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PLANT BLINDNESS

1962 I was born in Polygono.
In a, then, isolated house surrounded by an acre of garden.
My game was to look at the view of Acropolis, Lycabettus, Pireas and the trees of my garden. Cherry trees, apricot trees, pear trees, lemon trees, peach trees a lilac bush, a pine tree, a eucalypt, a laurel.
1982 The garden is built up. The trees are cut down. The view is gone, obstructed by the buildings that have meanwhile come up.
1984 The rubble is removed from the lot and it is turned back into a garden.
Three tangerine trees are planted, three lemon trees, one orange tree, two pear trees and one apricot tree.
1986 We plant a walnut tree.
1990 I establish my workshop in the basement of the building with access to the garden. In parrallel, during this period I study
the function of the plants by comparison to human behaviour.
1994 The walnut is not growing, it’s stuck at 2 meters.
1995 A fire breaks out in the building. Half the walnut tree is burnt. I have my first solo exhibition on the theme of the cycle of life in nature through myth and folk beliefs.
1996 Within a year, the walnut tree grows to twice its previous height.
2000 The walnut tree is taller than 6 meters. One of its branches melds with an iron bar on the upstairs balcony.
2002 I take up residence in my workshop.
2007 I move into an apartment. I start up a new garden in flower pots.
2012 I am pressured to cut down the walnut tree in the garden of my workshop. It has reached ten meters, its branches a large, umbrella-like shape. That spring one of its walnuts takes root beneath it. I tranfer it to my graden-in-pots in my apartment. Obviously there is no space for it in the garden.
2013 Two more walnuts sprout which I also bring to the garden-in-pots.
2014 I reach a compromise to take down half the walnut tree, the branch that is obstructive. Another seven walnuts sprout.
2015 I now have ten young walnut trees in the apartment garden. The walnut tree at the workshop scales the terrace and gains a view of the sea once again. The view to Lycabettus and the Acropolis is permanently lost due to the new apartment blocks.
2016 In my nine-year-old garden-in-pots I follow a reverse course. Instead of increasing the pot size so that the plants can grow, the lack of space imposes the opposite course: I gradually make the pots smaller, pruning the branches and the roots.

 

curated by Yiannis Grigoriadis, Yiannis Isidorou (Salon de Vortex)

/NICE/ Cultural Center Manos Loizos, Νikea-Athens, 2016