CM: With Anthropogeography Ilias Poulos reverts anew to his Perpetual (Aeiptycha) works since 1997 - paintings whose composition is characterized by the quality of 'perpetuity' as a visual dialogue not consolidated in time and space. The photographs that Poulos used as a basis for Anthropogeography are part of a larger work that includes portraits of soldiers from the national army and guerrillas from the democratic army, who took part in the Greek Civil War (1946-1949). The political origin of Anthropogeography operates only as a stimulus. Anthropogeography is a quest for identity, in an attempt the question of "who am I". We all live with excerpts of history, recollections of the past, and memories beautified or not. Poulos deconstructs the portraits of photographic material and creates a screen mixing extracts from the two factions - eyes, lips, noses, ears - in order to refer to the fragmentation and displacement experienced by the people who lived through the civil war. The portraits were fragmented and recostructed as if they were syllables of words, whose recomposition yields new readings. Starting from one corner of the installation Poulos creates a spiral composition in the space with an aim to bring various parts of the portraits into dialogue - a purely aesthetic discourse on the relationship between photography and painting, rid of 'historicisms. The composition is based on the rhythm of each extract in relation to the geometry of the architectural space. Each photograph stands alone, but acquires its significance by comparison with those that surround it. The distances between the photographs refer to the time discrepancies in memory. Poulos came up with the idea the parts of his work to inspire a sense of a meaningful whole. Although each part of Anthropogeography is an autonomous artwork, their re-composition - as determined by the space within which it is exhibited - every time creates a sense of a different image. Therefore Anthropogeography emits a feeling of a work-in-progress. Each section stands alone as a fragment, a memory of an artwork that may never reach completion. [Megakles Rogakos 04/2008]
This photographic installation of Ilias Poulos functions as a dialogue between and the specific space the viewer-participant. The visual topic is portraits of rebels during the Greek Civil War and political refugees from the years after the war. Their photographic countenance is broken into pieces as a symbolic act of deconstruction, taking care to maintain certain particular characteristics of the face, which are then enlarged and presented as an installation in the space, so that each enlarged segment is recognizable as a segment of the whole, but also as a form on its own. The deconstructed segments of faces thus seek their completion, by means of time and memories, a time of the past that transfers fragmented images to a present that is absent. The present is a new totality of memory fragments for the future time of the work. The visual elements of each section that have been preserved by the photographic enlargement function as proof of memory and their reconstruction in the space suggests a take on time as an imaginary construct, since their confirmation can always take place in the past. As a theme/starting point, Poulos' installation obviously has the particular life experience of the political refugees. As a visual experience, it is to be included in his Perpetual series of works, with reconstructed plastic segments that seek completion. As a philosophy, it refers to the relation of a particular experience with its image, with time and with a constantly moving location. [Haris Kambouridis 2007]
Ilias Poulos' Anthropogeography is part of the photographic installation that was presented in its entirety (22/22/21x7=455) at Art Act in Athens in autumn 2007 and in fragments (24/19x7=301) in Visual Arts in Greece #2 at the State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, in the winter of 2007 and (10x7=70) in Silent Dialogues of The American College of Greece in autumn 2008. According to the artist, the present part, which was chosen from the initial installation, contains all the necessary elements of portraits as found in the unfolding of the entire project, and endow it with its dynamism.
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time 2008 The American College of Greece, Athens