© Svetlana Limnios
Book, 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
On the cover of this Book we see the silk-printed mouth from Samuel Beckett’s Not I.
It is conspiratorial, threatening and mysterious in appearance. And that is how a spectator must approach this work. This half-opened mouth portends the possible content of this book; the book strangely titled “Book”. All of the 16 pages are numbered in Chinese. With this begins the introduction to the game of symbols and meanings. There is no clear narration going from page one to the page fifteen; the last page number sixteen being the index. The experience is similar to that of being put in a vortex of ideas. That is why this work can be compared to the central part of my artistic production, the clusters, where the images are presented all at once on a wall. The wide range of techniques used reflects my necessity to convey the ideas by the most suitable means.
Open and ready to be read
Page 2 Omon Ra Page 3 Ability to quote
Page 6 1square = 9 squares = 81 squares
Page 5 39 people, their dates, their words
Page 15 The Black Square from different points of view, 2018, graphite on paper
Page 14 Translation, 2018, collage on paper
Page 1 My Will, 2017, watercolour and ink on paper
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, sky-blue velvet
In this album the 49 central squares of the various capitals of several countries are included. The trip was made through Google Maps. My decision was to travel to the central square of the capitals that had a personal interest, but I was also greatly 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, but many of them were common to almost all the places. For example, no more than anything else, what struck me are 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".
page 6 Jamaa el Fna, Marrakesh, Morocco
page 48 Raekoja plats, Tallinn, Estonia
page 7 Grote Markt, Brussels, Belgium
page 39 Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi, Vietnam
Square Trip, index of the visited squares
video Square Trip manual, 5.40 min
"Overcoat" Nikolai Gogol
2015, ink on paper, 70 x 100 cm
"Tao Te Ching" Lao Tse
2010-2011, ink on wall, 250 x 300 cm
Tao Te Ching
This work is a result of a performance lasting over a month. 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 had combined reading with writing; therefore in a state of meditation forcing my awareness.
It was important for 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 prevailed over the others.
I find the Overcoat so conceptually loaded that it is difficult for me to talk about it. First of all, in order to aproach and begin to understand it, it is advisable to actually read this story [in a more friendly format] written by Gogol. Then, one can relate and see the connection of my work to the hero of that story Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin. I rewrote the Gogol's book as well as Akaky Akakievich copying his documents, with complete absorption and diligence. The profession of rewriting and copying the texts by hand has long ago seized to exist.
The Overcoat is beautifully and patiently 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. As with Tao Te Ching I did not know whether the whole book will fit on a single page, but the unpredictability is of great importance to me.
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.