'Das Atelier von Minerva' or the critique of the academic enviroment

The portraits are made by charcoal drawing on Fabriano paper, 50 x 70 cm. The technique combines two tendencies; on the one hand, the academic tendency for producing shapes by shades, and, on the other hand, the illustrative tendency for producing lines, contrasts, and written texts.

In her work, Arís shows special portraits of imagined characters in a philosophical role or scene, which are explicitly presented by written texts around them. The subjectivity of the characters and the dramatization of the scenes are linked by the contrast between the glance of the characters and their surroundings – sometimes resolved only by an abstract atmosphere – that emphasizes the tension of their inner life.

In general, the topic of this project is the authenticity of the philosophical thinking in our everyday life and its possibilities. The essence of philosophical thinking remains present in every character and scene. Arís defines her work as a searching for the different archetypes that Philosophy may incarnate, either inside or outside the Academia. 'Das Atelier von Minerva' is set as a call for going back to thinking as self-responsibility, avoiding being pushed by the bureaucracy. The drawing “The Arrival of Minerva”, main piece of this project, shows the arrival of the goddess Minerva, or Athena, who has come to lead the people through the darkness of the night with her powerful wisdom (paraphrasing to Hegel). 

In Arís’ work, there are four main problems or questions that are addressed. First of all, with the translation of the philosophical problems into the visual language, her drawings turn the philosophical thinking into its origin in everyday life, through a living awareness of its questions. In other words, such translation into images opens the sphere of these intellectual discussions to the freedom of the artistic creation. Second, rather than conceptually consider some philosophical issue, it finds the way to embody the archetypes pertaining to the Ideas, by an integral understanding that covers also the erotic dimensions of them. Third, in doing so, it finds its way to figuring out different archetypes and their relevance. Fourth, as a result, it turns the aesthetic experience of art into a meaningful scenario for discussion and reflection about ourselves and the way we live.


This project was shown as part of a collective exhibition during October 2016 at Petershof, Basel, Switzerland. Pictures of the opening here.



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