Friday 29 July 2022

Fire in the Lake

Fire in the Lake by Eleni Mylonas

at Zoumboulakis Gallery.

The exhibition consists of a 13 minute performance-for-the camera video, an installation and photographic works. It's about the devastating consequences of climate change.

This is what Mylonas has to say about the work: 'I walked down to the sea shore to take a swim on an August afternoon and I saw strange objects floating on the surface. I dipped my hand in and brought up a handful of burned wood shards. A thick black pulp was covering the seas as far as the eye could see. It was an alien apocalyptic sight. I photographed and video recorded the scene and I gathered several sacks of black pulp, pine cones, sticks and an assortment of other incinerated objects. 

I brought this material back to my studio and I created a mandala as a monument to the losses suffered from the wild fires, now a familiar worldwide event. The classification of the objects composing the installation is reminiscent of a museum display or perhaps of a burial ground of fallen soldiers. The work was completed during the performance for the camera coming full circle with the ominous destruction of the mandala itself'.

Snippets from the video installation:

'It's interesting how people read different messages from the same material. The work is more about the necessity for change than a harbinger of doom. Hexagram 49 of the I Ching, Fire in the Lake, hence the title, speaks of eternal values, revolution in thought and behaviour. Of the necessity for transformation. There are always different levels in a multimedia work like this one. There is creation, destruction and there is rebirth. Many people saw hope and found it uplifting. Others maybe not so much. Life is life, we all know that by now, all of it just is. And we adjust. With losses.

It was imperative to me that I collect this material and try to decipher its message. The first installation of this material took place in my studio in Aegina. I also did a time-lapse video of my self-creating the mandala in the studio. I actually filmed it when I was taking it down, de-installing, which is a lot faster and easier, and I played it backwards'.

The in-situ installation:

looking closer

The photographs:

looking closer

looking closer

looking closer

Finally, the artist herself with driftwood.

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