) counterparts and the “highlighted” is expressed only through its dots on the line.
It is a peculiar game of flecking and stippling, looming and joking, pretexts and contradictions to the direction of a hyper-text prone to be read breathlessly or with short, rhythmic inhalations.
Artemis Potamianou composes her personal melody of relativity persisting in the pauses of gazing. These are her gift to the viewer. The works she selects “belong to the proprietor” –as it was used to be written in the albums of girls– yet not as objects, not even as mere meanings: they belong to her as threads of her personal labyrinth. She delivers them as such, noting that, depending on the movement of the hands that will hold them, each one will be led each time to a new, a different exit. For the “museum” is whirling out there, in the wind.