Nikos & Pandelis Sotiriades


By: Athina Schina

Nowadays, more and more people are concerned about the fate of this planet. Nature is being destroyed and the last dregs of its capacity to restore itself -worryingly- being exhausted. But our sensitivity and, even more importantly, our reactions, have been weakened, and we have been content to shift responsibility on to others and to constantly defer taking action; ultimately, we have proved incapable of making a meanigful intervention to restrain the course of events.

Art, on its part, and thought have had their own expressive impasses to deal with in view of the crucial nature of the times. They are impasses of conviction in conveyance, of methological cohesion and of effective influence, not to mention decisive participation in social problems. However, the question of the irreversible exhaustion of nature's resources and of the utilitarian approach to their exploitation - by means of an abuse of an anthropocentric misunderstanding of the rights of civilisation as we have known it - is no longer a matter solely and exclusively of the environment or of danger mongering rhetoric. Today, the problems which have arisen and directly affecting psychosocial and economic factors, and even philosophy. Nor, I would say, is that all: those problems are also interwoven with moral stature, with behaviour and with life attitudes, and still more so with the ethics and guidelines of creative activity.

This is even truer when art's ambition, in its works and artistic expression, is to play a combatively stimulating and leading role, as indeed the necessity of the moment requires. This demand is neither artificial nor inverted, but is dietated as inherent and extant for the significance of the art in our lives.

Of course, the art event does not occur for the purpose of proclaiminig truths. In taking as its target the relativity of such truths on the basis of alertness of consciousness, the art event does not possess the procedures of proof to be found in a syllogism. Nonetheless, it is capable of more effective action in cultivating and altering both concepts and mentalities. In its forms and in its presence, art embraces its intention, its means and its organisational integration - as part of the usages of social association - to use the language it proposes in a unique manner and raise certain questions. By activating sensory mentation, art suggests but does not orate. In contrast, it alludes to situations, setting our inquiries in motion and assuaging our existential Angst.

The environment which Sotiriades Brothers have created belongs to these parameters. In the continuous series of works which they presents us, the artist has transmuted a number of questions and broader concerns. As their framework, they have chosen the natural landscape and the facts it gives they. They makes no attempt to depict a chain of processes in a narrative manner, contrasting they self to the functions and practices of the relations between man and nature. Taking they starting points from abservation of reality and the testimony of the collective unconscious, Sotiriades brothers progresses to a more profound level: that of transformation, of allegory, of symbolic functions and of epression in the form of parable. They links and transmutes situations, they transmogrifies significances and intervenes actively by adopting disguised associations with alternative locations of our gaze across a hinterland of viewed objects - the objects laid up in store, by impact on the unconsicious.

bull • The sculpture Abduction of Europe is placed in front of the EU Parliament in Strasbourg. bull Athina Schina is art critic, historian of art and prof in the university of Athens

He records and states the problems which emerge and acts upon them, playing the reproductive role of nature in its vital functions, on the one hand - its power to recycle and its singulatirity in generating form - and, on the other, in its beneficial yet destructive dimension of esogenous and exogenous factors. We know that man-made technical achievements have reached the point, when appropriately handled, are standing in, as simulacra for real necessities. Nowadays, the arrogance of technology can give to the plant chlorophyll different forms, regardless of the balances which it supports. With the help of our fictitious and overwhelming mania for creating effects, we can look at it as metal, as luminous light, as glass or as an electronic breath. Yet that breath lacks life, it has no physical or metaphysical capacities, it has secret tricks but it is deprived of ontological and - above all - existential mystery.

Sotiriades brothers rejects none of the viewpoints which would make the presence of their works prejudiced, but neither is they unduly attacted to any of them. They recommends and they make their statement. They sheds light on dilemmas and impasses and they underscores them. They acknowledges the allure or vanity and the radiance of the phantasmagoria, using the phenomena theyselves to undermine the intended effect. To use Aristotelian terminologo, their mimesis of the excellent and perfect act of creation, absorbed in their work the reproductive dimension of art, shows us both the faces of Janus on the same coin.

The gulf-like lake of Agios Nikolaos is a matrix: one which is open to the passage of significances, and which can become a cauldron for reduction and association. Around it - arranged in circular fashion in the mythical dimension of time - are phenomena and events: generation and decay, reappearance, transformation. These events and forms are connected with the primal functions and basic stages in the unfolding of a microcosm projected on a mega-scale, and vice versa. Fire is the catalyst for doom, and for the miracle. Sotiriades brothers remains on its knife's edge. They expresses their art project on the borderline of its balances of arrangement - and reform. They negate nothing: they simply and indirectly shifts, juxtaposes and subcutaneously alters our wonder, projecting on to the sight of their artistic gesture the bitter-sweet dimension of tragedy or rather, the joyous dimension of a drama we play out every day with our forgetful complicity and our disarming Epicurianism. The critical parameter of the "environment" focuses on its centre, where all the spatial and chronological processes of integration of the work come together with those that shape form: on the water, on the surfaces which reflect the depth of sea life, the extent and the processes of time, the reversed mirror-image of a work of plant and blossoming although techno art poised between nature and human achievement, between truth and mere apperance, between organic and inorganic functions, between the concepts of transience and druation with a symbiotic yet contradictory content. Above all, however, Sotiriades brothers raises questions. They brings us face to face with the invented and the random, with the will and with destiny, with achievement and art, with abstracted functions and the desperate result, with the effect and the scientific essence of the problem. In this way, they continues to develop an expressive course upon which they embarked some time ago; furthermore in doing so they have enriched and clarified their art - code language, which is now more mature, more compact, concistened and more allusively communicable.

Personal Contacts
strom Nikos Sotiriades
GSM: +30 69 44 41 33 73

Work Shop Address
Ikarou 2 & Em. Pothou str.
Agios Nikolaos, Crete, Greece, EU, 721 00
tel.: +30 2841 028664; fax: +30 2841 025616

GPS: 35.18689, 25.71327

Mo, Th, Sa: 09:00 - 15:00
Tu, We, Fr: 09:00 - 15:00 / 17:00 - 21:00
Su: Closed
Personal Contacts
strom Pandelis Sotiriades
GSM: +30 69 77 29 07 04

Copyright © Designed by WsS Μπιαλεκ Καρελ 2.011