To thwart the eye’s power of appropriation, its power to turn whatever it sees into stone… Perseus managed this, avoiding the Gorgon’s petrifying gaze by observing her reflection in the shield Athena gave him. In his video Perseus and Medusa, Jason Karaindros reinterprets the story as an exhausting full-frontal struggle, arm and forefinger outstretched, trying to dodge the objectifying power of the camera’s objective lens. Generally speaking, an essential part of the work made by Jason Karaindros could be summed up as an attempt to avoid appropriating the spectator’s vision but rather to sharpen the latter’s capacity to listen and remember…
How can such an abstract idea as the speed of light be made tangible? In a series of works called Fragments of Light, Jason Karaindros achieves this in an original way through visual, temporal and spatial means, producing a finished form that is as much idea as image. Here, idea should be understood in its Greek Philosophical sense, meaning a visible form and intelligible essence of an entity in phenomenal reality. Nevertheless, the immensity of the phenomenon still continues to elude us. Jason Karaindros’s works do not function as classical representations or even as a discursive narrative about their subject. They give form to ideas. And although poetic in vision, they possess the power of language to designate things.
The figure of the other runs through many of Jason Karaindros’ work. Two early pieces, Lovers and Fragments of a Love Poem provide the first clues to his vision of the relationship between self and others. Otherness is represented by as a light source in the first work, and the lovers, symbolised by pawns on a chessboard, project inverted shadows. The second work relies on on language to convey relationships with other beings. A series of words written on billiard balls combine to form half-finished inchoate sentences as the balls hit each other, rebound and move across the billard table. Interactions between signs and rather than words are generated in Chequered Carpet which contains half arabic and half european elements. Berber pictograms, North African decorative designs, everyday European signs- are embroidered on red or white cushions which the spectators is invited to reorganised, so producing unexpected inter-cultural connections. In fact, spectators are always that other half for whom Jason Karaindros has designed the work, and upon whom he relies to complete its sense. Records of our Meeting for example, requires spectators to sit down opposite the artist and record their heart beats next to his, climbing the peaks and treading the thoughs together with him.
Jason Karaindros approaches the question of time following in the footsteps of performance events staged by artists such as Klaus Rinke and Walter de Maria in the seventies. Time and space are not represented but are felt through something initially experienced by the artist. Whilst the work itself is seen as the visible record or result of this experience, the latter is never treated as a recognisable element from the artist’s personal life, thus making it speak more easily to the spectator. Everything in the global form of these works tends towards a kind of poetics that surpasses personal relevance, and engages the spectator in a contemplative as well as participatory way.
Unlimited Contemporary Art
Twelve Ellipses (excerpt) in
catalogue of the exhibition Take your
time, Espace d’Art Contemporain,