Dust vs Liquid Soap



found this video on youtube  / accessed 17.04.2018


intersections and articulations: part 2

Notes on the Art of Helen Chadwick



  • most commentators emphasised her energy, both physical and intellectual, her personality, being inseparable from her practice, informing her practice
  • work suing pieces of clothes, pealed off the body, similarity with pealing off skin
  • exploration of intimate tensions between people, the underground research project, this was the step to turn her work to autobiographical
  • taking photos of places that reminder her pf her childhood, present history as traces using the wood
  • tried to renew artists’ traditions, reaching her Greek background
  • use of home waste to create compost, research on death and mortality, decay and corruption, the bubbles that were created a metaphor for life, contradicting/related ideas in one project
  • exploited her own body, used her own body cells, piss flowers
  • her work is easy to ready, however with contextual and consensual depth
  • last project of fetuses into jewels, reference to preciousness, her concerns with greta economy, nature’s regularity and order, attention to beaty of things that are damaged or standard
  • fragility of our existence


Notes on Jon Barraclough’s talk

  • a maker of drawings, sound works, drawing as a medium inhuman’s connections, how brain works
  • publishing drawing newspaper, alternative way of exhibiting, multiple uses of the used newspaper, no particular curatorial approach as to the work to be shown in the newspaper, connection between works, drawing as connecting
  • is the curator responsible or not on how the work goes out when it leaves the studio? My opinion is that the maker must have control and opinion on how the work is exhibited. A dialogue with another professional (historian, artist, curator etc) can surely be and should be constructive, however the artist should have the last word and make the final decision. This can apply in cases of solo shows or in small group shows. In cases of many artists participating in a show the  work of  a coordinator/curator is important. Once the work leaves the studio that is the moment when the  dialogue with the audience begins, the artist decides to expose their work and consequently themselves, and that should not be left to the hands of any other than the artist.

art and meaning



Microscopy of Dust Sample Collected from the Nelimarkka Museum, Alajärvi, Finland and the Barcelona Contemporary Art Museum, Barcelona, Spain, from https://www.featureshoot.com/2013/05/microscopic-photos-of-dust-collected-from-the-worlds-best-art-museums/ (accessed 11.02.2018)

  1. What is‘meaning’within art?

In contemporary artmaking, meaning has a dominant role in terms that the identity of the artist is being abolished and that works aim at the activation of the viewer. In other words contemporary art is evolved around the audience, how the audience will react to the work, and what meaning will the audience give to a work. Almost as if the role of the artist is secondary, trying to catch the audience’s attention in visualizing the contemporary way of living.

The meaning of art may be defined as the combination of two factors: the life subject matters and the materials of the art. Both these factors are transformed within the work into a new systematic artistic unity. The art materials already have perceived characteristics with aesthetic meaning (colour, texture, sound, rhythm) which are then transformed by the artist, resulting in an internal aesthetically systematical meaning.

The intellectual background of the work plays an important role and informs its meaning and “beauty”. Artists tend to inform their work with strong theoretical background, sometimes almost to an extent that is not understandable by the audience.  Τoday we characterize as beautiful or interesting or with meaning works that represent the disturbing /bad reality, works that are shocking, frightening or look ugly. Is the artist aiming in catching the reality? Are the audience exposed in such a great number of images that the artists is merely trying to follow what is happening in the world? So does meaning in a work actually means reality?

  1. Is there a universal meaning to a work or will there always be a battle between objective and subjective?

The meaning of a work may be reinforced by the use of symbols (in the general sense of colour, shape, form etc) which create a symbolic language and they form concepts. For the artist a symbol refers to a specific meaning and has a specific reference. However, several other aspects might be considered: is meaning and feeling the same, and if a feeling is created through a work does this add value to the work. Does a symbol has the same meaning for all? Is there a universal meaning to a work or there will always be a battle between objective and subjective. Even if we try to set a logical explanation or definition to the use of symbols and thus the creation of a universal meaning, we reach a point where psychology comes in the picture. Freud said art is a sign or a symptom of the individual’s unconscious, on the other hand Jung said that a symbol is not a symptom and it should be understood as the expression of an intuitive perception. Unconsiously or intuitive, each artist is aiming in establishing a dialogue with the audience, in setting a meaning to the work which will be universally understood.

  1. What role does meaning play in your work.

What I intent to do through my work is to tell a story. Whether this will be considered as the meaning I am not sure. I think that the meaning is the reaction of the viewer. It is not an action controlled by the artist as the work might receive different responses and so interpreted in a variety of meanings. Meaning can be a self-contradicting idea: on the one hand the meaning of something might refer to something specific (for example an artist’s intention in using many empty plates refers to hunger in Africa); on the other hand something might have different meanings for different people (empty plates might make someone think of the amount of food they ate the day before and that they should go on diet), or get a different meaning if placed in a specific area (someone might hang the empty plates work in their kitchen, another one might place it next to the image of a skinny top model) etc. So I cannot say that I think of meaning when working, I think that I should be consistent to my story telling, to the context of my work. How this will be interpreted and what meaning will have for the viewer, this is beyond my control.

References (accessed through OCA Library)

Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen, “Art Revolution and Communication – On the Transcendence of Art and Meaning without Reality”, Third Text, Vol. 26, Issue 2, March, 2012, 229–242, www.tandfonline.com

Louis Arnaud Reid, Meaning in the Arts, (Taylor and Francis: London, 2004)

Abigail Diamond, Terms and Strategies of Engagement: Perspectives on Constructing Meaning and Value in Contemporary Art, Thesis, Nottingham Upon Trend (2006)

notes on situating art practice – Krzysztof Fizalkowski lecture


(acrylic paint on paper 10 x 15 cm, from a series of small portraits of students of the Ioannou foundation)

  • how artists locate what they do in terms of context
  • what artists want from their practice: (1) what is the art world, who controls it (2) how does art relate to value and economy (3) art practice, a system or industry
  • are artists outside of a value system? we are attracted to art because it is not part of  a rigid system / on the other hand art has value / also art looks as impossible to be categorised but at the same time art is keen on economics
  • do artists make the art world: (1) dealers (create value but also structure and meanings), (2) art fairs, (3) collectors (create demand for art), (4) critics, historians, (5) magazines, publishers, (6) audience in a wider sense (7) financial bodies funding the art, (8) websites, (9) studios and artists networks, (11) educational institutions
  • so where do you stand in this, art can constitute a number of practices, have to reach people
  • distinction between medium and practice
  • art cannot be quantified, so how can we price it?
  • value vs exchange value
  •  art practice as the place that creates exchange value (eg magazines)
  • art fairs / how galleries represent artists
  • museums seem to epitomise what is considered art / they are close to a form of entertainment, sometimes art exhibits are not the most important, but also the building, entertainment applications etc
  • corporations supporting art (Tate, Sainsburys, Saatchi)
  • example of art gallery where walls have been removed so that you could see what the staff worked on / as a reference how the audience is affected by the staff’s contribution
  • the idea that artists take on spaces in groups so that they can present their work without anyone interfering
  • art dealing with commercial products / Andy Warhol
  • art as commodity / commodification of art
  • Joseph Cornell, finding objects, exhibiting them, making them important
  • the object in art / Marcel Duchamp, the ready made
  • Damien Hirst’s Diamond Skull


testing boundaries 4 – Anika Yi / Guggenheim NY exhibition April 2017



https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-anicka-yis-new-guggenheim-art-smells-crawls (accessed 13.01.2018)

extract for the website above

… Force Majeure, for which Yi has constructed a large room behind glass, somewhere between a bathhouse and a hospital clinic. The space’s walls and floor are covered in white tiles that have been turned into a breeding ground for various bacteria, which—fed on agar and allowed to sprawl and evolve—turn each tile into unpredictable abstract paintings. Each berry-bright smear or stain has its own gross allure.

“We sequenced the bacteria, and selected certain ones for their aesthetic quality,” Yi says. “As our nutritional biologist would tell you, each bacteria has a color, and that color has a function. There’s a reason for that purple in a purple bacteria.” …

testing boundaries – 2 / how does smell work?


(photos from http://saifalaaalqaisy.blogspot.com.cy/2016/  and http://alwaysphotographing.com/cms/hippocampus/, accessed 17.12.2017)

(Extract from http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120312-why-can-smells-unlock-memories, accessed 17.12.2017)

… So now we have the background information, what are the important clues? Well, first, the part of the brain that is responsible for processing smells – the “olfactory bulb” – is next to a part of the brain called the hippocampus. This name means “seahorse”, and the hippocampus is so-called because it is curled up like a seahorse, nested deep within the brain, a convergence point for information arriving from all over the rest of the cortex. Neuroscientists have identified the hippocampus as crucial for creating new memories for events. People with damage to the hippocampus have trouble remembering what has happened to them.

… Smell is unique among the senses in that it enters directly deep into the brain. If we look at the major pathways travelled by the other senses, such as hearing and vision, they start at the sense organs – that is, the eyes or the ears – and move to a relay station called the thalamus, before passing on to the rest of the brain.

With smell the situation is different. Rather than visiting the thalamic relay station on its journey into the brain, smell information travels directly to the major site of processing – the olfactory bulb – with nothing in between. We do not know what stopping off at the thalamus does for the other senses, but it certainly means that signals generated in the other senses are somehow “further away” from the nexus of processing done in the brain.

testing boundaries – 1


Art group “Soap”, St. Peterbourg,                                                                                  http://annanova-gallery.ru/en/artists/projects/project/Ottorzhenie/


Key words to consider for this project:

  • exhibition site
  • audience engagement
  • new work shown in different context

The idea around the cleanliness project started with what the students of the Ioannou Foundation do  during daytime: separating kitchen sponges and clothes based on colour shape and then labeling them. So I thought of this new project where I will use the actual cleaning materials (kitchen clothes and sponges,  detergents, washing powders, soap) and dirt (thinking of the opposite) as the medium of my work, approaching the idea of cleanliness from a sociological point of view.

Cleanliness as a virtue / cleanliness next to godliness / a competition as to who is the cleanest, whose “image” looks to be the leanest vs to “internal” cleanliness / cleanliness as a camouflage of real self .

An initial thought  for this project is to use the conference room of my law office as the exhibition site. Mainly I deal with clients that they wish to register a company in Cyprus, seeking advise on prospective investments etc, mainly dealing with financial issues.  Usually in law offices you expect to enter a conference room with wall to ceiling bookcases, paintings of landscapes or images referencing justice or classical Greece and Rome. The idea is to create an installation in the room with small scale works – some initial thoughts are:

  • use soap – the smell as part of the work
  • use of other cleaning materials
  • use of dirt
  • portraits of the students of the foundation, not sure yet of this idea, maybe too literal.