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IN CONVERSATION CHAPTER #3: Dora Economou and Andrei Pokrovskii at RIBOT, Milan

“The death of another man singles me out and calls me into question, as though I had become, for my potential indifference, the accomplice of this death, invisible to the other who exhibits himself to you; and as though, even before being destined for it, I had to answer for the death of the other person: as though I had not to leave him alone in his mortal loneliness.” 

E. Lévinas-A. Peperzak, Ethics as First Philosophy (1989), It. trans. F. Ciaramelli, Guerini and Associati, Milan 2001, III, 4, p. 56.)

From the very beginning, and according to the plurality of modes that encapsulates it, the term dialogue (from the Latin dialŏgus, in ancient Greek διάλογος, derived from διαλέγομαι “to converse, talk with”, composed from dià, “by way of” and Logos, “discourse”) indicates the mainly verbal comparison, in the sense of a procedure for all-round research, conducted between two or more interlocutors, and is understood as a tool for expressing heterogeneous feelings, the view points of each of the involved parts, and for the discussion of ideas that are not necessarily opposed. 

Dialogical interaction, here understood as a tool for the expositive strategy between two sides, should certainly be understood, in its most intrinsic meaning, as a moment of receptiveness, the freedom for reciprocal change, the respect and acceptance of the other. In the phenomenology of the French intellectual Emmanuel Lévinas, for example, dialogue, which involves human beings who have ended up in a search for a non-terminable truth, becomes the tool of an intentional conscience that incessantly tends towards the infinite and is strongly connoted by the presence of sensitivity and the wish to reveal the invisible. Conversation, as a synonym of dialogue, is articulated by two aspects: first that of receptiveness, in the sense of the beginning of the conversation itself, the typical mechanism of a conversational analysis based on the notorious adjacent couples, otherwise known as action and reaction. Conversation can certainly be considered the prototypical form of face-to-face dialogue and, in particular, with dialogue you do, in fact, share two central traits of interactivity and intentionality. And as in each linguistic production, the various forms of conversation are strongly influenced by the context. A dialectic of an essentially aesthetic kind is affected by all these characteristic aspects of the dialogue and emphasizes them by pushing them to the extreme limits, making clear a continual search for something unsaid that is said between structural leaps and visual allusions in an infinite game that drowns the bases in the articulated artistic research of the two interlocutors.

On the one hand, Athenian artist Dora Economou (born in 1974), amidst nods to personal autobiography, possible mystifications of reality and moments of randomness, partiality and mutability, masterfully fulfills her artistic quest through low-fi handmade assemblages using particularly inexpensive and frequently used everyday materials as well as objets trouvés. Walking, observing, reading, and listening, Economou traces and retrieves a series of elements and heterogeneous references that turn out to be fundamental to the creation of her works. In fact, the choice of materials such as fabric, wood, adhesive tape, and paper give her works— which are strongly connoted by roughness and a timidity—transience and vigorous intensity; a palpable and oxymoronic fragility. Further, to better understand the complexity of her intellectual and stylistic substratum, it is worth noting that Economou’s practice constantly refers to the works of prominent female artists of the 1970s, to expressionist sculpture, and to the historically significant, post-feminism. Her work visually traverses the contemporary sculptural sphere associated primarily with the Glasgow scene of the 1990s, and arrives at the new generation of German artists who set out to formally explore the legacy of modernism by amiably relating it to pop culture, contemporary design, and architecture; 

on the other hand, the work of the young Moscow artist Andrei Pokrovskii (born in 1996) deals mainly with the concept of space and its modes of representation. It also delves into human perception in relation to various places, including the real, mythical and virtual, through the experience gained in their context—ranging from the sensual hemisphere to the behavioral; from the meditative to the emotional. By deliberately recreating the process of attachment to a place and safeguarding this proximity to it, Pokrovskii gradually constructs, ever-more surprising prosceniums through which he can make up fantastical stories, conceived in turn as veritable theatrical pièces in which it is possible to trace all the various stages of perceptual mutation. Through the use of this so-called stylistic model of a spatial scenario, he often controls the characters who serve as extensions of the host location. In addition to this, the poses of the figures often appear static, almost paralyzed, so much so that they almost appear helpless, or as exclusively ornamental sculptures. By making both the subject and the stylistic register of the painting fit the environment, and through the use and combinations of various pictorial materials and sculptural elements, including embryonic door handles, furniture, and both architectural and natural elements—all in constant tension between inside and outside and vice versa,—Pokrovskii bridges a possible gap between the artwork and the viewer. The work of art thus becomes an artifact of that fabled place that it itself depicts. 

Domenico de Chirico 

23.5.23 — 7.7.23


'ABSINTHE', Group Show Curated by PLAGUE at Smena, Kazan

'Pupila' by Elizabeth Burmann Littin at Two seven two gallery, Toronto

'Auxiliary Lights' by Kai Philip Trausenegger at Bildraum 07, Vienna

'Inferno' by Matthew Tully Dugan at Lomex, New York

'Зamok', Off-Site Group Project at dentistry Dr. Blumkin, Moscow

'Dog, No Leash', Group Show at Spazio Orr, Brescia

'Syllables in Heart' by Thomas Bremerstent at Salgshallen, Oslo

'Out-of-place artifact', Off-Site Project by Artem Briukhov in Birsk Fortress, Bi

'Gardening' by Daniel Drabek at Toni Areal, Zurich

'HALF TRUTHS', Group Show at Hackney Road, E2 8ET, London

'Unknown Unknowns' by Christian Roncea at West End, The Hague

'Thinking About Things That Are Thinking' by Nicolás Lamas at Meessen De Clercq,

‘Funny / Sad’, Group Show by Ian Bruner, Don Elektro & Halo, curated by Rhizome P

'Don’t Die', Group Show at No Gallery, New York

'Almost Begin' by Bronson Smillie at Afternoon Projects, Vancouver

'I'll Carry Your Heart's Gray Wing with a Trembling Hand to My Old Age', Group Sh

'hapy like a fly' by Clément Courgeon at Colette Mariana, Barcelona

'Fear of the Dark' by Jack Evans at Soup, London

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