‘Women only’-Leonidas Beltsios collection group show catalog extract, 2008, written by Sotirios Bahtsetzis.

Posted by on Sep 5, 2008 in Texts | No Comments

‘Women only’-Leonidas Beltsios collection

 Group show catalog extract, 2008, written by Sotirios Bahtsetzis.


Rivalry, which refers to implied psychological occurrences of violence, is the innate element of Marianna Ignatakis’ paintings. This element is often concealed with the use of specific motifs that refer to narratives connected with childhood and sexual experiences.

It would probably be wrong to claim that the artist’s work doesn’t have any autobiographical tone in which she merely tries to manage personal experiences.

However, the element of battle carried out obviously in gendered categories should be defined as an anthropological constituent. The recurrent pictorial symbols (masks, animals, severed limbs) are not simply a personal mythology fetish, but they assume a rather allegorical quality, particularly so, when involved in explicit settings and narratives.

In such images, the element of contradiction is prevalent, as seemingly normal and predictable situations are negated due to the distinct emotional tone they manage to provoke.

Perhaps, the most distinctive aspect of such subverting contradictions is the way in which the artist deals with desire, as an ambivalent, constantly discontinuous, strangely bisexual, direction of looks which counteracts any aspect of voyeuristic desire.

In the perspective of inter-pictorial communication, the gazes never cross one another, but are always cast on parts of the other’s body.

The object of desire sometimes has a woman’s face; other times a man’s face, which attests to the potential for re-signification.

The concept of the «unsexed» deriving from anthropologist‘s Kath Weston theory, whose strategic aim is to allow for the interpretations of double or multiple sexes is implied in Ignataki’s works and poignantly employed at the fringes of desire’s ambiguity.

As perceived in her work, the anthropological aspect of the fight is not between the sexes, but between the processes of subjectifications through performative negotiations of desire. It is an ontological principle of the inherent multiplicity of sex.


Exhibition curated by Sotirios Bahtsetzis, independent contemporary art curator, adjunct professor in art history.