Countryside Research

Concepts regarding the provinces and that of provincial landscape always have a double mean- ing and message, which are not only applicable to the Hellenic territory but also to the environ- ment in general.There are some people who identify the countr yside with the picturesque quality of nature,the purity of it and its abun- dance ,whereas life in the city is equated with disasters,ugliness and alienation. On the other hand, it is thought that the natural environment may be synonymous with the decline of con- servation compared to city life which is actually symbolic of both progress and mobility.The con- flict between these diverse opinions is apparent, in any case, but becomes even more obvious when portrayed through a particular aesthetic aspect concerning the subject in question.

The works of Vasilis Papageorgiou are orientated towards the significance of the “splits” that demonstrate how starkly rural areas flirt simultaneously both with nature and with urban reconstruction.Villages which crave the grandeur of the large city and cities that desire the character of the countryside find themselves at the mercy of unsuccessful human intervention which finally lead to an affected and kitschy result.
Vasilis Papageorgiou illuminates certain symbols concerning this “situation” and uses them simultaneously with critique and a minimalist disposition,’toying’ with the meanings of monumentalism, monument and landmark.

The artist’s memories from his first summer spent in the Thessalian plains,”meet” new images which lead to a plethora of structures that can be interpreted in a multiplicity of ways where every individual piece of work forms an integral part of the whole work. It can be argued that it is about the illustration of the similarities,contradictions and synthe- ses which occur between the urban element, nature and provincial areas which the artist approaches with a disposition to record and offer commentary on the aesthetics of this situation that is the sole result of human intervention -although human beings, as a subject, are absent from the work and are seen to have left their mark only from the result of their actions.

The viewer of this work does not remain distant and passive but takes on the role of a colossal observer vis-a-vis a fragmented and fragile nature and “easy” aestheticism, thus coming face to face with their own responsibilities.The inclusion of a distorted scale,the element of paradox and ancient Greek symbols throughout the work , aim to criticize such a set of aesthetics which seem to be stuck to a glorious past but exist in an inglorious present.

Danai Giannoglou



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