Archaeological Museum of Poros
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About the artist
About the exhibition
In the Archaeological Museum of Poros, Jannis Psychopedis depicts time and the traces of history in twenty-four artworks-books of equal size, each corresponding to a letter of the Greek alphabet. This numbering alludes readily to the divisions of Homer's epic poems into 24 rhapsodies. Indeed, Homer is the starting point for the key concepts and timeless dilemmas of humanity: death-life, memory-oblivion, identity-alienation, love-aversion, transcendence-hubris. This dialectic has the primary conceptual role in the overall work of Psychopedis, who creates a 'palimpsest' of testimonies.
The project traces a tradition of millennia, the Greek language and its symbols, its characters. The alphabet books recall the illustrated texts of Byzantine times but also children's speller books. They are open-closed, showing or hinting at fragments and excerpts of History; images of a language under pressure, wondering and seeking its lost unity with the past and its relation to the future.
To this series Psychopedis adds two recent works-copies from the Museum which force upon the viewer an almost violent awareness of contemporary reality. The foot and the female statuette, both exhibits in the Museum, are superimposed and introduce landscapes of a refugee existence: the escape over sea, the confinement behind barbed wire fences. This is an ideological social reading of the present which, in turn, recalls the darkest past and warns of a sinister future.
The task of a synthesis of all these falls upon the viewer.