Haunted We Are, Miracles We Seek (Beyond The Cliff), 2012
Solo Show At Anonymous Star Project Space, February 2012, Athens, Greece
"Isn’ t it time to frankly admit that around all the emotions there is so much emotional hypocrisy that has built up, conscious or unconscious, so much conventionality and emotional automation, internally empty, so much fictional torment, so that we do not know anymore whether underneath the skin there is some rudimentary artistic feeling that is still alive?"
(Abstraktion und Einfuhlung, 1908)
If the abstract expressionists claimed to confront the observer with an image that could not be grasped at first sight, thereby creating a sense of being "inside" the work, Dimitris Foutris aims at precisely the opposite; that is, to remind us that only as mere observers "outside" the image and through a simple language, the Byzantine -with its inverted perspective- we can approach something spiritual and reflect. What matters here is not the illusion that a realistically painted landscape gives us but the allusive and elusive paths that symbolic representation can take us to through plain and recognizable forms.
Moreover, one of the ideas of Modernism that was carried on in our time is that we can take care of ourselves away from any kind of doctrine and of course without a transcendent order. Foutris’ work reminds us of a seemingly Byzantine landscape however, any kind of figure or transcendental element is completely absent from it. From this point of view, his painting recrosses the boundaries between the natural and the cultural, the formal and the formless using not only formalistic but also structural elements from the Christian tradition, in order to build his own contemporary visual language.
In his paintings steep rocks and caves compose landscapes that appear both serene and threatening. Broken glass, stones and drops of golden paint delimit the reaction and testify any final conflict. Sound, moving image and text complete the picture like a set of notes on the same thought. At a time characterized by failed utopias, imagination appears as the only form of survival and Foutris clearly formulates a conscious attempt to present us with a not-transcendental, secular art that still has hope in it. The cliff as a symbol does not necessarily stand for a dead-end, to signify fall or death but rather, the end of one road and the beginning of another.
In the video, the spectator dives into the brain of the artist who appears as if he has read a poem and is haunted by it. A mysterious flashing light leads us from one scene to the other testifying his conviction that 'truth' can be reached not only through knowledge but can also be inescapable and revealing. Foutris’ art thus leaves us with an explicit sense of social and philosophical concern. How have the ideals of progress which they taught us and we believed in come to haunt us and what miracle are we expecting at the moment we face the cliff-edge? Nature, substance, matter, space, inwardness, experience, action and intensity can be found at the centre of this reflection.
See also here
Gold Unites Us, 2012
Casein paint on watercolor paper
70X100 cm, (private collection)
Besides There Is An Option, 2012
Glass, wood, stone, casein paint, acrylic
Installation, dimensions variable
The End Of It All, Before The End, After The End, End End End, Part 2', 2011
Plywood (Birch), casein paint
Quadptych, 170X95 cm
As Above So Below (After Βehemoth), 2011
Photocopy, 100X95 cm
The Meditation Of The Everyday Routine (Yes We Can), 2012
Sound piece, 4:57 min. - You can listen here
Beyond The Cliff, 2011
DVD Video Loop, 4:35 min.
See also here