Below is an archive of Fall 2021 work from the Art & Society course by Elli Kikidi.
«With the theme of drawers, chests, locks and wardrobes, we shall resume contact with the unfathomable store of daydreams of intimacy. Wardrobes with their shelves, desks with their drawers, and chests with their false bottoms are veritable organs of the secret psychological life. Indeed, without these “objects” and a few others in equally high favor, our intimate life would lack a model of intimacy. They are hybrid objects, subject objects. Like us, through us and for us, they have a quality of intimacy.
Does there exist a single dreamer of words who does not respond to the word wardrobe»? . .
Wardrobes and hiding places always have had a great affect on me, both as a child and as an adult. As Gaston Bachelard expressed so vividly in his book The Poetics of Space, these are part of the individual’s intimate secret life and memory and I believe that everybody can somehow relate to an old wardrobe.
Having the chance to intervene on an unused wardrobe of the school, I decided to fill every inch of its interior with thoughts, emotions, stories, and some everyday-but-intriguing objects both filled with lines and drawings. The procedure of expressing myself on the surfaces of an already psychologically charged object, as a wardrobe is, was something new and exciting for me.
Reading Response: Jerry Saltz’s “What Art Is and What Artists Do”
The text ”What art is and what artists do” of Jerry Saltz is interesting and easily relatable, giving the chance to the reader to reconsider the role and importance of Art and the impact it offers to society. Although he is quite strict about Art being a theory, something that I don’t consider always mandatory, he have some very clear points of view. Underlining that Art is all about failure, experiments, chances and risks, is for sure one of them as much as the Dog/Cat example, where he defines Artists as a cat and Art as a dog. Artists put a couch between them and the audience but what they create can be a dog since it can be a very open and approachable view/object that everyone can relate in a different way.
In the end, it becomes clear that Art is not optional but necessary, a need that always existed in and will always exist in humans.
Having lived in Siena for over 2 months, the stimuli and new experiences of discovering the diverse spaces of the city are continuous. After our visits to its museums, such as that of Santa Maria della Scala, but also to the Duomo and ecclesiastical spaces, I was impressed by the complexity and beauty of the fescoes and the mosaics as they combined varied symbols, forms and representations. So in continuation to my previous project of the guidebook, I decided to play with all these forms and create small compositions that are mixing together different images and figures that remained in my mind after these visits. At the same time my travel to Naples, during the project formulation, also influenced the latest compositions where elements are also borrowed from there as it is a city with distinct symbols and quite superstitious attitude towards them. I found interesting to record the meaning of some of the most common figures and symbols so that there would be the possibility of a personal interpretation of the compositions.
Intro Unit: Guidebook Project
In the process of exploring Siena, it’s almost impossible not to feel the city’s “medieval” character, the enclosed brick walls and narrow streets, the icons and colors of the contradas and other symbolic forms in all its territory. This atmosphere can even be depicted in the doors of the buildings.
The majority of them have unique bronzed or wooden door-knockers, with diverse human and zoo-like forms that are definitely there since a lot time ago. It makes you wonder, who had chosen this specific lion face in order to enter to his house and why? And why someone else had placed this weird scary goblin in the entrance of his shelter? Why there are so many doors with hand-like forms as a door-knocker, or with mysterious pharaoh faces?
Some of the figures have long history, started as a tradition in Middle Ages, and could be found also in other old cities, while others are one of a kind. It’s time to discover few of them.
Reading Response: The Blue of Distance (by Rebecca Solnit)
Reading Response: The Shape of a Walk (by Rebecca Solnit)
The Fall 2021 work by Elli Kikidi can be seen in the following pages:
The Siena Art Institute’s Fall 2021 Greek students are supported through the SNF-SART scholarships thanks to the collaboration of the Stavros-Niarchos Foundation.