I am no one, or to be precise, no one in particular. But being the only other creature in the world that shared a life with them, I know them in the way that one knows a brother, a sister or a parent; through that intimate sharing of a version of reality that is never devoid of blind spots, misconceptions and differences. Often, those related by blood, and not by choice, don’t speak the same language, yet, I am instinctively and intuitively aware of theirs.

In reality, it is neither by instinct nor by intuition that this awareness came about, but through a growing database of countless everyday details and observations; by watching them expand, shift, move, peel and reach self-realization; by knowing what came before them as well as where they come from - not only geographically or ethnographically but also conceptually, intellectually and emotionally.

I am aware of the bittersweet relationships they embody and how they are the product of negotiation. In return, their product is a set of solid friendships that flourished between him and a handful of elderly craftsmen, most of whom were the last of their lineage. In countless occasions these objects were the pretext for sharing all sorts of things; stories, histories, skills, meals, desires. They have been marked by life and by the loss of life, I can tell you that.

Not all of them have travelled all the way across the Atlantic, so what you are looking at is a distillation of an already rigorous distillation. However, they all do come from the same luminous studio on the second floor of an otherwise lifeless warehouse, some 5455 miles away. In that room I would always sense a mix of mysterious improbabilities which in the past I chose to ignore, however, in order to speak on behalf of these objects here and now, I will finally have to face them. For instance, I always felt that they have the ability to cleanse the energy of the room or cool down the temperature and dim the noises coming in from the numerous windows surrounding the studio.

What if these powers emanate from their earthly materials? Mountain rocks; fragments of terracotta; metals in a state of coolness. While trying to verbalize this feeling of calmness
I sense around them I scribble down: ‘Noise mutates into white noise, focus shifts inwards... Something happened before now and now everything is cooling down’.

Before them I feel the total freedom from geography or historical time. Are they from the past, the present, the future, or are they fragments of an interstellar archaeology? In a way they  manage to ‘purify’ from the greatest contaminant of all; one’s expectations.

Of course, I cannot ignore the possibility that these impressions are mere mental projections of the fact that I am aware that these are pure objects themselves; each and every one of these clusters has been gradually stripped down to its most essential elements. Try to lift an object from the ‘Fugue of Founds’ or the mountain rock from ‘Frame Work’ and both structures will immediately collapse.
This manufactured balance/counterbalance acts as a binding agent unifying the different elements of each cluster, while also instilling movement in them... and if this counterbalance is the choreography, then the metal structures must be the body of the choreographer.

In some, the body is inscribed and mediated but never overstated. In ‘Monoblock Measurements’, the average human body as envisioned by the ‘universal’ chair is communicated through fragments cast in lead -fragments of monoblock chairs most probably crushed by bodies not average enough. The weight of lead makes them look like oddly shaped humanoid limbs and before them one can catch a glimpse of the future archaeological museum and snippets from the kind of stories we shall one day be telling ourselves about ourselves. In Guide Lines, the camera zooms in on the hand of the craftsman caught in the act of making. But what is it making? A universe of things, derivatives of everyday items, since this is a collection of guides created by shaping rods of Bronze on various objects and forms. Now these abstractions act as propositions and tools for making possible, yet, possibly useless objects.

Is their subtle sense of humor cooling down the room temperature?          
Looking at the serendipitous teaming of  a pile of stones and a terracotta pot wittingly called ‘Stone Ware’ or the pun-sculptures ‘Frame Work’ and ‘Guide Lines’, one unconsciously smiles but also realizes that words here are treated as objects.

Going back to ‘Stone Ware’, which came first; the stones or the pot? Was the pot chosen because it could accommodate the stones or where the specific stones chosen because they could fit the holes? This interdependence and unity between forms is a recurring theme that is perhaps more obvious in the cases where there is a ‘found’ and a ‘made’. For example, in ‘Fugue of Founds’ and the various Complementary Forms, the fragment is being extended by first becoming a guideline for a complementary form, which is subsequently rendered in a heavier material. The incompatible materials highlight the relationship and interdependence between the two otherwise compatible forms that now appear as one.

The found in ‘Daily Life’ is reimagined, completed, doubled and equally made. And so, it  disappears each time it faces a possibility of itself.  


Those in Daily Life

written by Natalie Yiaxi on the occasion of the show Daily Life (2015) by Phanos Kyriacou at Maccarone gallery, New York
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