Savvas Christodoulides

The works of Christodoulides may be described as attempts to draw with a thread, rather than with a pencil. Sometimes he sews with a needle or sewing machine; at other times he cuts the cardboard with his scissors into shapes reminding us of a dressmaker’s pattern1, in such a way as to retain the tension, as well as the curvature, of a forceful, individual and almost violent script. He carefully practices the various gestures involved with the act of sewing and executes them on and around the working surfaces, which he rolls up, as he goes along. Occasionally, the recurrent motif abandons its apparent function, breaks away from the outline and launches itself into infinity.
This intensely visual language is not used as a substitute for the expressive medium; it is not meant to replace the brush, nor is it a resourceful, idiosyncratic way of making new images. His choice of sewing, needlework or cutting has a conceptual dimension to it. Christodoulides becomes so embroiled with the intricacies of his working methods that he lands himself in a strange position, somewhere between indulging in the pleasures of exploring the medium and allowing its deeper meaning to emerge. However, he manages to avoid falling into the trap of becoming obsessed with formal experimentation, for its own sake. In contrast to a generation of Post-Minimalist artists who redefined the notion of producing an artwork, Christodoulides does not regard technique as an organic phenomenon, existing in its own right and obedient to its own laws; he always goes a stage further in his work, even though he freely admits to enjoying the processes involved in making it.
He goes beyond mere surface appearances, by combining manual activity with ideas rooted in ordinary experience. Thus the everyday objects he uses are somehow translated into personal experiences and incorporated into his work.
Christodoulides uses images old and new: a child’s vest, a pillow, a family snapshot, boxes from supermarkets, objects associated with his Cypriot past. This does not mean that he turns everyday things into aesthetic objects – this is an attitude towards art which may only be of interest to an older generation of artists. His intervention is minimal and he seems to want to stress the contrast and the interdependence between the present (his own intervention! and the past (the object of his intervention); an age-old concern which is also very contemporary.


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