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03.07.2010 - 12.09.2010
THE SENSE OF ORDER
by Paolo Emilio Antognoli Viti
The Sense of Order, Nikos Alexiou’s first solo show in a private gallery in Italy, is the final result of a process in continuous development, it’s almost the final section of a uninterrupted process. In fact, Nikos Alexiou loves going back to his first ideas, to his initial techniques. He belongs to a generation of artists who, in the 1980s, extended art into the field of installations in a highly sensual and evocative context.
The End was the title of installation presented at the 52nd Biennale of Venezia and inspired by the mosaic floor of Iviron Monastery on Mount Athos. Through an incessant fusion of an-conical forms, colours, patterns, fibre and metal grids, shadows, printed fabrics and video-projections, Nikos Alexiou faithfully reproduces the opus sectile floor of Iviron Monastery till revealing its most secret movements.
On the other hand, The Sense of Order, from the homonymous essay by Ernst Gombrich, follows San Marco di Venezia 2010, a huge installation dedicated to the lagoon city after his experience in Venice.
In this show, recently presented at Daphne Zoumboulakis gallery in Athens, the artist presents a vast installation consisting of a series of large-scale prints and other materials projecting the floors of the square and the Basilica of San Marco in Venice as well as Doge’s palazzo, galleries and alleys around the square.
The artist considers this area as a stone carpet, a precious open-work memorial, a wide collection of materials, sophisticated techniques and knowledge from most diverse parts of Oriental Europe. Nikos collects and re-designs the floors of the whole internal and external areas of the Basilica. It is a huge work being possible just thanks to the aim of the artists to understand the semantic structure and thus capture the whole logic behind it.
Basing on prints, books, photos and visits to the venue, Nikos has re-designed a sort of lucid and spectral passage built as a patchwork. Finally, the installation looks like a huge boat, the bridge of a vast boat adrift. Here is, in the era of Google map, how a pure, almost hallucinated planimetry drawing becomes a work of art.
In Nikos Alexiou’s work, there is a connection between digital drawing and waving, manual and immaterial. In an interview with Marinos Christophoros, the artist reveals to be grown up among the architecture of Aris Kostantinidis and scientific magazines. He observes how, in some illustrations, the grid looked like the blankets woven by his mother.
Nikos Alexiou’s predilection for craftmanship seems to be opposed to the spectralization of the world as well as to the desire of digitalizing each of its aspects and so hiding the pain of the contemporary era. However, as Yorgos Tzirtzilakis says about Nikos’ artistic processing sensitive to the reminder of death „Alexiou (…) takes us back into a state of spiritual apathy and delight, a kind of reverie and idleness, around what we define as minor, fleeting, fragile, transparent, immaterial, negligible: “the last crumbs on which the Shape survives.”