To drown in the abyss – heaven or hell,
Who cares? Through the unknown, we’ll find the new.
Charles Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil, translated by Robert Lowell (1963)
The solo exhibition of Andreas Voussouras titled Passé constitutes a natural development of a longstanding exploration concerning the relationship between the individual and the collective, which has been of interest to the artist for some time, as well as an attempt for an honest conversation between personal experiences and public life.
With this series of works the artist concludes a cycle that deals with such issues, while in the process rediscovering the relationship between individualism and history.
Thus a dialogue begins, between the artist and his roots, and their relation with the French Revolution and the Age of Enlightenment, of which he considers himself a descendant, but also his desolation over the failure of the May ’68 vision, constitute the oxymoron of the French uprising: on the one hand is the restoration of the bourgeoisie and on the other, the downgrading of the bourgeoisie to pariahs.
As noted by art historian V. Vagenou, the artist, confronted with the realisation of the historical context within which the May ’68 movement was founded and the subsequent collapse of spiritual and social values and ideals, processes, through his work, the fragmentation of his own worldview: a personal mythology formed in childhood and adolescence and later matured during the ‘60s, and came to an inevitable rupture with the dictates of reality in his later years.
The hybrid nature of Voussouras’ works unfolds on multiple levels. Their style together with the materials he uses, which he found in his home in Patisia and the surrounding area, eradicate all hierarchies, giving each different element equal value. The appropriation of objects trouvés in Voussouras’ work constitutes expressions, narrations and interpretations of a personal world, which examines the international contemporary political and social scene. This has been a dominant element in the artist’s lifelong artistic course. Within the works of this exhibition, all unfulfilled dreams of the past coexist harmoniously. These are the dreams that fatefully coincided with the rupture between modern society and its historicity, the uncertain present and the confrontation with a future that seems to lead, once again, to an impasse.