2K HD videostereo soundduration 7’40”
“Towards the Bank of the Future” observes and engages with two conceptual axes.
The first axis derives from the analysis of Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics, where Aristotle presents the problematic of a definition of the “work of man”. As the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben comments “the aim of such a definition is the designation of the ultimate good (Agathon) as a subject of political science, in relation to which the engagement with ethics, operates as a form of introduction. This ultimate good is happiness”.
In Constantine P. Cavafy’s work, one can locate this engagement, between the ethical and aesthetic operation of man and specifically of the creator of work.
In the same way that Aristotle sets the work of man in motion, this form of a life that is activated by the operation of Logos, Cavafy repositions life, or a form of life at least, in the sphere of History, a his- tory of action, an action beyond a simple livelihood (ζῆν).
At this exact point, the work “Towards the Bank of the Future” focuses on the second axis, on the concept of historicity, thus the specific position and use of History in the work of Cavafy. The poet frequently narrates in his works, of a man who is historically located either in the classical or the modern times.
What is always underlying and gives the work its characteristic force, are these historical moments that one can come in relation to in Cavafy in a way that is essentially modern, and with modernity being clearly visible in the formal qualities of his body of work, describes, and thus positions in the sphere of aesthetics, actions and events taken from both the historical and the everyday, and thus elevates them in forms that while they are located in the common, they are set in motion by the sublime.
Cavafy’s poetry, moments that usually overturn established political and social orders. And while the narration revolves around the tangible and the everyday, the historical position is always a key element for both the semiotic and experiential engagement with the poem.
The above element is the one that transforms the work of Cavafy to a significant moment of modernity in poetry. The displaced historicity of the form, where the atemporal collides with the historical.
text for the exhibition Visual Dialogues 2013, Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens, Greece
click to view work on youtube:http://youtu.be/srGToQZBnGY
The work was commissioned by
Onassis Cultural Centre
for the exhibition
Visual Dialogues 2013
November 2013 - January 2014
with the support of
National Archaeological Museum, Athens
Athens National Library of Greece
Benaki Museum, Greece
Numismatic Museum, Athens
archival footage kindly provided by
Mosireen, Independent Media Collective, Cairo