28.01.2016 – 12.03.2016
On Thursday, 28 th January 2016, the Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center presents the
solo show of Panos Famelis entitled “Aenima”.
Discussion between artists Kostis Velonis and Panos Famelis on the occasion of the exhibition. Part II
KV. I’ve noticed, however that up until recently, your characteristic method of filling up a canvas with thickness [of color], has been gradually replaced in your most recent work with a sense of need to make blank space noticeable.
PF. Duchamp defines nothingness, the immaterial, the invisible, the close-to- nothing energy, the air itself, as “infra-mince”.
Based on Duchamp’s opinion, Joachim Pissarro, commenting on Shirazeh Houshiary’s work, speaks of the subjective quality of the material in a work of art, of the co-existence of minimalism and maximalism, as well as the manner in which the artist manages to transform this marginally “unmaterialistic material” into something that has the greatest impact on us. According to Pissarro, the soul is the main concept in the narration of Shirazeh Houshiary’s work, a concept that is not too negotiated any more in art (perhaps due to the fact that a newer and more documented understanding and expression of the universe is sought).
KV. A futuristic element seems to appear in your way of drawing, not only in your older but also in your more recent works, including your sculptures. This type of futurism, however, does not seem to share any ideological background with the futuristic art movement, where the past is disregarded and the narration of a forced modernity is supported. Your type of “futurism” is more similar to the process of experimentation and researching for new elements.
PF. I believe that your observation is arrived at subconsciously, because of how you perceive my character’s idiosyncrasy, via certain events and images that may appear without, however, anything being predetermined.
I consider myself to relate ideologically to the Futuristic art movement, due to the fact that my work does not strive for any type of human intervention over nature, but on the contrary, my references are organic or natural and not technological.
However, the Futuristic concept of formalistic plasticity, which attempts to depict incoherent relationships between time and emotions that result in the objects appearing in an inconsistent manner, in complete disarray and in parts, is where I occasionally have similar theoretical concerns in the art and sculptural field.
I’m quite interested in this side of confusion just because it produces a sense of uncertainty-insecurity, which is a fundamental rule of nature.
KV. Your treatment of your sculptures demonstrates quite clearly your relationship with a type of experimentation that is open to failure, even leading to the sculpture breaking because of the weight of the color coating.
PF. You are absolutely right in your observation, and I believe that we share that in common with your work also.
I’m quite interested in the concept of a fragile state and that does not come across only from the way I handle my material in sculptures; I feel that even in this exhibition where no form of sculpture is presented, a sense of fragility underlies my drawings.
My body of work, however, is based on the point situated between two or three dimensions, between a drawing and the limits of its material existence.
The “transformation” of a material that is intended for two-dimensional viewing into three-dimensional masses, clearly leaves plenty of room for deliberate failure and might also contribute to the feeling of uncertainty that was previously mentioned.
If this type of sculpture, as you very well state, does indeed balance between its structural limits, I would pursue that this potential failure is relatable to anything that has failed (and vice versa). This would allow any possibility and reference to be simultaneously open to a sense of “fragility”, but also to a sense of “robustness”.
The Japanese use the word “shokunin” to portray a person that performs with a ritual respect exactly the same tasks every day, in order to perfect his skill and also to constantly develop the quality of the outcome. Even though I often feel that I don’t operate very differently from this, I actually intend to gradually reach the point before the work completely collapses, or just one fragment of the whole process remains, rather than creating a “perfect” result.
This flirting with a possible destruction is what infuses the whole process with a sense of vanity that I’m interested in, since it creates a more childish approach.