Interview with Nikos Aliagas
Mrs Nike Papatheochari’s encounter with Greek Mythology has opened a fairy tale-like, fascinating world absolutely identified to the sea, air and earth ever since her childhood. These three elements are rooted deeply in her heart and, by employing simple materials, such as stones, clams and shells nature has carved in its own unique way, the artist Mrs. nike Papatheochari will surprise and, at the same time, challenge us. This quest of hers is, first and foremost, the result of studies performed in the field of archaeology and comparative literature at theUniversityofSorbonne, Paris IV.
- Mrs Nike Papatheochari, your works represent a brand new artistic expression. Would you like to speak more explicitly about the conception of this idea to us?
It is always a specific need that gives the relevant order, which, at the same time, accepts no postponement. It is a need which has been incubating within me for so many years as the ascertainment that I have been set to live in this world collectively and individually counts. I sought to depict this world in a way of my own.
I wanted, on the one hand, to placate nature and time in exactly the way in which primitive people inscribed imitative drawings in their caves to subdue nature: it was, so to speak, an endeavour of a transcendental strife.
On the other hand, I wanted to lift up my ancestors’ voices from the bottom of the sea. I sought a way of my own in which I would release my wrath and pain eternal happenings register by a colourful piety voyage.
I will enter an escape endeavour along a road that is unknown to me by instinct. I hearken my ancestors’ voices in awe, like Socrates’s refrain: “everyone acts according to one’s powers” as well as Elytis’s one: “everyone acts according to one’s weapons”. “My weapons lie on the bottom of the sea and it is them that I lay down”
2.- Does this discovery of the reconstructed and, at the same time, “invisible” world which is interwoven with man’s destiny really emerge from the sea. Why”
The sea is the mouth of the Myth. I have been discovering the borderless fairy-tale-like world of Greek Mythology with the Titans and the Olympian gods ever since my first book-readings, discovering the whole earth and the outlets of surrealism in the bowels of Greek Mythology: I have been captured by their freedom.
3. You refer to the «Minotaur of free association” in your texts; would you like to speak a little more explicitly to us about this issue?
The «Minotaur of free association” is a lingual digression identified to the myth of the Minotaur. It is a thought passing through the corridors of the Labyrinth in order to succeed in finding the “mythical clue of the exit”. When man feels he is in the grip of a psychic crash by ascertaining the existence of cheapness, wear and lack of communication round him, he, then, takes to automatic writing. Let us remember Elytis’s phrase having “bring me God; I will come to terms with him immediately but doing so with men is the difficult task”. If we want to give a scientific explanation of this term: “The Minotaur of Free Association”, we may say that it implies the natural material running spontaneously from our subconscious like a hermetic monologue imitating the mechanism of thought before thought takes the form of constructed speech.
Let us borrow the verses of poet. Sinopoulos:
…I’ll buy a mirror….(he has entered the attempt to find outlets).
…I’ll also buy a river….(he jumps from one thought to another).
..I promise while…..
…Let it be! I’d better carve stones (we ascertain the incoherence between speech and the beneficial refuge).
In other words, every word unfolds some other meaning and, at the same time, the alternative of the exit. The necromancy entailed by the “Wreck of Kichli” is a similar method concerning exit.
4.- What is “Nekyia”
Nekyia is an anthropocentric philosophy mankind has inherited from Homer. Homer, in case of impasse, brings down Odysseus to the Nether World so that the latter will find solutions and sagacity. This act is, synecdochically, man’s submergence to the unexplored depths of his “ego”.
5.- Most of your works are associated to tragic female figures. Is there any special reason in terms of why this should happen?
Of course, there are reasons accounting for this. The woman is imprinted on the global memory as the catalytic presence of a primordial society. The function of human societies relies on her role. In her capacity as the cornerstone of the institution of family and as a symbol of fertility, the woman is the figure perceived optimally as an ambassadress of messages. Even in the case of the castrating femininity, the negative female figure can “annul” the woman-foundation concept in the best way. As concerns Helen of Troy, this Homeric version of Euripides wanting Helen not to have ever been toTroy, a more astute “casus belli” than that could not have been invented.
6.- After the “Bacchic Orgies Of The Greek Sea”, what can we expect as a sequel from artist Nike?
If I am allowed to say so, I feel a little embarrassed when addressed by the term “artist”. Knowing the origin of the word, I feel awe before it. I am just a human being of the world, trying to focus myself on the “minimum”, the “small nothing” which is the soul of the anatomy of the object and, as my sons Diogenes and Apollon put it, to depict a world with the truth of a fairy tale-like picture.
7. – Finally, I would like to ask you to disclose to me the reason why your works are not for sale.
Because my works are of also a didactic nature and because they comprise an inseparable whole representing a voice from our universe despite the fact that they are dissociated from one another. For this reason, John, Diogenes, Apollon and I would prefer them to be exhibited in a venue that is accessible by all people and especially available to children with the hope that their imagination will go on a voyage of their own and leave behind the Laestrygones and the Cyclops life prepares for them since dreams primarily belong to children.