2006 – 2007
END FAMILY is the inscription on a grave that Christina Dimitriadis photographed in a Berlin cemetery. The title of this extensive series of small-format canvases – collages, all with a reduced palette, ironed onto them using t-shirt transfer film – is already a playful indication of its thematic range: at first glance, it is only a bizarre coincidence. One almost has to force oneself not to add the word “of” that is apparently missing between “End” and “Family”, until one realises it is only a matter of the family’s name. The artist plays with precisely this subtle ambivalence between the tragedy of private destiny on the one hand and the lapidary nature of everyday found objects and their aesthetics on the other. The individual motif develops into a poetic cipher of a very personal life; a self-reference on the basis of the real object. Things and situations are independent of the places where they can be found or take place. They question the unfamiliar and simultaneously unmask the constant search for a reliable home.
Four color photographs, each 70 x 70 cm
At the end of corridor, on the sixth floor of one of the abandoned buildings of Humboldt University in Berlin is the room – trap.
The space, evacuated of all human presence is inhabited now only with spiders and flies. The entry to the room is accessible for both of them. But not the exit. The coexistence of both of these insects inside this space is impossible. Impossible because, the one the fly, constitutes food for the other, the
spider. Thus, this space itself offers no future to either of them. The room becomes the "un – natural" equation of victim and perpetrator
This work consists of 3 photographs measuring 120x120 cm
Colour photographs of smoking chimneys against a cold snow-white sky, a typical Berlin sky. This at first may appear as a continuation of the Cranes project but it is quite distinct from the earlier one. While the Cranes project interrogated the all too immediate elation at the unification of the city, trying to capture the absence of a substantial political realm that would mediate a genuine unification, the present project explores our greatest“Angst”: that of violent, impersonal life, impersonal death.
I REMEMBER ALL OF YOU
-One colour photograph, self-portrait. Dimensions 60x60 cm.
-Three colour photographs (triptych). On a misty beach. In the second photograph a discernible human figure. My father. Dimensions100x100cm.
ÜBUNGEN UM ZU VERGESSEN
-Three colour photographs. Home interior. Dimensions 120x120 cm.
MEN AND WOMEN
-A colour photograph. A dark door. Dimensions 60x60cm.
The present four photographic projects and one construction were developed over a period of several years. They were not conceived linearly and progressively. In their fragmented way they began clustering around a theme that none embodied alone but that, also, could not have been formed without the whole of them.
The photograph “I Remember All of You,” shot in 1996, came to me when I realized that that I kept on having to remember to forget all the time. Everyday life was incapable of containing the desirable. Imaginary life became more real than real, everyday life. Space itself became emptiness, loss, deprivation.
How long can this last, I thought, when the impossible leaves no possibilities for the possible? “Oblivion’s work ” is the as yet untangible, unsayable answer.
In “promenade,” with my father, the question of horror, dread, fright and pain returned. So I added another door to my work. A dark door outlined only by the dazzling light that spills through the cracks. I named it “men and women.”
ROOM STUDY, NO.1
Miniature model. Materials used: cardboard,fur, latex. Dimensions 64x38x40cm.
“Sometimes I have the feeling that we're in one room with two opposite doors and each of us holds the handle of one door, one of us flicks an eyelash and the other is already behind his door, and now the first one has but to utter a word and immediately the second one has closed his door behind him and can no longer be seen. He's sure to open the door again for it's a room which perhaps one cannot leave. If only the first one were not precisely like the second, if he were calm, if he would only pretend not to look at the other, if he would slowly set the room in order as though it were a room like any other; but instead he does exactly the same as the other at his door, sometimes even both are behind the doors and the beautiful room is empty”.
F. Kafka, “Letters to Milena”Transl. Tani and James Stern
My constructed piece is the first study of a series of room studies. Inspired by a letter Kafka wrote to Milena, it came as an immediate and strong impression that soon developed into an obsessive idea for visualising the dynamic description of the room that Kafka had dreamt of. How to bring to the visual field not merely a piece of writing but a piece of writing that narrates a dream, and, moreover, a dream confessed to a paramour that is more and more unreal, became the affective motive of this work. Like Kafka, I thought the best way to represent this situation was to line the pockets of the unreal, of fantasy, and to let this strategy illuminate the truth about reality. Upon this thought I went to work, I constructed a room, a particular closed-off space.
This project consists of 3 photographs measuring 1.20 x 1.20 m
The disappearance of the door enfolds the whole house on its way out. The faint shape left behind serves as the testimony of an artifice that could not realize itself. The photographic image has the capacity to engulf the viewer disallowing the necessary for reflection distance (the reflection of the work in the viewer and of the viewer in the work). In this respect I wish to stir a path in which these interior images unfurl: the engulfment is eaten up by the disappearance of the door into the wall leaving behind an ominous foreboding blot on the wall. Equally, the loss sing this disappearance is, affects any posture of a distance made safe by the viewer-object exhibited convention. These pictures capture my constant interrogation of the photographic image itself in the attempt to make it yield its dialectic of engulfment/distance, each unsettling the other, mirroring the structures of identity formation.
Berlin, Palio, Thassos
This work consists of 10 photos measuring 120x120 cm.
For this project I have photographed my father (quarry), my mother, my grandmother and myself (my home) and two seascape (childhood memorials).
The theme of this project moves from the images of an entombed figure in her private space to a ‘family conversation’ diptych, to the walled-in, solitary paternal figure to landscapes of the mythical land of childhood. Taken together the pictures form a story that can no longer be told. In the death-like repose of the reclining figure I wanted to convey a sense of loss, the loss of the capacity to represent our everydayness. It is the dumbstruck silence that follows this loss that has motivated these pictures. Along the same lines the other pictures forming the project carry signifiers of death, death not only as loss of meaning, mortality, biological cessation, but also as the threat of an ever increasing distance that suppurates our closest bonds. Anguish and desolation as the constant companions of our deepest loves.
BUILDING LIVING LEAVING
This project consist 58 photographs in 4 units measuring 1.20x1.20 m
Part 4: Living together - Psychiko
House in Athens, corridor, garden
Three figures sharing a life, shades moving in the darkened spaces of their loves, both helpless and menacing; menacing because of their helplessness. Their togetherness is one of merging shadows, a unity without companionship, a unity in which each a stranger to themselves and to the others becomes the pathos of pleading even without recipients.
Part 3: Brunnenstrasse
Apartment in Berlin.
I photographed this apartment as a scene of an uncontainable “Angst”. The private space of an apartment -especially places like doors and corridors which draw a line between the exposed and the unexposed contents of one’s domesticity, a constant theme in my work- is flooded by a general and vague threat that cannot be addressed.
The photographs themselves become vessels of an unleashed and implacable fear.
Part 2: Cranes
Potsdammerplatz, building activity.
Potsdammerplatz is a frontier place. One, though, cannot even call it that, a frontier, something that fronts onto something else. In truth it is the inner mark of an infinite and vague civil strife that cannot be met by the political imagination or whichever structure claims to have supplanted it. Conventionally the crane would symbolize a building upward, a ladder to a higher state of being, or the aim at perfecting the state of things. Instead, each one of these cranes stands desolate in a no man’s land, a parody of a former symbolic order whose loss did not lead to a remastery of a new one. The cranes appear trapped in a fateful history.
Part 1: Freiherr-vom-Stein Strasse
Staircases. Nobody comes up. Nobody comes down. The steps have forgotten who trod them and they can neither call them back nor their image synthesize a memory for the scrutinizing eye. These stairs absorb an impossible memory, the imperative to remember what cannot be remembered.
OPEN CLOSED DOORS
This project consists of 3 photographs measuring 1.90x1.90 m
Each door opens and closes in a frail attempt to demarcate an inside and an outside. This attempt is met with an abstract resistance whose source is unknown. The doors bespeak the impossibility of a safe enclosure, the impossibility of a boundary between the inner and the outer that should have marked the possibility for protected privacy and for recognition of duties owed to the public.