Critics’ Picks

Eftihis Patsourakis, Headless, 2014, oil on wood, 13 x 16".

Eftihis Patsourakis, Headless, 2014, oil on wood, 13 x 16".


Eftihis Patsourakis and Michael Anastassiades

Rodeo | Istanbul
Siraselviler No: 49 Yeni Hayat Apart. Flat 1
September 12–December 13, 2014

In pairing paintings by Eftihis Patsourakis with objects by Michael Anastassiades, “Doings on Light and Time” performs a kind of double alchemy, deriving the sublime from works rooted in the crude mechanics of analog cameras and arcade games.

Patsourakis’s series “Headless,” 2012–14, recreates misaligned snapshots from family albums of the 1970s and ’80s. The focus of these paintings is less the partial figures depicted within the photographs than the technology that produced them, which dates to a time when handheld cameras were just becoming widely available. In their eagerness to record moments of significance or beauty, the newly empowered population of amateur photographers often lopped off heads or otherwise cropped their intended subjects just out of the frame. That these imperfect images might still be kept bears witness to an era when the photograph served as a mere memento, rather than a surrogate experience in and of itself. Patsourakis maintains the intimate scale of snapshots (the largest piece is just under sixteen inches long), with a deft application of oil on wood that steeps each painting in a sepia haze.

This soft seamlessness carries over to Anastassiades’s objects, seductive assemblages of pink marble, mirror, oak and opaline-glass light fixtures. The artist limits his formal vocabulary to simple geometric shapes, crafting his particular poetry in the precarious juxtaposition of elements; wooden spheres appear to balance along slender planks, while gently glowing orbs nestle against mirrored panels, conjuring Robert Smithson and Narcissus in equal measure. Adding to the mystery is Anastassiades’s habit of culling his titles—S.D.T.M, Switch, Tilt, and Combo (all 2014)—from the arcade lingo of pinball. His revival of archaic technology transcends nostalgia, playing nicely with Patsourakis’s investment in abandoned technological attitudes of the same era.