Sunday 21 June 2015

Between the Pessimism of the Intellect and the Optimism of the Will, 5th THESSALONIKI BIENNALE OF CONTEMPORARY ART, 23.06 - 30.09.2015

June 23 – September 30, 2015

MAIN EXHIBITION: Pavilion 6 (Thessaloniki International EXPO premises)

Between the Pessimism of the Intellect and the Optimism of the Will
Curated by Katerina Gregos

The title of the 5th Thessaloniki Biennial is inspired by an aphorism invoked by Antonio Gramsci in the The Prison Notebooks (Quaderni del carcere) that he wrote between 1929 and 1935 while he was imprisoned by the Facist regime in Italy at the time. In these voluminous writings which he composed during his eleven years incarceration Gramsci repeatedly cites a particular phrase; in one of the letters he writes: “The challenge of modernity is to live without illusions and without becoming disillusioned ... I’m a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will.” This duality constitutes a point of departure to talk about the current situation of crisis – and how to overcome it - that governs much of the Mediterranean, which is once again the conceptual point of departure for the next biennial.

As a diverse blend and composite of cultures, religions, ethnicities, languages, traditions and norms – the and the crossroads of three principal religions and continents – it becomes very difficult to define the Mediterranean area, except in geographic terms. Indeed there is much debate on whether we can even speak of a Mediterranean identity, culture or even region; and equally, it is impossible to treat the countries of the area as an undifferentiated group, nor arrive a singular understanding of what constitutes ‘The Mediterranean’. It is as much a real as an imagined space, whose perception has been determined and coloured by idyllic as well as negative stereotypes and misperceptions. But what many of the 26 countries seem to face today are a series of serious ongoing crises (whether social, economic, or political) as well as several zones of armed conflict. In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to call the Mediterranean a crisis zone of sorts. Greece, Spain, and Italy are all in the throes of economic crises, Turkey is in the midst of a political crisis, while a large part of the Southern shores of the Mediterranean simmer with political and social unrest as democracy is being challenged, and the Eastern shores remain mired either in armed conflict or decades long unresolved political, religious and territorial disputes.

So while the Mediterranean cannot be defined in terms of a common identity, it constitutes a hotbed for some of the more burning issues of the moment including social and economic equality, democracy, civil rights, migration and mobility, and personal autonomy, the overall area treading the fine line between order and disorder. Many countries of the Mediterranean are, in fact, to a large extent facing a situation of impasse, which is engendered by prolonged or unresolved crises. Gramsci himself defined crisis as precisely that situation where “the old is dying and the new cannot be born” and added that, “in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” Given the failure of both politics and the political imagination, what remains in many parts of the Mediterranean world is an anticipation of alternatives and the hope for a better world.

Gramsci’ quote is particularly relevant today, not only as concerns the Mediterranean, because it well describes the current situation of impasse in many parts of the world. It is in the vacuum or grey zone of this anticipation that we find ourselves in today, fuelled by desire but bogged down by reality but also realpolitik. It rests with artists, cultural practitioners and grass roots activists to exercise the creative and radical imagination, in order to critically dissect what is happening right now (thus engaging the pessimism of the intellect) as well as to envisage or allude to another way of being (by harnessing the optimism of the will). The exhibition will take Gramsci’s ideas as a point of departure to reflect on the current situation of being in between two situations – one which is conceptual, the other which is very much tied to the problematic ‘real’. ‘Pessimism of the intellect’ entails a critical view of things as they are. ‘Optimism of the will’, evokes the imagination, and the call to action necessary to overcome adversity. It is precisely between these two mental poles that much of the Mediterranean finds itself today.

In light of the general fatalism that governs many aspects of politics, economics, and public life today, as well as the dominant view that capitalism is ‘inevitable’, Gramsci’s phrase seems as relevant as it was when first written. It is the optimism of the will that when implemented finally sparks change and can sow the seeds for a better future. The Thessaloniki Biennial will explore the multiple meanings of this dual phrase as well as mine that grey zone in between. In fact, the exhibition aims more to evoke the ambiguity of the current moment, rather than just literally re-present crisis problematics.

The biennial will thus shed light on some of the critical issues springing from Mediterranean problematics, but will include works whose meaning has a more ecumenical significance. The artists in the exhibition explore the multiple manifestations of this duality, engage in critical, oppositional cultural practices, and exercise the freedom of the imagination, thus symbolically engaging with Gramsci’s aphorism to look into and beyond the current crisis, allowing for what Ernst Bloch has called “forward dreaming”.
44 artists, and one collective from 25 countries all around the world, will exhibit their artworks, including existing works as well as 14 new productions commissioned for the occasion by the Biennale.

Participating artists: Carlos Aires (ES), Can Altay & Jeremiah Day (TR/US), Ivan Argote (CO), Marwa Arsanios (US), Bertille Bak (FR), Taysir Batniji (PS), James Beckett (ZA/NL), Adelita Husni Bey (IT), David Brognon & Stéphanie Rollin (BE/LU), Marianna Christofides (CY), Depression Era (GR), Ninar Esber (LB), Mounir Fatmi (MA), Peter Friedl (AT), Mekhitar Garabedian (SY/BE), Ganzeer (EG), Marina Gioti (GR), Piero Gilardi (IT), Hamza Halloubi (MA/BE), Nick Hannes (BE), Sven Johne (DE), Annika Kahrs (DE), Eleni Kamma (GR), Hayv Kahraman (IQ), Mikhail Karikis (GR), Chrysanthi Koumianaki (GR), Erik Van Lieshout (NL), Thomas Locher (DE), Angela Melitopoulos & Angela Anderson (DE/US), Tom Molloy (IE), Nikos Navridis (GR), Qiu Zhijie (CN), Pavel Pepperstein (RU), Antonis Pittas (GR), Theo Prodromidis (GR), Meriç Algün Ringborg (TR), Anila Rubiku (AL), Marinella Senatore (IT), Nedko Solakov (BG), Nikos Tranos (GR), Thomas Weinberger (DE), Olav Westphalen (DE)

Exhibition designer: Danae Giamalaki 

Fireflies in the Night, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, 22.06 - 24.06.2015

“Fireflies in the Night”
All-Night Video Art screenings under the artistic direction of Robert Storr,
with the participation of over 50 Greek & foreign artists and collectives 
The screenings start on the 22nd and last until the 24th of June, 
starting at 23:00 of each night until 06:00 of the following day

On Monday, June 22, the Stavros Niarchos Park turns into an outdoor cinema, and presents the three-night video art program “Fireflies in the Night”, organized by Robert Storr, Dean of Yale School of Art, with curators Barbara London, Kalliopi Minioudaki and Francesca Pietropaolo. 

On the same night, at 22:45, Robert Storr will be at the Stavros Niarchos Park, to introduce the works of the Greek and foreign artists, which will then be screened to the public.
The Program, which is part of the events entitled “Light Up the Night at the Stavros Niarchos Park”, includes non-stop screenings of some of the most important works of the international video art scene, covering a wide and inclusive range of formats, styles, themes, and moods. Brief “shorts,” both comic and poetic, intersperse “feature length” documentaries and dramatizations that comment on contemporary life in far flung places, contemplate eternal questions of human existence, or critically explore a variety of important issues that concern the people around the world. 
As part of the programmed screenings, the Park’s visitors will have the rare opportunity to experience Matthew Barney’s epic masterpiece “The Cremaster Cycle” (1994-2002), which will be presented, in its entirety, for the first time in Greece, on the night of Wednesday, June 24 (from 23:00 till 06:00 of Thursday the 25th). On the two previous nights (June 22 & 23), the program will present works from a diverse range of over 50 artists and collectives from different generations, both from Greece and abroad.  
Conceived “like a cross between performances of classic Greek plays in an ancient amphitheater and walk-in ‘drive-in’ movie”, as put by Robert Storr, the videos will be projected back-to-back on one or multiple screens, at the heart of the Park (at the Great Lawn) on a stage that has been specially constructed by the architect of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, Renzo Piano. 
The screenings will start every day (June 22-24) late at night, lasting until dawn of the next day (23:00-06:00). With no end and no beginning, visitors will be able to attend the screenings freely and watch for as long as they like. 
Be advised that given the late hour of these screenings the program was selected with mature viewers in mind. 

List of artists, whose works will be screened in “Fireflies in the Night”:
Chantal Akerman, Alterazioni Video, Francis Alÿs, Michel Auder, Mathew Barney, Dara Birnbaum, Olga Chernysheva, Donna Conlon and Jonathan Harker, Danica Dakić, Patricia Esquivias, Haroun Farocki, Omer Fast, Yang Fudong, Shaun Gladwell, Marco Godoy, Rodney Graham, Gary Hill, Susan Hiller,  Sanja Iveković, Joan Jonas, Isaac Julien, Jesper Just, Anna K. E., Amar Kanwar, Mary Reid Kelley with Patrick Kelley, Mike Kelley & Ericka Beckman, William Kentridge, Ragnar Kjartansson, Meiro Koizumi, Katarzyna Kozyra, Sharon Lockhart, Marilyn Minter, Joshua Mosley, Wangechi Mutu, Nikos Navridis, Maria Papadimitriou, Sophia Petrides, Paul Pfeiffer, Artemis Potamianou, Theo Prodromidis, Laure Prouvost, Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Pipilotti Rist, Anri Sala, Carolee Schneemann, Cindy Sherman, Ann-Sofi Sidén with Jonathan Bepler, Vassiliea Stylianidou, Livia Ungur and Sherng-Lee Huang, Bill Viola, Guido Van Der Werve, Sue Williamson, Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, ZimmerFrei.

Each night's program, along with descriptive notes on the works by the curators will be available at

Saturday 30 August 2014

Theo Prodromidis Biography

Theo Prodromidis
born in Thessaloniki in 1979, live and works in Athens, Greece.

He studied Contemporary Media Practice at the University of Westminster and was awarded an MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths in 2007, in London, UK. 

His work has been exhibited in galleries, museums and institutions such as the 4h Athens Biennale, Athens, Greece, ReMap, Athens, Greece, Athens & Epidaurus Festival, Athens, Greece, Kunsthalle Athena, Athens, Greece, Ileana Tounta Art Centre, Athens, Greece, Werkleitz zentrum für medienkunst, Halle, Germany, Contour Mechelen, Brussels, Belgium, State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece, Tramway, Glascow, Scotland, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, Fondazione Merz, Torino, Italy, the 1st Thessaloniki Biennale, Thessaloniki, Greece, Museum of Cinema, Thessaloniki, Greece, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece i.a.
He has been awarded with European Media Artists Award (EMARE), 2008 and Onassis Foundation Award, 2006. His work is in public and private collections in Greece, UK and Italy.

Towards the Bank of the Future, 2013 information

Theo Prodromidis
Towards the Bank of the Future
2K, stereo, 7'30"

commissioned by the Onassis Cultural Centre-Athens for the Visual Dialogues 2013

presentation text:

"Towards the Bank of the Future" observes and engages with two conceptual axes. 

The first axis derives from the analysis of Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics, where Aristotle presents the problematic of a definition of the "work of man". In the same way that Aristotle sets the work of man in motion, this form of a life that is activated by the operation of Logos, Cavafys repositions life, or a form of life at least, in the sphere of History, a history of action, an action beyond a simple livelihood (ζῆν).
At this exact point, the work focuses on the second axis, on the concept of historicity, thus the specific position and use of History in the work of Cavafys. The poet frequently narrates in his works, of a man who is historically located either in the classical or the modern times.The above element is the one that transforms the work of Cavafys to a significant moment of modernity in poetry. The displaced historicity of the form, where the atemporal collides with the historical.

Towards the production of Dialogues On The Market Of Bronze and Other Precious Materials, information

Towards the production of Dialogues On The Market Of Bronze and Other Precious Materials, 2013.

presentation text:
 The video installation "Towards the production of Dialogues On The Market Of Bronze and Other Precious Materials" has as a starting point of reference Bertolt Brecht's The Messingkauf Dialogues, a theoretical work in a dialectical form that dates back to 1939 and was written in four different versions in a period of four years but remained incomplete.The work situates a re-interpreted version of Brecht's work, connected to the socio-economic circumstances regarding contemporary society and the implications that these may cause, in the structures of a monetary policy, and its reverberations in the cultural sphere.
Based on Brecht's four nights' structure the artist aims to provoke correlations regarding two structures, the structure of politics and the structure of finance using their architectural form and specificities as a visual starting point. The work motivates the viewer to contemplate all the above elements in a manner that the aesthetic experience of viewing it produces a platform for the critical engagement of the spectator with the socio-political signifiers that are presented.
Theo Prodromidis's video installation has a specific social context, to collective and private experiences as a consequence of politico-economic and political-cultural locations that are densified in a narrativized, critical and poetic process.

Friday 20 June 2014

Hermeneutics of Perpetual Time, REH-transformer

Theo Prodromidis
Vox pop and nothing more
100 black and white slides, 10min, stereo sound

REH-transformer space announces the opening of the show Hermeneutics of Perpetual Time curated by Katerina Nikou.
Participating Artists: Dimitris Andreadis, Zoi Gaitanidou, Panos Papadopoulos, Sifis Lykakis, Theo Prodromidis, Diamantis Sotiropoulos, Dimitris Tsoumplekas

Opening: Wednesday 17 June, 17.00 – 19.00
Private Preview & Reception: 20 June, 19.00 – 22.00

Duration: 17/06/2014 – 24/06/2014

Opening hours: daily from 17/06 – 24/06, 17:00 -19:00 or by appointment :,

REH-transformer is a new project space directed by Marcus Kettel in the former Raumerweiterungshalle (produced and used as a flexible expanding hall during the time of the German Democratic Republic) in which the name functions as a metaphor for the innovative program that will be presented in the space.

The notion of time and our perception of it, either it is collective or personal, has been questioned by thinkers, intellectuals, scientists and philosophers through the years. The fact that the experience of time is connected to the subjectivity of a variety of events creates difficulties in finding equivalences between different experiences of time and approaches regarding the perception of the temporal.

According to our experiences, feelings, social manners and behaviour, time changes, extends, expands, is being eliminated or even extinguished. This is what makes the temporal, a particular parameter of our life in all its conditions: social, personal, public, political, cultural.

In relation to arts, artists and art production, time acquires a unique feature: it becomes perpetual. The artists express themselves ignoring the constraints of time and present their ideas and concerns free to choose the time frame even more free to produce associations regarding time dislocation connected to cultural, political, social, existential and many more issues. In this case, we notice the combination of real and fictitious elements that allow the viewer to make a variety of correlations.

The show Hermeneutics of Perpetual Time presents works that deal with the notion of time, the momentum and the archive, without making and obvious and specific chronological indication and distinction. The show attempts to reinforce the opinion of some scientists, philosophers and theorists that the structure of past, present and future belongs to an illusionary system of approaching time. The perception of time is being
formulated through experiences and events that are linked to each other in a paradoxical manner.

Hermeneutics of Perpetual Time could be viewed as fragment
of memory that includes sub-meanings of time perception and provides an alternative paradigm to the visitor to produce his own associations on time, space and experience as well as the way that these influence the interpretation of our personal and collective cosmos.

Kopenhagenerstr. 17, 10437 Berlin
S&U Schönhauser Allee
and by appointment

Katerina Nikou :

Pre-Text, Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center

Theo Prodromidis
in collaboration with Aggeliki Papoulia
handbound book, 108 pages in 100gr and 160gr paper
edition of 16 + 4 Artist's Proof

Theo Prodromidis
Element for the support of new structures
13cm x 13cm x 13cm
edition of 64 + 16 Artist's Proof

Theo Prodromidis's (Goodbye...etc, 2013 & Element For The Support Of New Structures, 2014) latest works formulate a critique of the political sign and deal with a number of issues: formal, social and historical.The artist collaborated with Aggeliki Papoulia, actress and founding member of blitz theatre group, and together produced 524 new sentences, by using the method of Tristan Tzara on a collection of 524 books. The books were given to the artists as a response to their call for printed material that is relevant in formulating the discourse of the Left. One of the outcomes of this process is the publication of a handbound book limited to an edition of 16, after a 16-hour long performance that lasted two days.

link: documentation of the performance at Kunsthalle Athena

08.05.2014 – 19.06.2014
The Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center presents the group show «PRE-TEXT».
The show will open on Thursday, 8 May 2014, at 19:30,
and will run until 21 June 2014.
PRE-TEXT is the first part of the exhibition This Is A Historic Opportunity For Us with major support from NEON.
Curated by Ileana Tounta, Dimitrios Antonitsis and Katerina Nikou
Participating artistsDimitris Andreadis, Kostas Bassanos, Kostas Christopoulos, Panos Famelis, Dimitris Foutris, Pavlos Fysakis, Christina Koutsospyrou & Aran Hughes, Irini Miga, Fryni Mouzakitou, Alexandros Papathanasiou, Theo Prodromidis, Kostas Sahpazis, Eva Stefani, Dimitris Tsoumplekas, Kostis Velonis
Pre-Text is the first part of the large scale exhibition This Is A Historic Opportunity For Us (title taken from Antonis Pittas’ work)The idea of this exhibition came up as an internal need and an immediate response to the socio-political crisis that Greece has been through since 2009 as it is one of the first European countries to confront the aftermath of the global crisis. This Is A Historic Opportunity For Us is a project that has been designed since 2012 aiming to find the appropriate venue to host the exhibition in a European metropolitan city.
Pre-Text refers to socio-political conditions with connections to political history and our perception regarding historical knowledge. Through the works, the viewer “reads” a concrete political meaning that depends upon the dialectic of individuality and collectivity at play within a social system. They conjure up a universe of individual worlds that invoke contemporary awareness and use it as a prism through which to look upon how we experience reality. The artists explore areas where there are no rigid distinctions between theory and practice; where the boundaries between the two seem to blur.
Pre-Text questions the ways in which the past is conceptually and contextually reoriented towards the future. As a great number of contemporary philosophers argue “prior” is the new “after” and the notion of time transforms accordingly to continuous changes of social conditions. The viewer faces an up-to-date historical record of art that confronts the future as the present, art that talks about the future with works, created the last five years and function as knowledge tools to understand the present by reflecting it to the future.  
The works suggest different readings and interpretations that aim to provoke the viewer’s perception regarding global sociological issues that affects one’s perception and individual participation to a collective “status quo”.
Through the painting of Dimitris Andreadis (Untitled, 2014) the viewer recognizes and re-evaluates familiar images, which prevail in a black background with the use of chiaroscuro treating light and shades in a strong emotional current. The artist proposes an open conceptual framework that invites the viewer togenerate his own correlations. The artist captures the momentum and the “magic power of transubstantiation”. 
Kostas Bassanos’ (Smudge2013 & Constitutional White, 2012) poetic approach emerges through the use of minimal means, be it a snapshot when it comes to videos, or some ink or a sheet of paper when it comes to sculptural works. With references to romanticism - sometimes visible and other times merged in a strict and simple visual vocabulary - the artist attempts a conceptual investigation of the perception of reality through the tradition of late modernism. 
The two paintings of Kostas Christopoulos (Untitled, 2012) re-introduce the title of Francis Fukuyama The End of History? published in the international affairs journal The National Interest. Christopoulos borrows the End of History which was used as slogan in a public protest in Berlin. The artist removes the question mark from Fukuyama’s original phrase attempting to declare his personal thesis about the End of History. Christopoulos connects the notion of history and its evolution with the current socio-political conditions that are being defined by the international politics. Expanding this thought the artist wishes to criticize the individual’s ambivalent position in an insecure social environment.
The unique gesture in Panos Famelis’ painting (The Wave, 2013) raises the issue of accumulation of the image and material on the surface of the canvas. The viewer encounters a work, which viewed from different distances, changes in composition. The work raises questions of memory and history in a timeframe that seems to signal the end of an era. The contradictions that arise are a result of empirical knowledge and emotions, which are constantly tested by the very meaning of experience and the individual’s perceptual ability of it.
The work of Dimitris Foutris (The End Of It All, Before The End, After The End, End End End, Part 2, 2011) focuses on the concept of nature. It questions nature and the relationship of the Byzantine landscape, specifically on the idea of the cliff that mobilizes our conscience towards meditation, melancholy and optimism on the other, concerning the current situation and its social implications and the ability to perceive depth. Furthermore, it suggests the concept of “the self” as a Landscape or mountain related with the notion of “the desert”, the biblical desert from the Byzantine era.
Pavlos Fysakis (Untitled, 2011-2013) has been always preoccupied with the idea of boundaries. As a photographer, he is interested in the human order of things, constantly debating the solidity, or the fluidity of those territorial, cultural, social, and personal boundaries that define and position us within a society. In that quest, the artist creates imaginary narratives through a geographic exploration of space, documenting culture, identity and social phenomena such as urbanization, isolation and transition
Set over four days of unrelenting wind and rain in a remote village high up in the Nafpaktia mountains in the west of Greece, the film of Christina Koytsospyrou & Aran Hughes (Waiting for the Past, 2012) follows the lives of two shepherd families struggling to live. The village, now forgotten and nearly deserted, has had its best days. Combining documentary and fiction with an all-local cast, Waiting for the Past is both the reality and an unsettling allegory of today’s Greece.
Irini Miga’s works (In Between, 2012 & The Alluring Warmth of Tolerance as a Habit, 2012) examine dismantled classicism. Within this transitional socio-political period in Greece, she declares herself as a utopian architect creating forms as skeletons, as basic structures that echo the past and suggest a shift in the perceptions of our current reality. The artist invites the viewers to contemplate the way history may repeat itself. Speed is today’s token towards tomorrow, and chasing a lustrous future allows us the privilege of forgetting.
Fryni Mouzakitou (Aluminum Rolls, 2014) presents two large scale paintings imitating the aluminum rolls that secure the facades of the commercial stores. The artist makes a political comment on the boundaries and the borders that define the financial crisis which influence the social life of the contemporary society. The banned exterior of an edifice creates the sense of unfamiliarity to the viewer and defines a secret space between the work and the viewer. Mouzakitou provokes our thoughts about the side-effects of a society in a precarious condition. 
Alexandros Papathanasiou (Do Not Worry About The Government, 2012 & Intention, 2012) focuses on found, invented and intervened objects that are brought together in arrangements that reveal and underline the process of making, by pointing out the moments of decision-making and affirming those of profound hesitation. An eccentric discourse and a conceptual panning between “what is” and “what might be” that renders tangible the space between the object and the art-object; namely the blind spot of society’s vision, where Art manifests itself by encountering its own existence. 
Theo Prodromidis’ (Goodbye...etc, 2013 & Element For The Support Of New Structures Bronze, 2014) latest works formulate a critique of the political sign and deal with a number of issues: formal, social and historical. The artist collaborated with Aggeliki Papoulia, actress and founding member of blitz theatre group, and together produced 524 new sentences by using the method of Tristan Tzara on a collection of 524 books. The books were given to the artists as a response to their call for printed material that is relevant in formulating the discourse of the Left. One of the outcomes of this process is the publication of a handbound book limited to an edition of 16, after a 16-hour long performance that lasted two days.
The works of Kostas Sahpazis (Carried in Pockets, 2012 & Untitled, 2012) suggests an imaginary stage which is activated by materials stacked together, layered one on top of the other, or organized through their form. The central narrative unfolds around the simultaneous holding of two contradictory positions: that of materiality and that of unconscious space. At the end the viewer can recognize that the objects have been arranged by an instinctive mechanism of decision as well as by a sudden intrusion of an alien idea.  
The film of Eva Stefani (Ill Not Ill, Athens, 2011) explores a day in the life of a Greek hospital in central Athens. By following various incidents that occur during the day between staff and patients, the documentary attempts to offer a surreal portrait of what it is to live in Greece right now. The film constitutes a documentation regarding Greek-society’s welfare status.
In TexasDimitris Tsoublekas’ photographic series, one recognizes the infinite freedom of vision. What the artist initially saw and which we now also see - landscapes, human figures, interiors - always seems to result from a battle with time, a battle with himself. Abandoned buildings, rooms with collapsed walls or natural barriers, people who are shadows of themselves in front of their glasses, demonic children, lonely men looking elsewhere are the evidence of a desire for freedom verging on destruction.
The work of Kostis Velonis (At the end of Demonstration Day, 2009) offers an image of loneliness, anxiety and fear. At the end of the day, after protesting and rallying, the demonstrator is left alone with a feeling of sorrow, loss and contemplation. The poetic strength of this tender work rests on the psychological and emotive human condition suggested by the isolated stool.