The two new works (projects) of Giorgos Depolla, that was presented in the group exhibition Fata Morgana in the Macedonian Museum of Modern Art in the frame of Photosynkyria 2005 resembles, from first, emphatically different from his last work. The first work titled Identity is constituted from 13 Polaroid, placed each one in the special black casket that contains the unexposed leaves. Each casket is contained in a small black frame, with black also background. The photographs are dark and picture Depolla in an environment where nothing is recognized apart from a naked form that impersonates in each photograph an aspect of his character. Each photograph brings traditionally, in his work, inventive titles as carrier of sins, porter of mistakes, in thrall to balances, beggar for pleasures, tracker of impasses, answers suppliant. This internal aspects of character, so much different and more essential than the usual relative categorizations, demonstrate self-sarcasm and a person corruptible, if no prone, in the contradictions. The nudity symbolizes here the dialectic of public dialogue in which the author arrives unprotected, without planned in advance defenses, while the semidarkness reveals the lack of self-knowledge, but also the effort of the person to emerge from the dense dark, overcoming his incomplete side in which the religious metaphysics recognizes the person of villain. As the photographer uses himself as a model, the work acquires a personal existential dimension, without is excluded certainly wider social. The spectator comes finally confronted with a body that maneuvers, twirl, twitches, grins as the language of the body sketches out the multiplicity of characters that is contained in the same flesh. The body thus presents itself as an ark that encompasses the glorious and dark complexity of the human existence.

The repeated elements (distance and corner of reception, treaty of lighting) compose a linear succession of pictures that reminds film stills, implying that it is expressions of same person and enlarging the impact of work. Polaroid is selected on one side because of the small size that draws the spectator to the picture, indicating a phenomenon more interior while simultaneously it opposes in the arbitrary logic of gigantism of photographs. On the other side the instant photograph symbolizes the rapid alternation of aspects of character; consequently the difficulty shapes no one explicit, distinguishable identity. The small black frames with the black frame underline respectively a sense of existential uncertainty, as well as they present the person as a small figure that emerges shimmering from the dark.

The number of 13 total of frames adds one slight tone of mystery, to what resembles already with a puzzle hang on the wall. Finally, the lover of depictions and embalmer of recollections is perhaps two characters that suit in the long, experienced relation of Depolla with photography, describing again with a dose of self-sarcasm how he faces the starting line and the motives of this relation.

The second work, titled Limit, is constituted by 9 heart-breaking portraits, where the face of the photographer looks like he explodes cries with despair. The conditions of reception and the way of presentation are identical with the previous work with the difference that the portraits are close-ups, portraying the author from the height of his shoulder. They describe a treaty of confusion, despair, impasse that remains multivalent, as it is not clarified if it concerns the individual or collective conditions of existence, the political situation in local or wider level or a reaction in the artistic happenings. Even if the cry of Depolla remains dumb, two-dimensional representation, it recalls the unstrung, full intensity, howls of Tom Waits.

The work gives perhaps the impression that it describes the intellectual situation of a disturbed individual and in situation of crisis. Which evidences we allocate that we are contained in the safe circle that urban and scientific “normality” defines? It resembles however that it suggests that whoever realizes really the conditions of modern existence, through sure and high relatively standard of living that is found on the opposite side of the torturing poverty of the Third World, but also the poverty of the western societies themselves, through the conditions of ideological guidance that keep pace with the bigger never flow of information, permanently higher walls in the human relations, the lack real mental, bodily and intellectual quality in the conditions of life and the everyday routine, the degeneration of modern art, the collapse of ideologies and the televisation of everything, it is not appeared to have other exit than the wild howl. Is a work deeply personal, but symbolizes an era where limits are permanently transcended rapidly, while the former constant principals, relations or values resemble more and more with moved sand.

Giorgos Depollas, reliable in the climate of permanent contestation that marks his work, self-sabotages once more with the particular authenticity that distinguishes him in his precise psychism expression : it offers naked from each defense, each social, artistic or other added value in the course of life, in a action that resembles with redemptory detonation. In a performance front from lens that here resembles it plays more role of confessor. At the same time, it is placed indirectly in vital social phenomena releasing, in equivalence with exemplary Blue Velvet of David Lynch, something from the paranoia of advanced industrial societies that is the antipode of ostensible safety and absolute conformism.

Hercules Paraioannou

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