Economou’s practice references both the works of women artists from the 1970s, who experimented with material in relation to handicraft and household work, as well as the expressionistic, post-feminist sculpture of artists such as Isa Genzken or Cosima von Bonin. Visually, her work also quotes contemporary sculpture associated mainly with the Glasgow scene of the 1990s, as well as a new generation of German artists (grouped in exhibitions such as ‘Formalismus’) who explore the legacy of modernism in connection to contemporary design, architecture and pop culture. Nevertheless, Economou’s work is less an exercise in form and the way space produces identities, than an impulsive, non-rationalized process used to convey a personal narrative. Although Economou does not speak directly of herself and her life, her works are imbued with references to her own cultural interests, her obsession with collections (of words, of insignificant materials), and her devotion to performing useless tasks. The traces of her successive interventions imply an ongoing performance whose primary function seems to be to help her keep her hands and imagination busy.
Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself. For Lucy had her work cut out for her. I picked up the crystal vase we liked to use instead of a donation box, but it slipped and crashed on the marbles in the floor spattering a thousand raindrops across the kitchen –fresh as if issued to children on the beach. How lucky to experience matter built to host water revealing evidence of thirst encrypted within its molecular structure. I swept the particles under my working bench, said I’d bring them outside later.
Tables are key landmarks on the psychogeography of the studio. I load a lot of stuff under them leaving the plots in between clear for narratives to be performed. The frames are gradually dressed into solid precipice.
Most of my materials I collect from the street. Most of my friends do so too. Often, we come across the same things but we came from different places, headed to different ends. Occasionally, we arrive at the same place simultaneously and have to sit on each other’s lap. Around town, the inside and the outside are never comprehensively designated. I have to open the window and walk back into the room so as to get outside. I don’t go out scavenging for things, they find me. But it takes a certain learned skill to get to recognize them: City girl sauntering the city plains – on lazy legs and distracted eyes- reaping the crops.
Trials leave traces of memories on matter. In crime series, the forensic surgeon reconstructs the crime and recovers the murderer by tracing evidence of the lethal weapon on the tissue around the wound. Technically, there can be no murder without a body, but I could be a murderer without committing a crime.
Οne early spring evening of 2009, we found ourselves in a debased resort planted in the Romanian part of the Transylvanian Alps. The light was outstanding -too strong for our eyes, too weak for the camera lens though -, disclosing in color the zombie edifice and follies. We didn’t bring any significant mementos back. As it’s often the case, there was too much spare space in our luggage to choose wisely. But we carried the scent of the name and promised to use it one day. The time has come.
Please, give me PREDEAL.
Dora Economou, Athens, May 2014
PREDEAL, a solo exhibition by Dora Economou at The Breeder from June 13th to July 30th 2014.