A Romantic Stroll in Apnea
28.09.2023 – 18.11.2023
On Thursday, September 28, from 19:00 to 22:00, the second solo exhibition of George Stamatakis titled A Romantic Stroll in Apnea opens at the Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center.
The exhibition will be on view until November 18th, 2023.
The new visual series of George Stamatakis, entitled Ai-Zone (2022), being presented for first time at the solo exhibition A Romantic Stroll in Apnea, fully summarizes in a peculiar formalistic crescendo of his artistic revery, all the irrevocable and unwavering anxieties of the creator himself. Already from 2020 — with his multimedia project, entitled The Color of Phenomenon (mainly produced for the Sumida Hokusai Museum in the context of the Tokyo Olympics Games), as well as from his previous series, entitled Atmosphere (2021), where, through only two plain colors (Titan White and Vandyke Brown), the ruinous consequences of the scarring pollution of the atmospheric layers were intuitively delineated — the paramount concern of the ecological burdening of the biogenic surfaces of the Earth here re-exists again, now through the visual observation of a vital part of the terrestrial biosphere, commonly the flora.
Here the artist is deeply inspired by his experiential relationship with Japanese nature, namely by the melancholicand forested landscapes of the so-called Aokigahara (青木ヶ原,Blue Tree Meadow) or Jukai(樹海,Sea of Trees)— a black-bluish grove beneath the while plateaus of Mount Fuji, where, within the glaucous high tides of resinous pines and grey maples, hundreds of Japanese citizens voluntarily end their own lives every year.For George Stamatakis, the blue woodland, now popular in Western culture as Suicide Forest, functions essentially as a tragic symbol of man’s modern alienation from a pristine and unspoiled nature.
Deeply influenced by his numerous sojourns in Japan (such as at the Akiyoshidai International Art Village), he wonders reflectively why a disaffected man of an over-saturated -technological- society (such as modern Japan) would willingly choose such a comely landscape of primeval and untamed nature for such a despairing, yet simultaneously courageous act.The intractable melancolia due to the unbearable severance from man’s natural environment, as well as the unconscious guilt because of its remorseless devastation, partly further the omnipresent reception of a volitional death in such a resplendent landscape as a metaphysical reunion with an everlasting and autogenous nature— as the German Romantics similarly believed, for which, individual death constituted an ecstatic dissolution into the absolute infinity of an indestructible Nature;an intoxicating restoration to the primordial essence of all temporal phenomena.
Through the twilight landscapes of molten thickets and nebulous masses, where blue-hued and gloomy trees sluggishly overgrow amidst the cerulean dusk and the foggy, murky cracks of a faded and empty sky and through the artful use of natural materials such as indigo, linen and wood (as well as various eco-friendly colors, painstakingly crafted from the natural residues of mashed indigo)— George Stamatakis wholly externalizes all his inmost outflows of creative contemplations and imaginative powers: his neo-romantic tendencies against the bleak estrangement of modern man from a sublime nature; his scientific and observatory research records of unnavigated and isolated biotopes, as well as his ecological and environmental concerns in favor of vehemently raising awareness through the reconstructive imaginationof the viewer-subject, against future anthropogenic disasters, whichperniciouslythreaten the planetary ecosphere.
Art Theorist and Art Historian
The sound installation Dyspnoea is about biological algorithms, that affect the respiratory function of the lungs.
Composed by Michel Kessler aka Orphnoise