The spectator crosses silhouettes of which he does not see the faces, evolving in the middle of enigmatic, sober landscapes stripped to the extreme.
The spectator does not know anymore where it is, it does not recognize and does not identify anything. Maria Polyzoidou deleted all traces, all details of the places which it took in photograph, in order to not retain and to concentrate on essence. It is an invitation to contemplation.
When I observe Maria Polyzoidou's artwork, I cannot prevent myself to think about landscape photography. Her works remind me a dream. We can feel the silence, the mystery. Everything is a smoky and cloudy vision, able to be compared to a hallucination. The paintings work as fragments.
The spectator can imagine a situation, a story, a place. She invents a secret world and creates different spaces out of our mind. The tradition of realism inscribed in her paintings. “The technical dimension is mirrored in the chromatic saturation of the canvas without the slightest expressive gesture, a subtle colorism responds to the digital manipulation of color, and the combination of heterogeneous pictorial elements to form an unalterable unity transforms the boundless availability of images.“ (Ulrich Loock in ”INCIDENT,” 2016)
There is a similar environment, that reminds me Marc Augé's “le non-lieux.“
Non-place or nonplace is a neologism coined by the French anthropologist Marc Augé, to refer to anthropological spaces of transience where the human beings remain anonymous and that do not hold enough significance to be regarded as places.
— Marc Augé in Non-Places: An Introduction to Anthropology of Supermodernity, p. 122.
If, in one hand, the "non-lieux" allows massive circulation of people, things, and images in a single space, on the other hand, it transforms the world in a spectacle, something that is intentionally constructed, with which we retain relations from the images, that turns us into spectators of a profoundly coded place, with which nobody surely is part of. That is what happens exactly with Maria Polyzoidou's landscapes where we can feel that there was life, but in the end, it's just another place we pass by and leave it without retaining any memory neither projecting our memories into it. The spectator feels lost in these empty and mystical landscapes. Some paintings can evoke the fear, the arrival of the danger, the insecurity.
That recalls me an enigma, something we cannot catch, at first sight, something entirely far from our reality. Polyzoidou's painting refers to the spheres of the private and the public, the virtual and the corporal, and she draws from her archive of personal images as well as from the vast stock of images circulating on the web.
Her artwork is about how to allude to something, to make mention of it: in this case, it's about how to evoke element she chooses to paint, to evoke a situation, to evoke the space, to evoke a character. She removes the notion of space, the idea of representation, and twists the concept of reality and place.
Her body of work can be compared to Tim Eitel's painting.
As Maria Polyzoidou, starting from these proper photographs, Tim Eitel makes a montage. He used it to built his painting. The photograph was only one influence. At that time, it does not play more apart, and there is a detachment of the photograph.
"It is necessary to deform the life to catch reality" said Francis Bacon. Tim Eitel deforms or instead reforms what our collective vision which doesn't take time to detect. The characters are stuck in the emptiness.
Tim Eitel offers us a vision of a quiet space. His artwork is not a copy of the photograph, not a reproduction of the photograph, even not a reproduction of reality. The final result, the painting, becomes a fiction. Maria Polyzoidou artworks are similarly and are made with the same intention.
Maria Polyzoidou creates a puzzle where she collects different element from our reality and our imagination, she collects fragments of Life. Maria Polyzoidou transforms and recomposes reality. She paints contemporary bodies, silhouettes, presences, posted on bottom sober. They are daily scenes, without the sound.
Maria Polyzoidou was born in 1973. She grew up in Brussels before moving to Athens in 1997 where she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts. Apart from solo exhibitions, her works were included in diverse group exhibitions. The artist currently lives and works in Berlin.