CM: Lafcadio Hearn attracted Dimitris Sevastakis as a case of slippage between identities . In the end this continuous variable constructs another kind of identity. We usually define identity as a closed referential framework. Lafcadio presents a multitudinous referential framework, which creates a kind of instability of classifications. Sevastakis finds extremely productive to suggest that Lafcadio's personality should offer an interpretation of the contemporariness of now, of 'nowness'. One could differentiate Lafcadio with Yukio Mishima (1925-1970), the ultimate personification of 'selfness' who set up within himself a moral construction that led him to death. On the other hand, Lafcadio had a tremendous ability to balance himself every time in new contexts.
Sevastakis' four images of Lafcadio incorporate various narrative moments, not the time linked to his age but - as the artist claims - "my time that is 'stolen' from me". Thus the place of linear time is taken by an autobiographical chronology, in the sense that works appear in the order of their creation. Thus the entire project is a historical chronicle of the artist's work as an engagement. The issue is ethical and has to do with ethics. The process of creation served as an initiation in painting. "Lafcadio took me by hand so that I may enter into the artwork". It is clearly a case of seizure. The pictures are of a differing constructional emphasis because they evoke varying degrees of personal the author's engagement. "The pictures are much more about the 'I' than about Lafcadio". Sevastakis is interested in the guise that conceals a hidden ontological unity, that in due course a solid matrix is devised. This care of Lafcadio to be photographed by concealing his damaged eye and repairing his face is very interesting. In the end he retains an image of able-bodiedness and integrity.
The work apparently presents a geometrical pattern, but the size, focus and plastic components of every picture redistribute the scale. The images are regrouped because of the action they portray. Hence the following inconsistency: in the first two works the picture is within the picture, where the author is an observer, while in the other two the picture takes place in its own painted space, where the author participates in the project. In the first work he painted the face of Lafcadio, while in the last one he painted an entity. The greatest part of the last picture concerns the image's plastic qualities and not the information it bears. There appears the behavior of the artist, the materiality, the organization of lights. The author replaces the narrative in his own way. It is his way that is set up in the narrative information. Gradually, Sevastakis was acclimatized by opening up a personal narration of himself in his work - "I through Him". Lafcadio is an epic of a search of the self in the depths of history. There, Sevastakis identified personal elements, without which he would not be painting. He chose a black and white palette to avoid decoration and to rigidly save his attitudes as an archive of his scriptures.
[Megakles Rogakos 08/2007]
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES The Open Mind of Lafcadio Hearn 2009 The American College of Greece - ACG Art, Athens