The materiality of non-real

2002-Gallery 7, Athens, Greece
by Katerina Koskina
Art Historian – Museologist, former Director of the Athens National Museum of Contemporary Art- EMST

Spiridoula Politi has developed a very special relationship with the material of her works. Having rejected the temptation of an imitative reptoduction of images from the outset, she was led to a clearly ‘sculptural’ approach of the painted surface. Painstakingly processed with a slow and complicated technique, her painted surfaces provide an insight to her inner world.

Thus self-analysed through ‘handicraft’, she participates in the creation of the painting with her body (the repetitive motion necessary to apply the layers of paint and plaster) as well as her subconcious. Besides, Spiridoula Politi sees everything she considers to be a work of art as having to do with the very process of art, from the conception and the images recorded in memory to the final visual product. Thus her works may be the result of her personal projection, her various “I have” and “I wont”, but they also materialise her movements during a creative process which, as we said, is deeply associated with the process of introspection.

As she moulds her material and transforms it into a conveyor of messages and fragmentary images of special significance, she reveals the needs and articulates the questions of her life. Which life, though? The life she wanted a live and never did -the live of the past, of dreams, of imagination, of the non-real. Thus she is free to stop following the rules of logic, to create paradoxical images such as that of a stove in warm weather or the one where she turns the simple action of peeling an orange into a work of art. Spiridoula Politi leans on her experiences to talk with sinscerity about her art, and uses elliptical, fragmentary images of broader, more complex events to make up a chronicle of her own lif, a life which, once realised into art, can only be real. Modifying her experiences accorting to her wishes and she manages to balance between reality and imagination. In this attempt she enlists the aid of photography, which promotes the feeling of veracity and permanence, and written phrases whose content, instead of clarifying things, serves to perpetuate a paradoxical game.