Encounters with Less Remembered Lives

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Encounters with Less Remembered Lives

Antonopoulou Art Gallery

Athens, Greece

12 December – 19 January 2013

In past exhibitions, artist Kalliopi Lemos has used the instruments and symbols of physical migration and rebirth to evoke the currents of human movement and dislocation as well as spiritual transformation. The recent exhibition “Navigating in the Dark” employed monumental constructions to delve into the visceral innards of primeval collective memory. These new drawings and sculptures, although no less archetypical, are both more intimate in scale and fraught with personal emotion.

The striking, sometimes bloody, forms in the gorgeously explosive abstract drawings evoke fecund eroticism; the small boxes with wiry insect-like objects wrapped in bandages seem to sing with a sound on the razor’s edge between hysteria and orgasmic pleasure. Photographs of brutally repetitive and graphic images of aging flesh alternating with tender tendrils of commingled sexual organs, coupled with sculptures depicting original violence—the bloody jolt of birth required to exit the paradisiacal womb—evoke the ecstasy, trauma, and evolution of the human body, all boxed, contorted, and bundled up under a veil of protective amnesia. Thus Lemos’s work conveys the pain of human existence and inevitability of death as the necessary undercurrents for the experience of a cathartic existential joy. The “Less-Remembered Lives” are the universal ingredients of the human psyche that bind us together.

Cathryn Drake