Archaeological Museum of Poros
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About the artist
About the exhibition
In her ‘Owls’, an installation in situ now on show in 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.