Departing from the interactive installation “The Disappearing Wall,” organized by the Goethe-Institut and presented in different European cities in Fall 2020 (including Thessaloniki), miss dialectic curates Pixels, an art publication that unfolds both as an online and an offline project. Pixels aims to unravel the connection between Thessaloniki’s urban imprint and its visual arts community. What was initially planned as a physical exhibition at the premises of “To Pikap” bar and vinyl store, now takes the form of printed matter. We invited twelve artists from the To Pikap Community to share their work and open a dialogue with quotes that found their place in “The Disappearing Wall.” ¶ The city, architecture and nature, domesticity, sensuality and affection, everyday rituals and ruptures, were only a few of the themes that emerged, forming the backbone of Pixels. Through this venture, a collective publication project devised by twelve graphic designers living in Thessaloniki and orchestrated by Post-Spectacular Office, we set out to explore the creative scene of the city. ¶ Maria Andrikopoulou is getting lost in the city. While walking, she encounters urban buildings and plant remains that she collects and presents in the project mapping ground. Her peripatetic methodology becomes a means to excavate layers of experiences which she then presents in a raw form, allowing the audience to reconstruct their own imagery of the city, ignoring the wear and tear of materials, and route. ¶ Theodora Prassa’s research draws on the unbalanced relationship between humans and the built environment. Inspired by the city’s brutalist architecture, she creates abstract digital collages, testing new patterns, movements, and textures, and eventually exploring new interfaces between the viewers and the city. ¶ Loopo’s approach to the city and (visible and invisible) labor follows the themes of affection and tenderness in a process of healing. Bodies, plants, domestic and public forms of life coexist within our societies, yet Loopo seems to suggest an alternative take. What if we treated our homes as gardens? What if we perceived the city as our body? Tenderness and care would then become a political gesture of resistance and activism. ¶ Ilektra Maipa’s Be a Trout investigates the relationship between body and landscape through language, linking emotion to the natural environment. In the realm of memory, she creates new surroundings by sculpting space, geography, and time. ¶ Dimosthenis Bogiatzis’s practice invokes contemporary forms of ritual and the use of symbols in modern society. As he seeks to develop a new visual language, he re-activates symbols he encounters in the folklore – places of worship and religion. ¶ Maria Kriara’s imagery constitutes a form of research into kinship or arbitrariness in the relation between representations and narratives. Upon encountering her work, the viewer is urged to question the boundaries of iconography and the maker’s intentions, engaging in a sensory experience that triggers imagination and mental functions. ¶ Stelios Chatzivasileiou is inspired by humans and the relationships they develop with one another and with the environments they inhabit. Drawing inspiration from architecture, literature, and science fiction, he combines text and visual material with street-art aesthetics to narrate a story that feels both personal and universal. ¶ Giannis Karavasilis’s visual diary takes as its subject people, animals, and their urban or rural surroundings. Scenes of destruction, construction, and reconstruction, his images resemble lost memories of the past or the future. ¶ Sofia Karasavvidou is inspired by literature and the cycle of life and nature. Through text, embroidery, painting, and drawings, she expresses the need for a personal examination of one’s mental and emotional processes; an introspection that takes an almost ceremonial expression. ¶ The woman as a girl, wife, mother, and mistress is the central subject matter of Stella Tsoumatidou’s work. Her paintings, provocative and sensitive, question society’s patriarchal norms and the male gaze on the female body. The woman, for Tsoumatidou, is a unit for collective becoming, full of energy for life and creativity. ¶ Fousti Lamé’s interdisciplinary approach to art-making is informed by gender fluidity, queer identities, and the social constructs around them. The work itself (performance and image-making) is deeply influenced by childhood memories attempting the undoing of stereotypes around gender troubles and selfhood. ¶ Theofanis Nouskas’s work resists categorization. In his own words, “My work can be described as varied or even unstable. I do not know or do not want to classify it somewhere as a whole. Sometimes, the works mislead the audience as non-art and it is this element of a doubt that satisfies me the most when they are found in dialogue with it.” ¶ Pixels, here comprising twelve artists’ books, aims to mark a certain moment in the creative history of Thessaloniki. Each artist, similarly to a single pixel, allows us to experience a sample of their worlds, adding to a fragmented but authentic image.
–miss dialectic, December 2020