Apostolos Palavrakis participates in the 7th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art with a set of nine works –consisting of two sculptures and seven graphite drawings– which collectively comprise a comprehensive installation, one that could be described as a modern “painterly architectonics”, evoking the similar experimental endeavors of Liubov Popova, in the early 1920s. One of the most consistent features of the perspective of the Greek artist, who has been living in Germany for several decades, is his constant inquiry of Western culture’s visual conventions all of us have been nourished with, as well as his dedicated effort to expand not just the aesthetic horizons, but also the viewer’s physical relationship with the structured environment.
All his works, be they three-dimensional sculptural constructions or wall-mounted designs, are imbued with the systematic structuring of a dilated sense of space, in which multiple perspectives can coexist, allowing the viewer’s gaze to move simultaneously towards multiple directions, without this intricate spatial perception overshadowing in the least the clarity of the austere geometry that rationalizes and mitigates the perception of the object. The power of the tactility of his materials is the result of his meticulous research on the potential transformations of matter and form. Although rousing emotions is not in the artist’s intentions, the manner in which he arranges his compositions, both on the painting surface and in space, releases the viewer from conventional perceptions about the limits of representation, since the volumes he creates have an innate potential of constant expansion, transforming the audience’s temporary cohabitation with his works into an experience of critical reflection on physical and intellectual limitations.
Palavrakis has faith in utopia; even in the bleakest versions of his postindustrial landscapes, even if the absence of any human trace haunts his gloomiest settings, he never forsakes his belief in reason and the latter’s capacity to rectify emotion, allowing the emergence of a mild, assimilated, solid, and rational revival of the imaginary.
MOMus-Museum of Contemporary Art-Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art and State Museum of Contemporary Art Collections