Dialogue and duality are two key aspects in the practice of Yorgos Maraziotis. The artist, born in Greece, but now settled in Antwerp, works with painting, sculpture and installation to research the spaces we inhabit, the (hi)stories we pass on and the aesthetics of our lives and environments.
Oral histories have been a crucial part of his research in the past years. Through the act of walking, he creates an organic situation that allows for spontaneous, unguided, yet meaningful exchange. In a recent research project he engaged current and former industrial workers in Patras, the third largest city in Greece, to share their memories, experiences, opinions, while walking with him. This process resulted in three proposals for sculptures in the public space.
The artist occasionally – and carefully – uses the term ‘democratic’ to describe his work; a very heavy word perhaps, but also one referring to both the artist’s origins and the birth of our current western society. Demo-cracy – literally meaning ‘the people’s power’ – in its contemporary use is no longer close to its original concept. By using his work as a means to listen, to people who are all too often overlooked by history, and especially to different sides of a story or a concept, he allows access to a certain kind of democracy.
In Maraziotis’ work, a natural tension exists between the private and the public, between the aesthetic and the political. With his paintings, sculptures and installations, but also between them, he searches to engage in a certain ambiguity. What interests him, are themes, subjects and shapes that can be beautiful and ugly, comfortable and questionable at the same time. Through dialogue as a (performative) process and by opposing different perspectives within his work, he also offers a conversation with the viewer. He hopes to generate a surprising insight, a question or realization we didn’t know was accessible.