solo show 2011
31/10/2014 | By Maria Polyzoidou |
In the painting of Maria Polyzoidou forms are vaguely distinguished as coming out of the mist, as if they were recorded in an old film that has been damaged and what once had volume, color, outline has remained a faded trace of memory and history.
It is noteworthy that in many works one may see signs of a military iconography or reminders of asylum and confinement: subtle airplane wings and dots in the sky like dropping paratroopers, ruins of a deserted city, or, again, a narrow iron bed with a shadow that is struggling to hide or to set free. Circumstances i.e. where the subject loses its political status, devoid of its identity and individuality, as its body, its volume its color, its outline are almost impossible to be assessed.
This subject-matter of stripped bare consciousness, of an undeclared agony and destruction, is of only secondary importance and it is therefore never actually articulated. The core of the work lies in the process of constructing the image. It mainly derives from archival material found in youtube, which the artist isolates and re-processes in painting. The works depict the traces of such an origin, for instance, the scratches and breaks of the old film, while at the same time they obscure and distort the original image, as if the decay was our fundamental, if not our only bond with reality. In this way, it is not depiction that raises the issues of memory, the annihilation of the body, the deprivation of subjectivity but the very mechanism of the painting process. What else can we anyway say or show but traces, ghosts, shadows that undulate behind a curtain: representation. From this point of view, Polyzoidou’s painting is structured like a language that is recounted, like Pierre Klosofski says with the superstition of realism: “All in all, the “realist” or “naturalist” superstition was nothing more than the “delirium of interpretation” of an age. The imperative to reproduce “nature” “objectively” –the need to insist on the contact between body and objects, on the resistance offered by other bodies- all this is characteristic of a modern phantasmatic obsession. The simulacrum effectively simulates the compulsion of the phantasm only by exaggerating its stereo-typed schemata”.
Although Polyzoidou’s painting creates new, autonomous images, the source is always present, enhancing and undermining their independence. Each work, there-fore, is like a spiral of voices that are simultaneously heard creating in some occasions noise and in some other a heavy silence. Besides, intervening in the primary source, recording its decay, its ambiguity and polysemy, she states her position towards it and thereby she puts herself in the work, like if she is at the same time painting her own precarious point of view: her conviction for the painting mechanism is at the same time an uncertainty about the organization of memory, the alteration of bodies and shapes is a reflexion on her own subjectivity, “that is not here and yet it is not elsewhere.” Polyzoidou’s iconography belongs to an unspecified time in the past, when an act might have happened, which however never does. The past of history is the present of the painting act. And the figures that emerge in the form of a spectrum in her works, the ominous shadows, the ambiguous outlines, belong to the deceased who have never died.