This work is a result of a month-long performance. I would write each poem on a wall when I felt a certain inspiration or a need for it. That is why the writing is so natural and no geometrically rigid.
I combined reading with writing; therefore in a state of meditation forcing my awareness.
It was important to me that the visual structure of a completed piece would reflect the process of creation. The text lines nearer to the floor are curved and restrained, showing the difficulty of writing in that position. When I decided to do this work, I chose not to know exactly whether the book would fit in this space. The uncertainty of it gave even more meaning to my intention. At my disposal I had a few copies of Tao Te Ching in Greek, Russian, German and English. It was at random that the English text was chosen.
"Tao Te Ching" Lao Tse
2010-2011, ink on wall, 250 x 300 cm
page 7 Grote Markt, Brussels, Belgium
page 39 Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi, Vietnam
page 48 Raekoja plats, Tallinn, Estonia
page 6 Jamaa el Fna, Marrakesh, Morocco
Square Trip, index of the visited squares
This album includes 49 central squares of the capitals of some countries. The trip was made through Google Maps. My decision where to travel was based on a personal interest, but I was also influenced by the ease with which I could find a 360 degree view on the Internet; that allowed me to take pictures by myself. The squares are ordered according to my trip through Google Maps. When I first started visiting the squares I found very curious things with many of them being common to almost all the places. For example what struck me were the shadows of people but without them. Or the other way around, people without shadows. It is absurd, but seems to exist. Normally when something obstructs the light, a shadow appears and this is the law of physics. But Google Maps makes me doubt this basic law. Maybe there have been changes in the understanding of the world as we know it, but I was not aware of that until now. Great changes are taking place in our lives that make us doubt what is real and what is not.
The excerpt from the final page of the album: “The idea was conceived and the trip was made by the author of this album Svetlana Limnios during the month of April 2018 while she was in Barcelona. It did not involve any real movement but the virtual one. Access to the Internet was the only means of transport. The photos taken are similar to those that any tourist would have taken: a curious, unusual and peculiar environment. In fact, it’s a family album that covers the entire world community".
video Square Trip manual, 5.40 min
Photo album Square Trip, 2018, 32 x 22 x 5 cm, 196 photos printed on Ilford Studio Glossy
250gsm photo paper, 13 x 18 cm, white rubber gloves, a sky-blue velvet
Page 1 My Will, 2017, watercolour and ink on paper
"Overcoat" Nikolai Gogol
2015, ink on paper, 70 x 100 cm
Page 14 Translation, 2018, collage on paper
Page 15 The Black Square from different points of view, 2018, graphite on paper
Page 5 39 people,
their dates, their words
Page 6 1square = 9 squares = 81 squares
Page 2 Omon Ra Page 3 Ability to quote
The Overcoat is a conceptually loaded work. First of all it is advisable to actually read this story written by Nikolai Gogol and published in 1842. Then, one can relate and see the connection of my work to the hero of that story Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin. I copied the book as well as Akaky Akakievich was copying his documents, that is with complete absorption and diligence. The profession of rewriting and copying the texts by hand has long ago seized to exist.
The Overcoat is written on one piece of paper. Then, as it is, it can be compared to being a real overcoat, a long warm coat for a language.
Of course it is written in Russian as it is the original language of the book and my native language as well. I feel this could be one of my most precious works.
Open and ready to be read
2017 - 2018, wooden box 46 x 35 x 2.5 cm with silkscreen print on board;
16 pages (open 42 x 58 cm, closed 42 x 29 cm): chinese ink, ball pen, graphite, colour-pencils and wax pastel
Tao Te Ching
© Svetlana Limnios