From the publication of the group show Concrete Mirrors in Crypt Gallery
15 August-22 August 2012, London
The sculptures here exhibited are the first of the Anorexeneia series, the new project of Olympia Polymeni.
Anorexia, whose Greek etymology means “without desire”, brings people to exercise control over their own body shape in the quest of an ideal beauty.
However, while this is meant by the person affected by the illness as a way to sculpt his/ her own body in a perfect shape, the results are emaciated and gaunt bodies unable to sustain themselves. This shift of perception is here re-proposed by the artist, as she uses her on-going interest on the female body and its depiction to move the artistic discourse toward the political situation of her own home country, Greece.
Through a sophisticate name game, not understandable by the non-natives, the waxes are linked to the Elgin marbles, object of an international dispute between Greece and UK, and in fact known by the Greek people as Elgineia ( “of Elgin”).
If seen as devoid of any human shape, the waxes recall the formal beauty of Hellenic classical sculptures, with clean lines and exquisite draperies.
On the opposite, the warmth and smoothness of the wax and its off whitish colours hint also to the frailty of bones that doesn’t receive enough food sustainment to be as hard and strong as they are supposed to.
Preying its own flesh, in the research of its ancient beauty and strength, Greece suffers the outburst of a deadly sickness and needs stronger bones to get through this challenging period.
Text by SILVIA CASO, independent curator, London
|The Crypt Gallery, St. Pancras Church|
Photographs by Antonella Ferrari