athens | greece







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    'time suspended'

    4-29 2008




Michalis Manoussakis narrates stories using forms, colors and materials, stories that always leave us with a question mark and a doubt. In his stories there is always an ever-present but latent tension and through the narration he wants to challenge the threats. With the

image of an autobiographical memory as his starting point, his fathers butcher block becomes an archetypal and diachronic element that narrates a story, in order to express existential and metaphysical questions in a poetical, suggestive and dramatic atmosphere. It analyzes each persons relationship with his actual and psychological space, ones relationship to each other,

ones relationship to the other gender, and to time that flies and leaves us with memories.

The latest artworks by Michalis Manoussakis are a dialogue and a reflection, based on a series of dialectical relationships: the trees trunk (as a material) is transformed into a human torso (as flesh and substance) and reflects the tragic nature and the elevation of materials and substances. The trees trunk is the material that is used to create the butchers block, but it also holds the trees it came from (cypresses). It contains life and death, tenderness and roughness, joy and sorrow at the same time.

The butchers block is a symbol of the dramatic nature of mankind . The abattoir is the place where joy and drama coexist. The dramatic nature is softened, it challenges the threat and asks another question.The chopper cuts, in the same way memories are sliced, and Michalis Manousakis tries to weave them.From the object (butchers block) we are moving towards the action (division, dissection) and then towards the symbol of the altar-sacrifice, to a contemporary table that holds the leftovers of an everyday ritual (cups of coffee). The green butchers table is washed with the synthetic resin and leads to relief. The symbols of Michalis Manoussakis are not deep-rooted in space or time, but are rather diachronic and universal.

Michalis Manoussakis sculpts the human body on wooden surfaces, using colors and charcoal. His artworks become deeper in the material with time. The wounded bodies express the struggle and the unification of the genders and the wounds that are created in the process. The couple meets each other, but with their backs turned to each other, the man is represented as being in the clouds, joy and sorrow coexist, presence announces absence.

The naked man with the umbrella on the tile is trying to offer protection to his home and its contents. The tile is a metonym of the home, of protection, as the primary need of someone to protect ones home. The upside down house (piggy bank or candleholder) does not accept help, does not accept mercy : it is a lie, a falsehood, and leaves us with another question mark.


Anna Tahintzi

University of Minnesota


>Catalogue available

Hard cover 48 pages full color,

size each sheet 30 x 24 cm. edition of 1500, Published by Costopoulos, Athens 08

Text: Anna Tahintzi

<ekfrasi-yianna grammatopoulou><fizz 2008>


In collaboration with



ekfrasi-yianna grammatopoulou