ALEXANDROS MAGANIOTIS Ghost: Lafcadio Hearn 2009 - x +
MagA2009ghos

CN: MagA2009ghos

MT: collage: China ink, acrylic on digital print on paper (80x54 / F:84x59x3)

CT: Athanassiadou Art Advice, Athens - 2009

CM: Alexander Maganiotis noticed with great interest that Lafcadio Hearn invented successive identites for himself. Living in different countries, each time he presented another personality, as if undergoing metamorfosis. The Ghost that he dedicated to Lafcadio deals with the sum total of the memory of his selves. Actually, it is a collage of information and visuals that Maganiotis gathered from the internet. Originally he digitally composed the material, then he printed it on paper, then he painted over it with color and ink, and finally he photographically enlarged it. Such a process homogenizes the handmade with the technological. For Lafcadio's countenance Maganiotis used the photograph of his bust wearing a jacket as professor in Tokyo in 1900, which extends as drawing with a kimono. Below is reflected upside down the whole figure of Lafcadio as photographed in 1891, with a kimono as a Japanese. With such an invention Maganiotis suggests the preponderance of the Japanese dimension of Lafcadio. The center of the composition is occupied by a bamboo basket, which - bearing close resemblance to the globe - refers to the fact that the Lafcadio travelled across the entire world. This globe's equator forms an axis reflecting its upper and lower hemisphere. The snake that swings on it symbolizes human inspiration that sparks man's creativity. At the composition's upper left area rises an archetypal tree without roots, like a prop that visits the site. It refers to the memory of Lafcadio's origin in Greece. Instead of root, the tree stands up on the 'o' at the heart of the word 'ghost', and thus reproduces the basket's spherical shape. On the composition's opposite side, a wooden bucket next to a traditional water mill refers to the idea of perpetual motion. Above them is the monogram of Lafcadio that Maganiotis spotted on the cover of a book entitled The Japanese Letters of Lafcadio Hearn. At the composition's lower part Maganiotis imitated a sketch of Lafcadio that accompanied his signature on a manuscript. With his Ghost Maganiotis pays tribute to Lafcadio's namesake article published in Harper's New Monthly Magazine in 1889. He also declares his respect for the Japanese tradition of paper. As a matter of fact, he took t he idea of the composition's structure - the paper suspended from a bamboo - from traditional Japanese scrolls created by calligraphers. The yellow color predominates in the composition, which according to the artist subconsciously associates with Japan and reflects the historical past. In terms of appearance the Ghost is traditional and looks aged, but its digital facture discreetly connects it to the present.

[Megakles Rogakos 03/2009]

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