WORKS

PELICAN PRELUDE

 

Something strange happens in Theofilaktou’s drawings: scenes, which are imaginary in texture, assume the dimensions of real life events; an exceptional elegance takes on a provocative childishness often verging on flamboyant naivety, and a most accurate skillful detail is many a time threatened by the humorous paradox in each drawing.

 

In the series of work, which is being displayed, Theofilaktou’s old tactic -that of disguise- is withdrawn, fact that is also stimulated by new, variant images. Of course there are figures that re-appear; her fascination with anthropocentrism is obvious. However, daily scenes are not depicted, nor are self-portraits systematically attempted. Birds, swans and mainly pelicans accompany figures and different human-like forms in a composition, which can be compared to elliptical syntax.

 

This camouflaged overthrow is revealed from within an elegant surreal idiom. Elements which startle are put together and the absence of others cause surprise. The forms are hovering between time and in their own quaint reality, where autobiography, daily routine and fantasy travel together. The images evoke a deeply -rooted theatricalism, where the different scenes are inner automatism and resemble irrational answers to questions, which have not been posed. All kinds of coupling balance in a delicate mixture of seriousness and jokes, where the door of surprise -that is the probability of surprise, pain pleasure or anything else- is always open.

 

And as a result her fictitious landscapes spring from a dream-like reality with contractions, amputations, division and synaeresis. As a skillful escapist of daily routine, Theofilaktou knows very well on how to move in and out from childhood to adulthood, and from dream to banality, and vice versa. Granted, Picasso has held an umbrella for her, she herself has become a hairdresser, housewife, teacher, she has studied the universe, she has given out koliva* in memory friends who are still alive but have lost touch, she has suggested tight-fitting life-jackets as clothing, but the game does not end here; the hollow merry-making here also means a surprise. Theofillaktou has depicted herself many times as a mother, this time she will once again really become mother.

Thouli Mirsiloglou

Art Historian, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art

Thessaloniki, January 2008