loved one
start stop bwd fwd


  • Beloved, 2012, pencil on paper, 29.7cm x 42 cm.
  • Beloved, 2013,silverplated copper, stainless steel, dimensions variable (2)
  • Beloved, 2013,silverplated copper, stainless steel, dimensions variable
  • The Emperor, a Throne with its Prestige undermined, 2012, pencil on paper, 29.7x42 cm.
  • The Emperors secrets Counsellor, 2012, pencil on paper, 29.7x42 cm
  • The Empress, 2012, pencil on paper, 29.7cm x 42cm
  • You and I I, 29,2cm.x 29,2, 2013
  • You and I II, 29,2cm.x 29,2, 2013
  • he Emperors secrets Counsellor II, (the Shield of the Starry Throne), 2012, pencil on paper, 29.7x42 cm.
  • if Someone is Young, Gifted and Ambitious, 2012, pencil on paper, 29.7x42 cm



Eva Marathaki - You and I
Solo show
6+ drawings by Eva Marathaki for Dοukas Kapantais'
The Empress. A Chronicle of New Earth, Nefeli editions, Athens, 2012

Duration: 29.10.13 - 09.11.13

Cracks and Holes
About Eva Marathaki's drawings for The Empress

"He turned her on her back and
waved the pile in and out."

Ah, poetry. It has been a while since someone visited a gallery and left flushed. And, what's more, this happened in a solo show by a female artist. For some time now, Eva Marathaki's work moves between two expressive poles, that of performance art (and, more specifically, of video-performance) and that of drawing with pencil, while, unlike her fellow artists, those two poles are moving in tandem. As it is very common in the history of this medium, both from the golden period of the 60s and 70s and from its revival of the '90s, performance is a par excellence feminine practice. (Why you ask? That's another story). The same goes for Greece as well. Marathaki's performances converse rather with those of Ana Mendietta or Hannah Wilke (and thank God, not as much with those of Marina Abramovic); at the same time, however, the artist builds a visual language based on pencil graphite, a thing not unusual in an era seeking alternatives to the overworked and often discredited medium of painting on canvas. In the same vein, Eva Marathaki has emerged the past couple of years as one of the most reliable exponents of this medium in our country. Like her performances, her drawings are often self-referential, persistently starring her –so characteristic- figure. In both her performances and drawings (which ultimately are nothing more than drawn enactments) Marathaki is dealing with trauma and she delivers something both humble and heartbreaking at the same time...

For several years now, the relationship between writers and artists has been lost, both on a global and local level. This relationship probably saw its peak during the interwar years in Paris, afterwards becoming quite unusual. But when it does emerge, it often has an air of decay and conventionality: distinguished professors illustrate luxurious volumes by famous poets – plain boring. So here we have something distinctively different. An emerging author, who is also an accomplished poet and philosopher, presents his first novel (and indeed, as menacing as this sounds, this is just the first volume) and invites a young female artist to illustrate it. Not an obvious choice. Moreover, Dοukas Kapantais' Empress turns out to be not only intensely ironic and thoughtful but also prone to sexual bouts, something which our puritanical native literary tradition has not seen since the days of Empeirikos and Christianopoulos (who certainly moved in different directions). Greek art, certainly, has proved equally demure, and, apart from a few exceptions (such as the visual and cinematic work of Thanasis Rentzis), has not explored these areas. Eva Marathaki was not an obvious choice to illustrate Kapantais' book. It was clear that she was not going to recreate the events of the narrative - dozen other artists would gladly do it. Instead, she chose to depict six panels (drawn of course in pencil) which, with the exception of the portrait of the Empress through a mirror – used as the book's frontispiece - they do not represent people, and hence they do not serve as illustrations of book's heroes. Instead, Eva Marathaki chooses to return to an old, forgotten tradition of Freudian fetishist modernism (and I make no secret that it is my favorite), that of allusive sexual transmission. The foremothers (yes, we are talking about female artists here) of this young Greek artist is Meret Oppenheim and her furred cup or Georgia O'Keeffe and her flowers. Her forefathers are many, but mostly the Surrealists, such as Alberto Giacometti's early sculptures, or Picasso's drawings where the eyes of the models take odd hole-like shapes... The leading part in all these cases, as in Marathaki's panels, is played by the vulva, the vagina. And, in the Empress drawings, this enigmatically appears in keyholes, anthropomorphic tree-trunks, armchair cracks, lettuce hearts...
"The Beloved was reserved for the exclusive use of the Empress" is the title-quote that accompanies a drawing of a highly decorated porcelain plate with a slot blooming in the heart of a lettuce. In both sides of the plate, cutlery, in a quintessential Oppenheimesque vein, resembles male parts. It is quite liberating, I must admit, that the recent local artistic production is spent in decorative formalisms or English style imitations, it carries an air of freshness, an air of Freud (at last it's Sigmund, not Lucian!) and Bataille in the dull lull of post-memorandum recession. A little bit of sadism or masochism seems to me like the best antidote in this climate of financial measures and big-art euphoria. Something that, I guess, goes equally, or even more, for the place reserved for Kapantais' Empress in the literary status quo. Modern Greeks (men and women alike) stage themselves as porn stars in bars and cafes, and yet the art they like is often pompous and restrained (even the bouzouki songs -the "uncontrollable passionate hymns", with all their stuffy prudery, seem pale in comparison to the average African-American hip hop songs). For Eva Marathaki though, who puts here to the test the autonomy and independence of her drawings in an exhibition space, side by side but never disconnected from the book that was their reason d'être, I have to add that she is drawing a red line with this work, to paraphrase President Obama's statement in connection with Syria, and in connection to the trend of our time. Red is a nice color...

Thanassis Moutsopoulos