Theatrical by Nature
Visual Artists: Kalliopi Giatroudaki, Yannis Dialinos, Grigoris Niolis, Konstantinos Perakis
Curator: Myrto Kontomitaki
The word theatre has its roots in the word theasis (viewing, in Greek). Whatever happens on stage, happens in order to be viewed by the spectators.
What happens, however, away from the stage, when Man uses their whole being, taking advantage of their material and their mental existence, so as to become as precisely as possible, a partaker of another type of truth, which may even not be part of their everyday reality, and yet intriguing enough to desire to learn from it, experiencing it through their existence/behaviour and eventually communicating it outwards – to the spectators: not necessarily the seated ones in a specific theatrical space, but the friends, the relatives, the colleagues, the acquaintances, the enemies, the passers-by.
Man is theatrical by nature, to a degree that they often feel even uncomfortable from their attempt to hide or to tame this theatricality of theirs. Already since Ancient Greece, they have known that theatre is not only one thing, but all things, together, just like life itself.
The value of “individual theatricality”, allow me the term, is huge, as it is that which differentiates us as beings from the animals, while it presupposes direct contact with the imagination of each one of us, as well as the simultaneous externalisation of it.
The Visual Artists of the exhibition “Theatrical by Nature”, Kalliopi Giatroudaki, Yannis Dialinos, Grigoris Niolis and Konstantinos Perakis, they themselves, as much as their works, have the makings of this theatricality, the anthropocentric, intelligently disciplined variegation, so much literally as well as metaphorically, which through their artistic presentation, is expressed as a clear need for communication, with precise messages and narrations, to be viewed, by us, the spectators.
The show begins.
Deceptions (or else theatricality)
More fragile than dry branches We rush to hide
Covered so as to be forgotten The loose skin
The saggy breast
Guts pus bones blood
A memento mori floating
Our truth denounced
We invent simple ways of mutation
We do not love
We do not accept it
Actors in a street theatre, stuntmen, protagonists It is a caruncle, flimsy, dull, inadequate
Let us dress it with beauty, with power
Silk, high heels
Facades, shining armour
Maybe we can appease, our anxiety
(Monologue in 3 parts:
The nakedness – the covering – the partitioning)
“Snapshots of the life of Adelaide K.”
Painter Yannis Dialinos and Adelaide K.
What connects me with Adelaide is our diversity. For me, as for her, there is no now. There is a life ahead, full of desires, dreams, passions.
“Theatrical by Nature”
Are we indeed? If we accept that a part of theatre is about immitating, then yes, but only this far. For, being able to impersonate – not on stage, but in life – a role that is not you, is clearly to be acquired, since our intellect differen- tiates us from the other species.
In the animal kingdom the species impose themselves through physical violence; in humans though, it is not al- ways so. How do you contradict the cruel employer, the authoritarian parent, the irascible partner? Inversely, as an employer how will you calm down a fed-up employee, or as a parent, your undisciplined child?
These are serious games of power: In the family, in so- ciety, in politics, in war and peace.
We impersonate roles that are not us, as perpetrators or as victims and God protect us from the power of the weak! Roles which we have been practicing already from our tender age, just as we practice martial arts, in order to face the strong ones! These are all well known by the founders of psychology and sociology, as well as the great dramatists.
Can we, in the meantime, become ourselves again? And if so, is it worth it? What do we gain and what do we lose? Which exactly is our acquired role and which is our real self?
Are humans “Theatrical by Nature/ Θεατρικοί εκ Φύσεως”? What may be the limits of our every day acting? Does the theatre copy real life or are we forced to play roles in order to survive?
Much ink would need to be spilled, in order to answer these questions, if answered at all. I shall try to answer within a few lines, at least as far as painting is concerned.
Fine arts are forms of expression of the soul and the mind; it is our way, along with eros (falling in love), to resist death. What is and what appears to be, reality and illusion, are interchangeable on a daily basis in real life. Every day we play fake or real roles, which will inevitably show up in our artistic work.
The visual arts form a type of creative expression that should broaden our spiritual horizons through self-aware- ness. Meaning that every artist should have the “know thyself” as far as their abilities go, and work towards fur- ther self-development. Only then will one’s own truth become apparent in their artistic work. Otherwise, the artist becomes a liar and he namely presents us with an artistic work based on a fake “character” that he imitates like the actor on stage.
An actor must be set free of his own personal charac- teristics, in order to be able to understand and express the assigned character. Contrary to this, the visual artist must remain faithful to his own personal characteristics, ridding oneself of any other role, alien to his own. And if you ask me personally, whether in our daily lives we are being theatrical by nature or by need, I believe that the one does not rule out the other.