IMN #23 — Eleni Tomadaki
It's Monday Night #23
She explores the lines of a desire in search of meaning & language.
What does @ETomadaki's work look like?
It is a set of 2d line animations, each one appearing as a fragment of an incomplete puzzle.
The medium is basic. A rough, trembling, but recognizable form metamorphoses into another form, passing through different states.
The transformation is harsh, full of accidents, false connections, breaks. At the same time, illusionism operates: the lock becomes a door then a nipple, the hole becomes a tentacle then an arm holding a knife.
The figures are both fleeting and sharp.
They emerge from the process of drawing, from the vibration of the lines, but they are pierced with holes, they are always missing something: the line is constantly distorted, tortured so that the contours are fragile, uncertain, precarious.
The subject of @ETomadaki's animations is absence itself, the fantasies through which the mind negotiates both with the chaos of the world and with its own void.
She understand dreams as a process of weaving and drawing lines that mix, merge, form and reform abstract transmuting figures, surfaces and patterns, as in an endless drawing.
The threads of a dream can lead us to repressed sexual desires, but they can also lead us to many other representations, such us of unknown languages, bodies, beings and queer identities.
The form does not pre-exist the movement of the line: it is the more or less hazardous wandering of the drawing builds an object - unplanned object, by definition accidental.
Of course, one can see symbols appearing here and there (door, knife, etc.), which seem to immediately call for a psychoanalytical interpretation: the maternal breast, a mouth, a murderous impulse, a phallus, and so on.
But @ETomadaki's work consists less in representing the great archetypes than in demonstrating the failure of all symbolism.
The line is the finest difference between sense and nonsense: it separates and connects, it puts in contact and isolates. Nevertheless, it only takes a little to cut it, to break it and to deviate it.
The line expresses both the capacity of schematization of the mind & its heroic struggle to free itself from all schematism, to perceive differently, to re-articulate, to invent other paths within reality.
@ETomadaki creates a visual grammar that allows her to give an image of the world outside and before any language.
This grammar is based on a major postulate: everything happens on the surface, there is no hidden meaning to what appears.
How does a dream «make sense»? The answer has been always shifting, depending on the various recent and older social, political, religious, scientific and artistic contexts of interpretation.
But wether dreams appear as soul’s mere migrations, God’s messages, archaic survivals or unconscious desire’s elaborations, the same presupposition has been shared since ancient times: dreams convey an encrypted truth.
@ETomadaki's work is an actual refutation of this Western thought axiom: her reanimated dreams are uninterpreted.
2-D line animation allows her to operate in a space without « depth », by testing thoroughly surface potentials. Combining curves, strings and non-geometric flat shapes, she creates moving maps and evolving landscapes from dreams, fantasies and non-declarative memories.
Thus, what she attempts to grasp is not so much the hidden meaning of dreams, as the forces of the world that are embodied in anyone's unconscious and resist the stereotypes of an interpretation.
@ETomadaki's work leads us to the threshold of the word but never crosses the step that would lead to verbal language.
"Hwoels", the title of her series (which is fully part of the artwork), is a misspelled word and designates, in addition, the outside of the symbolic world (the real, i.e. the hole).
She shows her mastery of the structuralist lesson (the elements of language have no meaning in themselves, but only by difference with other elements) and plays the dunce: the title of her work has no meaning and at the same time refers very precisely to what escapes meaning.
@ETomadaki represents a divided subject, whose body moves and slips away every second, on a border that separates from madness only by coming into contact with it.