Liquid Ash, 2019
HD Video projection on Nagashizuki handmade paper, glass panels, cement blocks, dimensions variable
From the exhibition Coffins Of Black Coffins Of Luck, at Ileana Tounta Gallery, Curated By Galini Lazani
It is always my intention when curating a group exhibition to achieve in the final result a dialogue between the original concept and its interpretation by the participating artists. In the exhibition Coffins of Black, Coffins of Luck, inspired by the ambiguous signification of chimney sweepers as both a harsh occupation and a symbol of good luck, Dimitris Foutris presented a video installation titled Liquid Ash, articulating in his own way the contradictory elements of good and evil, beautiful and ugly, sensitive and cruel, optimistic and pessimistic, which are present in almost every aspect of our lives. A column of cement blocks upholds the glass panels which serve -together with a large piece of paper- as the screen on which the video is projected. With an elementary visualization of a chimney being evident from the overall installation, Foutris illustrates the theoretical concept through the different nature and texture of his materials. The rough, sturdy cement blocks come in contradiction with the glossy surface of the fragile glass, while the handmade paper transfuses its unpolished texture to the video projection. The moving image resembles an abstract Rorschach test which spreads in an uncontrollable manner, since the medium used is an “ink” made by ash turned into liquid, suggesting the wastage turned into creation after all. Foutris, devoted to his artistic means, transmits through his artwork his personal aspect of the idea behind the exhibition, contributing to the general concern the show attempts to parley.
...How, then, is this so harsh reality, valid for at least four centuries, forgotten and transformed into something as hopeful as a symbol of good fortune? If we engage more with the symbols we consider lucky, we will discover that it is not the only time we encounter this unpleasant combination. The cut-off legs of a rabbit, the horseshoe that is nailed straight on a horse’s bare heel, the tooth from a killed alligator, aren’t they all the result of an act of cruelty? Does one have to “walk over dead bodies” to gain good luck? How does the fortune of one being entail the misfortune of another? How do we combine in our society the lucky with the brutal, the delicate with the harsh, the beautiful with the ugly, the good with the evil?
Excerpt from the exhibition's press release, Ileana Tounta Gallery