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Review of the Exhibition "I'll meet you in your dreams"

21-11-2023 16:42

«Draw me a dream…» 

I’ve dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas, they’ve gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind…

                                                             Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights (1847)

Completing the new painting series of her work, Gefso Papadaki opens bold bright slits in her own conquered true places of poetry, to talk about something new. To speak of an intermediate condition of breathing, contemplation, possibility and hope. To articulate something intangible but real, something familiar though still unknown.

Painting with embodied matter the things that govern and permeate her, with the same intrinsic longing that leads and entices Catherine Earnshaw, the central heroine of "Wuthering Heights", to search for that unknown flame that flows and burns her universe beyond the known coordinates of her existence. Collecting, rescuing and capturing in her painting the lived fragments of dreams that are ardent desires of life, dreams that as a plot possibility even the waking self, hesitates to mumble.    

Moving on to these new places, she remains consistent in her personal conquered hinterland. Besides, dreams are absolutely connected and inspire poetry and prose literature over time, they are its quintessence. “Dreaming is the substance of literature. It’s what comes before, during, and after writing and reading, and there can be no fiction or poetry without it. There is no activity in waking life more similar to dreaming than reading (and by proxy writing, which is just self-directed reading)”, states Ed Simon in his exquisite essay On Dreams and Literature, while analyzing the successive depositions in works by Gorgias, Dante and, Shakespeare, Dickens, Carol, Orwell and Dostoevsky. “As in a book as in our slumber, the world which is entered is one that is singular to the dreamer/reader…What makes the dream vision a chimerical form is that everything can be true. The order of things and facts has been abolished, anything is possible, and nothing is prohibited, not even flouting the arid rules of logic...” *

"Life, what is it but a dream?" asks Lewis Carol in Alice in Wonderland. Passing subcutaneously from the conscious to the subconscious and from poetry to dream, continuing with absolute consistency her insightful journey to self-knowledge, the painter creates new places of abstraction with substance almost metaphysical. Her brush, agile and welcoming vivid, invents new colors by moving in turbines and ploughs of the surface, in clearings and bonfires, shifting to transparencies and thickenings of the image, hinting at floating graphs of minimal auxiliary objects and concise patterns of presence. Stemming from a period of forced silence and isolation, the artist dares to excavate the human psychic condition in a tangible way. Weaving around her a complex tapestry of repressed memory and wish fulfillment, similar to that described by Freud in his seminal work "The Interpretation of Dreams", attempting to explain the encoded narrative of human waking life.

This series of works with the eloquent title ("I’ll find you in your dreams"), seeks and finally finds the other self, in the gaze but also in the imaginary mirror of the observant viewer. In the interpretive titles that first unlock the ultimate purpose of this quest, in the painter's Paths of Seeking, in the Fragments of memory and Whispers, in Shadows and Empty chairs, in Small equilibria and Fleeting presences, in Glances that never crossed, the vein of human anguish for love, love, awareness, truth, companionship is defined and pulsates, along with the need to overturn possible reality. The affirmation of the promise that All that we said, All that we lived, All we lived, all that we dreamt of, Yesterday, today, tomorrow, will never be forgotten. Beyond being the titles-islands of unity, as they perceive the place of the dream as the beginning of a metaphysical universe, the world that is, beyond the world we see

Someone is saying something, I’ll find you someplace: harnessing timeless time and invoking creative silence, drawing valuable material from the condition of individual dreams, Gefso Papadaki, with deep empathy and hyper-sensitive conceptual and painterly talent, listens to and recreates the innermost moments of different tender psychic deposits, understands the fear of decay and afterlife, confirms the desire for togetherness. Discovering in dreams a greater world than the one visible, where forms and lines, in the way envisioned by Plato, surpass in size and intensity their pale shadow fund in this world.  

All is blooming once more, here.

As long as the inherent penetration, the luminous consolation, and the didactic-free synaesthetic acumen of art endure, everything will bloom again.

                                                                                                            Iris Kritikou
                                                                                                          October 2023

* Ed Simon, On Dreams and Literature, The Millions, December 28, 2020