The Agora still remains a milieu of people gathering, a subject-matter which Lyra is preoccupied with in a numerous and differentiated ways, for the past fifteen years: edifice, temple, mercantile place, altar, purgatory. Whichever, is connected to the at times overmastering systems, while historically lingering as a social phenomenon, to which each period attributes a different meaning, a different nuance. The work Lyra exhibits today constitutes a segment of her long, thematic occupation with the issue of the Agora. It is about those Angelic lambkins, the small children who sleep on white or red fabrics. Their pleats, as they spread out, touch the motionless body, cloak and define the body limbs in an indistinguishable relation between the flesh and the textile, making a reference to Michelangelo’s Pietà or, perchance, to Yannoulis Chalepas’ Sleeping Female Figure or either, for that matter, to a pile of cast-off children’s clothes from Auschwitz?
A contemporary artist obtains and notices. Both the old and the new world abide by an indissoluble inter-connection, not only in the art field, but in that of life, as well. The artist conjures the issue that runs over the modern market; it being globalized and cutthroat. It intrudes, on a daily basis, peoples’ homes when they can least concentrate on the fields it exerts authority. In public view, bodies slaughtered of Queens and mob at the salons of the 16th and 17th centuries, soldiers and rebels in the battlefields of the 19th century, racially discriminated corpora of the 20th century, leaders hanged and children with no life in our third millennium. The objective of a masterpiece in art certainly entails, as does the notion of aesthetic delectation in art, the unacquainted. Lyra shrouds it poetically, declaring an oath to the umbra of a masterpiece that, as an artist, she will, always, assume it.
Maria Marangou, Art Critic
Director, Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete
Athens Photo Festival 2015
Eleni Lyra (GR)
Curated by: Maria Marangou
Duration: 8 May – 24 July, 2015
Italian Cultural Institute, Athens
Patision 47, 104 33 Athens