Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Towards the Bank of the Future, 2013 at Visual Dialogues 2013

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

© courtesy of the artist 2013

"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". As the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben comments "the aim of such a definition is the designation of the ultimate good (Agathon) as a subject of political science, in relation to which the engagement with ethics, operates as a form of introduction. This ultimate good is happiness".

In Cavafy's work, one can locate this engagement, between the ethical and aesthetic operation of man and specifically of the creator of work.

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).

Cavafys in a way that is essentially modern, and with modernity being clearly visible in the formal qualities of his body of work, describes, and thus positions in the sphere of aesthetics, actions and events taken from both the historical and the everyday, and thus elevates them in forms that while they are located in the common, they are set in motion by the sublime.

At this exact point, the work "Towards the Bank of the Future" 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.

What is always underlying and gives the work its characteristic force, are these historical moments that one can come in relation to in Cavafy's poetry, moments that usually overturn established political and social orders. And while the narration revolves around the tangible and the everyday, the historical position is always a key element for both the semiotic and experiential engagement with the poem.

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.

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