Amalia Vekri's latest works, three paintings and one sculpture, feature a blue, female contortionist – the Oracle – forming different constellations with the stars. In 'Gold II' the figure assumes the backfold position, bending backwards at the waist while standing. In 'The Oracle' she assumes a chest stand. These strained, spectral positions which appear to involve the dislocation of a joint (they don't actually involve a dislocation) evoke different emotional states; efforts to negotiate with larger forces that infect our human-scaled lives in unsanctioned ways. The positions read like spells performed by the body. It is dark existential work and at the same time, a humorous dig at the troubled history of sexualising the female nude. These positions could also be read as psychological tributaries of various death/sex phantasies, the perennial witch burning at the stake or the female lead in a Tarantino movie typically sustaining a vicious beating. More so, they feel like efforts to resume control over one's destiny. Rendered blue the oracle is constituted as beyond human, afforded a privileged existence akin to the pigment's (ultramarine) economically privileged history.
Text by Maya Tounta
Amalia Vekri was born in Athens. Recent exhibitions include The Hunger, Catbox Contemporary & Hot Wheels Projects (2019), Schmaltz, Guimaraes space, Vienna (2018), Rapsodies, Ping Pong gallery, Brussels (2018), An Exercise on Values, Haus N Athen (2018), A Touch of Magic in this World Obsessed with Science (solo), Fokidos space (2018), Rag to Rich, Frances Rich gallery/American college of Greece (2018), Scorpio(s) Rising, Daily Lazy Projects (2017), Athens and its Periphery in Regards to Contemporary Painting, The Breeder Gallery (2017).
Amalia runs the curatorial/publishing project Asthenia and she is the program director of Haus N Athen.