(left: print of floral motif on paper, done with a stamp, stamping repetitively and edited it with photoshop
on top: video with traditional custom of predicting the future in the grains and shapes of Turkish/ Greek coffee)
During the past 4 years I have been using Greek/ Turkish coffee. The product of Turkish coffee doesn't raise economical issues, as fair-trade coffee does. So far, I have explored it as a material that refers to the political clash of Turkey and Greece, as well as for its purely formal qualities.
For the latter I have read and used the theory of Inform/ Formless by Goerge Bataille.
To start explaining the artworks I should write some historical facts. Greece was occupied in ac 1600 by the Ottoman Empire (Turks) for 4 centuries. Today, in Greece people consume Turkish coffee and practice the Turkish tradition of fortuine telling, by interpreting the grains of coffee into signs that fortell the future. During the last decades they call the coffee 'Greek', rather than Turkish. After the Turkish occupation there was a serious political rival among Turkey and Greece.
In 2012 I was in Turkey, in Cunda Island. Cunda had been a Greek Island. For a month I engaged in fieldworks, in order to observe the population of the island. Christian Orthodoxs and Muslims, or else Greeks and Turks occupy the island. The two people coexist peacefully.
For the work that I developed in Cunda Island, I used Turkish/ Greek coffee in order to make paintings or else an installation that referred to the political clash and the 'fragility' of external politics. Still, the works refered to the similarity and their coexistance of the two people in Cunda Island .
In 2014 I reconsidered Turkish/ Coffee and I decided to explore purely the formal qualities of the material.
The coffee per ce was used as an ephemeral material, which would change through time it would disappear from the surfaces that was spread.
The traditional coffee cup was used as a cast. The tradition which is used both by the Greeksand the Turks for foreseeing the futute was used as a printing method.
By repeating the same gesture and continually 'printing', 'stamping', I created surfaces or else marks that covered a layer. The marks were abstract, ephemeral, vague, like drops of paint, which dropped on the floor. For these particual reasons they worthed my attention. In common sense, they are invaluable due to the vagueness and insignificance . However, attempting to filter them and comprehend them through the cultural custom, and through Bataille's theory, I could justify why they attracted my attention.
George Batialle, with his theory of inform/ formless, explains the significance of the materials that fall on the floor. and that for the common sense they are the 'low' in art. For Bataille, such forms and materials, like the paint that falls accidentally on the floor of the studio, they are always in a process of changing; and hence they are 'beautiful'.