Prossalendi's "Britannia"

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"EXIT", composite photograph for the "PROSSALENDI'S BRITANNIA - CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVE" exhibition at the Ionian Academy, Corfu, 1-24/9/2018
Giclée print on photographic paper (50 x 50 cm).
Donation to the Corfu Heritage Foundation
Curators: Dr. Megakles Rogakos, Ioannis N. Arhontakis, Georgia Damianou, Georgia Kourkounaki, Dr. Constantinos V. Proimos

Special thanks to:
Evangelia Kapogianni, actress
Sotiris Kassavetis, hairstylist
Costumier, clothing & fashion 
and Shutterstock
that made the whole project possible.

Wearing the white suit of Pallas Athena, designed by Dionysis Fotopoulos, Britannia rests exhausted on the back of the Lion, who stands staring at us, with disarming shyness and wonder, in a space reserved for disabled people in a somewhat forgotten and wet car park. In the "Exit" photographic work, Dimosthenis Gallis sets up with actors and theatrical props, a scene of historical utopia with excellent attention to plausibility. His technique allows him to harness every Lion and prescribe every truth. Britannia in his hands disputes her own identity and avoids looking at us as if she has lost faith in herself, presenting her difficulty in adapting to the new circumstances of our time, adhering to the memory of her golden past. The loneliness of the space seems to suit her escalating introversion. Although on the wall there is the word "EXIT," with an indirect reference to the recent Brexit referendum, the claustrophobic feeling that characterizes the whole scene hints at precisely the opposite. The irony is obvious: the way to the exit, given the decision that British citizens finally made, is in reality a deadlock. Emphasizing the challenge, the photographer places Britannia's trunk in front of the "X," deleting and canceling its essence and indicating that the decision is disastrous. By contrast to the visual allegories and the messages of the artist, the composition is governed by volumetric robustness and sculptural clarity, making direct references to the artistic spirit of Prossalendi as a top neoclassical sculptor of the 19thcentury. The photographer gently respects his principles and teachings and introduces them methodically into his work.

 

Ioannis N. Arhontakis, Director of the Contemporary Art Museum of Chania - Olivepress