Vasilis Galanis at Cabane Art Space


History is like Janus; it has two faces.
Whether looking in the past or in the present,
it sees the same things.

Maxime Du Camp, Paris, ses organes, ses fonctions, sa vie, vol. VI

In his imaginary universes, Vasilis Galanis approaches critical issues of W. Benjamin's thought about the cultural human history, the modern subject's interaction with time and nature, the loss of the utopian vision of progress.

Choosing the visual subject of the natural landscape and its elements, one of the most common representational choices in all cultures, and using multiple monotypes combined with black and white design tradition, Galanis creates ambiguous post-apocalyptic landscapes and still-lifes, which can fit into the thematic heritage of vanitas, revealing the entropy of nature and, at the same time, the perishability and ephemeral of all: tangible and intangible, beings and products.

Through ambiguous organic forms - plants that violently swallow everything in their way by their devouring spread in space and time, nature is portrayed as a voracious construction without limits, signaling allegorically the insatiable gluttony of the human post-modern spirit of continuous repopulation and over-replenishment. Nature here has a two-fold character as materiality, between shelter and threat, pleasure and pain • an incomplete end of destruction and return.

Using cultural products of the past, such as hand-written accounting tables of the 1930’s that serve as a surface, as “historical waste products”, he attempts to create his own "dialectical images" close to W. Benjamin's aesthetics. Images that create the sense of an instant crack in historical time continuum, which rises amidst ruins and cultural fragments residing in now· or differently put, the experience of awakening from a "modern collectively shared dream" within another, yet unknown, dream.

"Dilated temporality"landscapes that the viewer can not classify in the past, present or future. Landscapes involving both the beginning, the destruction, the end, and at the same time the traces of the craving for the advent of something “post-“ and the return to something “pre-“.

Vasilis Galanis: Pre- or Post- (WHO CARES?)
13-16 June 2019

Cabane Art Space
Trion Ierarchon 38, 118 51 Athens
17:00 - 20:00 and by appointment

Facebook event

✍️ Text by Nena Samioti
📷 Photos courtesy of the artist

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