Το Βλέμμα, The Gaze, 2022, Silver gelatin print, hand printed by the artist
In November 2022, I went to Paris and visited the Musée de l’Orangerie. In a room full of visitors that came to gather around some of the most recognizable works of art in the history of art making, I had the following thought:
When I think about meaning, I like to think about the morphology of peripheral vision. Meaning might be outside or around a given thing, not necessarily within it. In the example of a work of art, I think about painting and the way it situates itself in space. The frontality of this position is one of its key characteristics. The frontality of painting contextually means, among other things, that the work is dependent on the viewer’s projection of meaning and, in that way, time holds a mirror and reflects a world of parallels.
Notes and Thoughts Around Things, 2023
This text is a collage between my thoughts around things, as well as thoughts of others that I read in books in the last nine months. This text contains my thoughts and the thoughts of Virginia Woolf, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Clarice Lispector, Anna Tsing, Amy Sillman, Peter Galison, Brian Dillon, John Kelsey, Peter Halley, George Kubler, Susanne Langer, John Berger, Giorgio Agamben, Aldous Huxley, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Nicolas Bourriaud, and Thomas Nagel.
- Essayism is accentuating the fragmentary, the partial rather than the total to make the transitory eternal. In Virginia Woolf’s writing one has a sense of the world becoming particulate, everything airborne and efflorescent or friable, turning to dust. This writing releases spores, her rigorous feeling for what is hardly there at all. The essay invariably departs from the objects at hand to enter realms of speculation and fantasy. The essayist, curious about the world around her, treating it as a collection has a paratactic habit of setting things alongside each other and inviting the reader to make connections. Drawers, as well, never get to a bigger picture at all, but move sideways, abductively, from particular to particular. Try to imagine a visual situation where you go through a field of fragments. By what principle should these fragments rub up against each other, speak to or seduce their fellow fragments?
- There is a dependence of one work onto another because a single work is precisely not the work. “Things are not things in themselves. They are related to other things”. We may produce arbitrary events, purposely correlated with important ones that are to be their meaning. I like to think about the morphology of peripheral vision when I think about meaning. Meaning might be outside or around a given thing, not necessarily within it. In the example of a work of art, I think about the function of the title, how it situates itself spatially, in proximity to the work, next to the work and at the same time defining the tempo of its context. There is an inside to experience as well as an outside. “There is another world but it is inside this one”.
- When one sees, the act of seeing has no form. The act of seeing is ineffable and sometimes what is seen is also ineffable. “The meaning and enigma of visibility itself”.
- Our perceptual field is made up of things and the space between things. the parts of a thing are not bound together by an external association, arising from their interrelatedness observed while the object is in movement. “A condition of association and relatedness arises from the thought that resides in things”. We need to remember that both disconnections and connections matter and we also need to see when and where touching occurs, that is, what happens in edges. What Anna Tsing calls “the art of noticing”.
- Actuality is when the lighthouse is dark between flashes; it is the instant between the ticks of the clock; it is a void interval, slipping forever through time; the rupture between past and future, the gap at the poles of the revolving magnetic field infinitesimally small but ultimately real; it is the inter- chronic pause when nothing is happening.
These are extracts from two longer texts – Το Βλέμμα, The Gaze (2022) and Light House (2023) – written by Pavlou. Various parts of the texts have been used across the exhibition in Athens and its continuation in London.
Anastasia Pavlou (b. 1993, Athens, Greece) is a painter based in Basel. She completed her MFA at the FHNW HGK Institut Kunst Gender Natur earlier this year, participating in exhibitions at Kunsthalle Basel and Ausstellungsraum Klingental during her time at the school. Recently, she had a solo presentation with the gallery at Liste in Basel, which was the first time Pavlou showed her most recent body of work. She exhibited further works from this series in her show at Hot Wheels in Athens and is closing the cycle at the gallery’s inaugural exhibition at its new space in London. Pavlou was notably the youngest artist in The Same River Twice – a survey show of the Greek art scene curated by Margot Norton and Natalie Bell at the Benaki Museum (Athens, 2019) – and the youngest artist included in the DESTE Collection.