loading icon


Aphrodite Liti
May 19, 2017 - October 31, 2017

Archaeological Museum of Poros
Korizi Square
18020 Poros Island

(+30) 697 9989 684

Opening Hours
12.00-14.00 &19.00-23.00

About the artist

Aphrodite Liti was born in Athens. She studied sculpture, mosaic and icon painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts (ASKT, 1972-1978), with professors G. Pappas, G. Kolefa and K. Xinopoulos. She attended Universita Degli Studi Studi in Milan in 1978. She completed her postgraduate studies at London University (1983- 1986) with a scholarship of the National Scholarships Foundation (IKY). In 1985, she received the sculpture award by the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece. From 1978 until 2000, she worked as a museum sculptor at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Since 2000, she is Professor of Sculpture at the Athens School of Fine Arts. Since 1981, she has exhibited her artwork in solo and group exhibitions, in Greece and abroad. Her artwork is in both private and public collections.

About the exhibition

In her ‘Owls’, an installation on show at the Archaeological Museum of Poros, Aphrodite Liti connects mythic with museum time. She not only focusses on the Gaze as a defining characteristic of this bird of wisdom, but also treats it as an allegory of the artistic enterprise. The complex gaze of these birds results in a panoramic vision that unveils and deepens the ‘unseen side of things’. This gaze is not affected by phenomena, it is not misled by daily existence, and most important, it is not restricted by the dark. Linked across time by Nature, Aphrodite Liti’s ‘Owls’ dialogue with the museum’s exhibits in search of a transcendent reality.

The symbolism of the installation of ‘Owls’ stems from two thematic areas: the dialogue between the birds and their conversation with the displays in the museum. The elements— a gigantic leaf and thirteen owls—do not operate as mere figures of the plant and animal world. They become detached from their natural environment, change scale, are unexpectedly juxtaposed afresh, converse, and turn into symbols. Small or oversize, stationary amidst the column capitals or ready to fly off on wide wings from the vases discovered in the sea, these ‘owls’ penetrate space, and unify time.

The process of gazing as a transmitter and and receiver, the creation of an image, and its record in the mind of the viewer, moves on two levels.

The first level is defined by the mythological and ‘natural’ associations of the ‘owl’, its thematics: a nocturnal bird with sharp senses in the dark, with flying motions that are slow and noiseless, with persistence and devotion to aims visible and invisible to man. Night and darkness not only do not hinder its gaze, but on the contrary also eliminate the superfluous elements of luminous reality. This bird thus achieves transcendence, wisdom; elevated, it is suspended in the sphere of the metaphysical.

The second level is defined by the fragmentation of the image. The shattered surface results from a technique that uses the material of coloured tesserae of blown glass from Murano; it also employs a prism as the material for the leaf. The giagantic prism-leaf imports nature as the thematic framework in the museum’s space. At the same time it not only reflects, but also changes the image as ‘in a mirror, darkly’. The light falls, reflects and mirrors the environment creating psychedelic effects. The final impression is that of a fissured reflection that is composed and decomposed, an alternation of images: the museum displays and the contemporary sculpted owls.

The viewer is required to interpret and decode this reflection.


About the artist

Αlexandra Athanassiades was born in 1961 in Athens, Greece, where she still lives and works. Her higher education began in Switzerland, at Lugano’s Franklin College. In 1982 she graduated with distinction from Oxford University’s Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art and was awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture and Printmaking. In 1984 she received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from New York’s Columbia University. She has worked as a set designer in New York and Athens. Her works are in important collections worldwide. Since 1984 she has shown her work in many solo and group exhibitions.

About the exhibition

Memory combats decay. Alexandra Athanassiades seeks to introduce the ‘Boundaries of Decay’, to undo the critical effect of time and oblivion. She combines fragments, conjoins impressions, and evokes, gradually and sometimes imperceptibly, the resulting emotions. This exhibition presents for the first time new, two- dimensional works on paper. These are impressions, 'traces' of earlier sculptures. Through this parallel form Alexandra Athanassiades pursues a continual visual dialogue between the materials of Art and the phases of time.

Alexandra Athanassiades focusses on the fragmentary, the disconnected. Decaying matter provides her material: a piece of broken, decomposed wood, the stray part of an ancient sculpture, warped paper, the chance imprint of an older work. Her artistic creations emerge from these ingredients, which are remains or often fragments, in much the same way that human memory works—that is, disjointedly and selectively. The materials create layers and overlayers, like the phases and reminiscences of human life.

Horses and breastplates—two units—make up the basic theme of the exhibition. This coexistence almost necessarily recalls a diachronic heroic element. From the depths of antiquity, mythology, and history, from epic poetry to folk song it is possible to trace the role and symbolism of the horse: winged Pegasos, the Trojan Horse and so many others. Comrade-in-arms, fellow traveller, man’s helper and supporter, the horse expresses the harmony of body and spirit. Alexandra Athanassiades’ works record this entire trajectory, common or parallel, the coexistence of man and horse.

The breastplates are the second element that Alexandra Athanasssiades brings in from history. A defining part of the defensive arms of antiquity and the Middle Ages, the breastplate covers and protects the vital organs of the body, chiefly the heart. In these representations on paper or metal emphasis is placed on the inexorable passage of time, deterioration, inevitable closure. The human body is vulnerable; no ‘armour’, no external sheathing can protect it forever. Alexandra Athanassiades is dominated by this melancholy thought, which can be detected in the progressive evolution-transformation of the breastplate: the usual museum display, i.e. the closed, impenetrable breastplate, ‘opens up’, leaving human life exposed and unprotected.

This in fact is the basic idea behind all the works exhibited. The external covering, the shell, whether a drawing or sculpture, encases a perishable, assailable entity—personal and charged. Alexandra Athanassiades concentrates on this hidden dimension, on the inner element, which as a presence transcends the boundaries of sculpture.