twelve twelve gallery is honoured to present the first exhibition of Anna Fafaliou in the Netherlands.
In her work, the artist investigates the visual and physical ways of remembering and how memory shapes us. Working with performance as well as sculpture she focuses on how we perceive and handle an individual as well as a collective memory. Thereby always using white, Anna Fafaliou is interested in colour theory and especially the capabilities of colourlessness. The importance of the lack of colour in her work arouses from the idea that even a hint of tint triggers a certain memory. For her whiteness does not impose anything onto the senses but rather serves to facilitate the creativity of the mind. Or as Kandinsky said: “White resonates, like a silence that can suddenly be understood.”
For the artist, our everyday belongings and notions are closely linked to our emotions and memories. She asked, for example, an audience to bring personal everyday objects to a performance. She painted them white and hangs them randomly on the walls in a small room filling it completely from bottom to top. All the sudden the importance of one specific object was gone. The memory behind them seamed deleted and a new story could be implemented. Fafaliou investigates the relationship between us and our belongings, arguing that in a consumer society, it seems that we justify ourselves through our belongings. We even associate our emotions and memories with materials and objects. By removing colour the identity and attachment one has to objects is put into question.
White does not only delete memory but opens up for a new possible content. Seeing, for example, a white picture the spectator’s imagination is encouraged to bring up an inner picture. Only the title could lead into a possible direction. The series windows play with this idea. Wooden window frames are covered with canvas and on top layers of plaster are arranged. It seems like curtains, which cover a window, and behind the curtain the story takes place. Sometimes the “curtain” forms itself to wildly placed wrinkles sometimes it seems like multiple straight lanes from top to bottom. An abstract texture occurs. Both the lack of colour as well as the shape of the surface of each piece gives the opportunity to capture a picture out of one’s imagination. Thereby the personal, as well as a collective memory, is addressed.
Anna Fafaliou points out that we are defined by our memory. At the same time, we own objects to define our memory and to surround us with them. The show Things I Own Own Me deals with the idea to leave out this memory in order to show us the importance of imagination. It questions our possessions. It questions what belongs to us, and what do we want to own.
Anna Fafaliou (*1987) obtained an MA from the School of Fine Arts, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Greece, she underwent an MA in Film and Visual Arts, University of London. Since then her work has been shown around the world in various institutions, festivals, galleries. Selected exhibitions include: “Sleep” at Bangkok Art & Culture Centre (2016), “Concrete Matters” group show at Whitechapel Gallery / Cass (2016), “Windows” at Art Miami (2016), “Maps” group show at Scene Art (2015).