Emptiness with busy illuminated or dark roads where you do not know where to stand. Journeys very faraway, up to the luminous horizon or inside a tunnel, nobody is there. The only person being that woman looking at us from inside the bus.
A march by a crowd of people in a fluid landscape, faces of children between the earth and the sea, which have not been devoured by the abyss since they travelled in the night.
Everything is moving in a very high speed, times of transition. Multifaceted projects in distention, with fast gestures, thickening and dilution of the material, ink and oil: violent passage from the darkness to the light. Only faces are evasive: delicate handling of the pen, for the possibly utmost accuracy in expression.
«We are standing as thorough going people before a natural or artificial landscape, and the influence of this landscape upon us is directly overseeing and emotional and only during its follow-up contemplation it appears to be ambivalent» says Georg Simmel in the Philosophy of Landscape (“Die Philosophie der Landschaft”). I could express my first impressions on the work of Mato Ioannidou in those few lines. The viewer’s glance is lost in the endlessness of the colourful horizons of the artist’s night city landscapes freed from any special characteristic of the modern grey metropolises.
In the unit Marches MatoIoannidou expresses the eternal contrasts between life and death, speed and motionlessness, absence and presence, darkness and light, desire for imaginative journeys and the violence of migration journeys and invites us to meditate on the roots of humanity. The relations, diversely expressed and diversely understood, of transfer between the creative expression of the uprooting experience of domestic and foreign places of the visual subject disclose the narrative mood hidden behind the lonely landscapes and the silent figures that complete the present unity of the works. The grey asphalted roads filled with lighten count ere din the works of the unity seem to derive from the well-hidden trauma of modern civilization,as it brings to our mind those sick societies due to progress as described by the historian MarcFerro. The Time and Place are true.
By returning to the root of the city where people are those making it up, the absence of humans –of the former homo urbanicus–in the urban landscapes of Ioannidou is replaced by disorderly rows of children’s faces that all the more remind us of Agamben’s homo sacer: people without nationality, without any civilian rights, who have lost any protection the nation and laws would offer them, who embarrassingly and silently balance themselves between the ruins of their lives, carrying together with their life stories their dreams and losses, confined within the menacing plash of the foamy waves and motionless in time, expressing through their silent and intense glance the injustice and contradiction of modern times.
By ignoring an illustrative and realistic representation of reality, a personal impression of reality, through intensive colour contrasts and diverse poetic narrations, dominates in the work of Mato Ioannidou. Colour, a basic tool of her work over the last few years, functions as a channel of impression, on the white canvas, of energy, experiences and emotions as well as personal anxious concerns. Different marches come and connect through the painter’s appeal to a timeless journey, beyond the daily routine and having the encounter with the Other as a unique destination: an ever-lasting, ageless request of mankind. Unanticipated moments and unexpected encounters. The city looks like a forest within terminable roads and countless people, gradually created over time by remainders of oblivion and nostalgia.