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Chaidari Kan-enas Creativity as a Selfmodel Από το "Είναι-μη Είναι" στο "Σκακιστικό Συνεχές"
For Engonopoulos Performance Pizza με όλα "Chess Continuum" and " Uncommon Ground" Yπόμνημα Εργασίας

For Engonopoulos / Performance

Discription: We all sat at the table which was set on the stage of the Benaki Museum’s amphitheatre for the needs of the conference. When it was my turn to talk I lifted the scarf around my neck and covered my head effacing my particular characteristics in the manner of Engonopoulos. I left my mouth uncovered.

Art is technology of thought. As such it investigates and forms structures. Artworks are both the tools and the accomplishments. Civilization, in what we call Culture, is an open source code; software bequeathed and altered from generation to generation.

In this logic Engonopoulos’s painting, or most accurately I should have said his iconography, although it is distinctly byzantine in the manipulation of form and color, it reverses things: Where tradition seeks the spiritual through the immaterial - maintaining however dogmatically the singular characteristics of every saint- hyperrealism(?) promotes the corporal while effacing these singularities that distinguish a face. It remains nevertheless in syntax-as all icons of devotional character - monumental.

Because most probably after all it is not a painting (the way I understand painting that is). It does not investigate the plasticity of forms and that may be a reason explaining why those who seek the adventure of brushes may not like it…

It is an Icon.
A devotional Icon. 
A heroic Icon. 
An Icon which seeks to excite by provoking.

In this icon, the body is the tool for freedom; and eroticism, in its plainer expression of sex, is a medium for self-consciousness! Expression is being given an image through its basic formulation, that of desire!

These breasts coloured with lipstick…

At this point, eyes and head still covered, I presented a small mirror and red lipstick. I opened the mirror, and advanced the lipstick. I colored my lips twice.

The reactions, therefore, were absolutely predictable…! 
Even now it shocks, back then it must have seemed outrageous! 
In the poem “On Elevation” he testifies “if they still haven’t mercilessly torn me to pieces, thrown my flesh to the dogs”…

I lowered, with a simple gesture, the scarf to my neck.

Because the issue of this image, the syllogism of this structure, aims through Byzantium and Ancient Greece and even further back to…the Future!

It is a syllogism which negates the pretentiousness of Europeanized Greekness, this national identity compiled by the Bavarians (nerve-less and love-less and proper) in favor of the essence of cultural identity. 
That which if you like calling Hellenic, (in our times of globalization indeed it is the same to me, provided that you say that it is universal ) , seeks to determine itself eternally on the continuum by the footprints of Bacchus and the Great Mysteries of Eleusis, on the sacred road and quest of Being.

Eros as Logos, in the service, not of God but of Human! 
Existence as relation, the Ego as the Other, the achievement of Love as a deed of freedom and attainment of self-consciousness! An Icon which is therefore revolutionary and aims to be popular, and in my opinion succeeds being so!

In Engonopoulos, in both his painting and the relationships depicted, I feel the demand for physicality, for corporeality; the performance. I can easily see the thread connecting him with the naked Charlotte Moorman playing chess with Duchamp [1] or with Rebecca Horn naked being both the virgin and the unicorn bearing on her head the spine of transcendental reality.

This query on corporeality, in our days of cyberspace and “second life”, a game of virtual reality on line, where users end up so dependent as to pay others to keep their avatars active for 24 hours, is a yearning to discover the limits of what is Ηuman. Thank you


[1] In reality Duchamp is being photographed in 1963 by Julian Wasser during his retrospective at the Pasadena Museum playing chess with the nude model Eve Babitz while Charlotte Moorman cellist and performer who often appeared naked is being arrested in 1967 during her collaboration with Nam June Paik at “opera sextronic” because she bared her breasts.