The Cypriot artist Chris Akordalitis presents his first solo exhibition ‘Fragile Gods’ in Athens.
Dio Horia Gallery announces the solo exhibition of Chris Akordalitis titled Fragile Gods in Athens. This is the first solo exhibition of the artist in Athens and the second with Dio Horia Gallery. The exhibition opens on Wednesday 19 May at 10 and will run until 15 June.
The world starts with two bites—or were these fingers that greedily grasped at the fruit,
dug into it, at the exact same angle as when they would stroke the strings of an instrument,
thus making its flesh inside sing
this world is the flesh of a peach
juicy as much as ephemeral
this world is the flesh of a peach and its Time is a single drop
a freshly formed drop, right before it drips, a fleeting eternity.
Those condemned by birth to carry the Fall within them are wandering naked, hedonistic, through this Garden, fragile gods with blooming heads and beaming smiles; the Light is chasing after them to bathe them in its glow—even by night—but they just wander off, expanding, melting over the branches, bending and folding, their eyes tightly shut and everything else wide open, dilated, in order to suck at the world as the world—containing them—sucks at them. Their triumph is crowned with nature’s pleasure, fruits and blossoms and mossy leaves, temporary halos made of things just like them: born, hence mortal.
They are anthropomorphous, sure, but are they human? They remind of animals and trees and birds, their bodies are synonymous with tree trunks. Yes, the world of Akordalitis has proper nouns, it has a language spelled out by his works, a language that loves assonances
(in colors, in shapes, in curving slopes, in fruits, in branches and in shoulders, in hair and in waves), that loves the water and absolutely adores geometry. And if their divineness is thus, where is their fragility nestled? It is articulated by the shadows lurking hidden in the dark; it is evident in the pieces of their pottery (fragments, really), in the ruins of their monuments, in the whitewash on their trees, in the strange angles of their limbs, in the blood on their nipples, in the time encapsulated in Akordalitis’s narrative—a time that is unquestionably also counting down to something—, in their burned skin and in their art. It is evident in the turpentine and the highly diluted paint, in the glossiness of oil, in the softness and in the light, in transparency—or rather transparency as a reminder: reality is made up of consecutive layers; Time again, encapsulated again; the pastels on the veins of the breast; the hand that starts out red and, layer upon layer, turns pink, fleshy.
Clarity and smear in perfect balance, for every clean color a blemished one; existence, in this world too, seems like performing acrobatics on a tightrope; the sky above, the sea underneath, and yet, there is something enviable about these Fragile Gods. Naked, surrendered to their senses, they grasp the world like a peach; lodge themselves in its firmament on sculpture-like feet; smile, transubstantiated and digested in their surroundings. Their confidence evokes our own sense of happiness, but they do not seem concerned with happiness; they look like conduits, destined to channel the world until it pours out the other end in a different form. They borrow colors and motifs from just about anything; they seem flexible and elongated, extremely sensorial, sensual and geometric. Their limbs stretch out like sunrays reach for the world—antennae—and the rest of their body harmonizes with the sharp tilts of this constant pull. There is something in their expression that evokes our own pleasure, but they seem to transcend pleasure. A red climax, a liminal point where the world goes in and out, is consumed and
excreted. Time again, as metabolism. The space surrounding them, that Garden—both religiousness and the capital G are spelled out, since their cracks reveal the opposite of some sort of heaven—is as alive as they are; it has wood and it has stone, columns, fountains and forgotten temples, in which to play, day and night. It also has an enigmatic janitor, a pool boy, which makes you wonder in good faith whether you ever saw the sea and the sky, or whether it was just some state-of-the-art infinity pool mechanism that tricked you. Something that broke and you put it back together, piece by piece? Or the tiles of a swimming pool? After all, heaven presupposes hell.
Isolated in the mountainous village Tsada, near Paphos, for 9 months Chris Akordalitis lives in a traditional house with a whitewashed yard, lemon trees and cats. The soundscape of this time period is also transcribed and embedded in his works. The sense of space is altered, the light more intense. As if his forms have grown bigger. They have ears and are growing hair and are getting humanized and deified. They no longer crowd together in counterpoint to an empty space; they constitute space. In this momentary universe, where drops are about to drip but never do, capturing the present, signs of bodies echo other bodies, and what you once dared only lick, now you bite.