Updated: Mar 31
We often find ourselves mesmerized by an artist or a piece of art, sometimes without the ability nor the technical knowledge to understand and explain why we become transfixed. Years went by as I was trying to grasp the strings of this mystical relationship between the viewer, the artwork and the artist. The theoretical and philosophical analysis behind it won’t be on the spotlight this time as this is not an effort to explain nor convince you that I am explaining something so intimate that resides within the subconscious notions of the heart and mind. I would rather take this chance to write about my connection with the artworks of a very interesting artist that I met, her name is Erifli Doukeli.
Erifili is a digital artist from Athens interested in transmuting painting, scenography, and sculpture through digital means. Her artistic career began with painting, but when she discovered scenography and installations, she began to depart from the idea of two-dimensional representation of reality. Recently, she has been exploring alternative methods of spatial perception through projections and sculptural installations, as well as creating virtual illusions in order to recreate worlds that viewers may enter and experience. It’s worth mentioning that Erifili participated in Momus Inspire Project [Thessaloniki- 2-12 July 2021], and was awarded as an Artwork fellow, from the Niarchos Foundation. While in May 2022, she participated in the Xenakis Centenary International Symposium [Athens and Nafplion], in collaboration with Marion Chalabalaki with “Luminescence”. This March, Erifili’s work will be hosted in ‘’Apnea’’ Contemporary Art Exhibition in European Center in Athens, which is a very promising exhibition.
Philosophical questions, personal experiences, artistic instincts, our view of ourselves with relation to the world, the fear of getting overwhelmed by the digital era and the need of reconnecting with our physical form in an endless cycle of construction and de- construction. A paradox of thoughts and the question remains the same: What happens when the digital world and our physical reality collide into one? This question seems aggressively present, especially in her video art. Vivid, realistic scenes with visual effects portray many aspects of the human condition and our relationship with ourselves and the world around us, which culminate in our expression based on our experiences. Through, these works we start questioning how the digital world affects us. It’s obvious that digital world has become an integral part of modern society, transforming the way we communicate, work, and interact with one another. While this digital revolution has brought about many benefits, it has also had a profound impact on the psychology of humans and our society as a whole. Through her work and the exploration of our interaction with the digital world, questions emerge about the physicality and our ability to feel each other, the sense of being present, the loss of our sensuality and emotion, the evolution of human relationships, the isolation and disconnection from others.
The above questions are not the only ones that are emerging through Erifili’s artworks. I would like to bring up the ‘’ Unable to Determine’’ (2019). Here, we watch through the eye of the artist’s camera a video being produced within a laptop’s frame. In the corner of the room, one girl sits still, while the other decorates the other girl like a Christmas tree. We watch with patience how the relationship between the two girls develops. No matter how many items the other girl places in the first girl's body and head during the course of the film, she remains still and without expression. My perception of this video is that it examines the power of others in us, our passive way of living, and our inability to react to the situation at hand. The brilliance of this artwork comes from a unique twist in the plot; even though the main characters don't talk, but are physically present in the film, we hear the voices of people who aren't part of the story. However, they become a part of the artwork itself. These voices are actually local’s people interpretations of the main film. I believe we need to highlight the fact that we actually hear people comment on what they see and what they feel when watching it. In this approach, the viewer is not only actively involved in the plot but also co-creates narratives, so we need to emphasize this interactive method of creating and receiving art.
Erifili's work raises crucial questions about ourselves and the world around us, which, in face is only a projection of ourselves . It is worth reexamining these questions and understanding that relationship we built with art.
''Apnea'' Exhibition's links:
* All photograph's copywrites belong to Erifili Doukeli