MARIA LOIZIDOU | Cartographies

19.05.09 - 11.07.09

"Clathrus ruber", 2009, silk paper, 30 X 50 X 45 cm

Maria Loizidou has been working on human form for a long time; from the anthropomorphic articulated puppets, the plagones (sculptural forms between archaic figurines and children’s toys) to the silk paper sculptures she recently exhibited in her installation at the Benaki Museum.

The artist elaborately uses the void and the full, the fragile and the solid, the narrative and the fragmentary, the twofold meaning of the frontal and rear view in order to define her figures. Her work does not deal with the re-evaluation of a minor form of applied art (the puppet), re-incorporated in the artistic practice in terms of classification and archiving. But is a questioning that has to do with a central part of our collective unconscious: our relationship with the Self and the Other. Maybe this is the reason why Loizidou entitled her series of silk paper sculptures Self-Other, revealing the disturbed limits of what we consider familiar and unfamiliar.

The feminine figures, sculptures between 50 and 65 cm high, embroider, read or contemplate turned into themselves, or in other words replace the action with an immobility, with static drama. The figures allude to the romantic tradition and the uncanny environment of fairytales, tracking the limits between minor (craft) and major arts (sculpture, drawing) and criticizing the general technological utopianism. The sculptures of Loizidou recall into memory Bellmer’s dismembered dolls, but also De Chirico’s mannequins.

Apart from the sculptures, the show presents a large fabric, 220 cm high and 120 cm wide, interspersed with embroidered ladders, birds and flowers, hammocks and children’s horses, imaginary and real elements, like a dowry taken from a popular story.

The same obsession characterizes the fragile embroidery – lace made by wire –recalling the opposition between the fragile and the solid, the familiar and the unfamiliar, the memory and the reality. This wire lace constitutes a platform of meeting and discussion, part of the dialogue on the cultural unconscious. What else is art anyway?

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