News / Totem

Evi Savvaidi, Totem (2019)
concrete, marble dust, steel, 0.50 x 2.40m
Photos Spyros Hound
+9 athens exhibition | curated by Kostas Prapoglou

+9 athens | Iera Odos 18-20 | Kerameikos | Athens | Greece | 20.6 – 12.07.2019 participating artists: Lydia Andrioti, Manolis Baboussis, Despina Charitonidi, Evangelos Chatzis, Lydia Dambassina, Diohandi, Kleio Gizeli, Zoe Hatziyannaki, Yannis Kondaratos, James M. Lane, Despina Meimaroglou, Eusevia Michailidou, Evi Savvaidi, Nikos Tranos, Adonis Volanakis, Eleni Zouni
text by Dr Kostas Prapoglou, curator

Marine animals and specifically –on this occasion– seashells, imperatively partake in the visual language of Evi Savvaidi. Totem (2019) is a 2.40m high emblematic structure inspired by the shape and patterns of seashells. The artist chooses to incorporate them as vital components in her sculpture giving the impression of a paradoxical fossilised formation that could have easily been some mysterious object in a museum’s public display. For Savvaidi, the seashell is a metaphorical vessel that conveys aspects of the life cycle and symbiosis. While she simultaneously poses questions on movement and migration, she also considers the relationship between humans and the natural environment. The entire structure built with cement and marble dust and supported by a metallic pole, rests in harmony within the proximate industrial surroundings. It impregnates a commentary not just on the urban backdrop of our location and its modification since ancient times but also on the endless exploitation of nature throughout the centuries with a catastrophic effect on its ecosystems led by fast growing urban communities. Recalling Deridda’s concept of hauntology, Totem (2019) absorbs the replaced presence of being with its void equal in tandem with the origins of history and identity. The parabolical quality of Savvaidi’s sculpture becomes a tool for unveiling a parallel reality. It nestles among the viewer and the encircling habitat and acts as a pylon channelling a powerful interconnection and interdependence.