Emmanouela Bakirtzi


My practice focuses on the idea of an artwork having agency, personhood, desires and needs towards the spectator. My sculptures are installed in the surfaces of the gallery, looking like organic extensions of it, resembling human features or organs; veins, pimples, blisters, or bizarre alien-like protuberances. My work deals with context regarding the ‘object’ owning power, while being subjectified or perceived as equal to humans. W. J. T. Mitchell’s essay ‘What Do Pictures Really Want?’ proves how humans have always been worshiping and despising mere pictures as if they were real, while suggesting that an image seeks for attention/admiration. Theories, such as animism and object-oriented ontology make the ‘object’ the primary hero. My work, therefore, questions what an artwork/the gallery space wants from the human audience.

I intend to encourage the spectator to puzzle over the idea of an artwork being alive. My research on sci-fi films and filmmakers, such as David Cronenberg, plays a vital role in my work, which aims to create the illusion of life occurrence within an artwork, while suggesting the set for a sci-fi film. Also, I am interested in investigating to what extent the grotesque nature of my artworks is inviting towards the audience. Would it be tempting to touch huge Pimples ready to burst? Sometimes physical interaction with an artwork enhances its overall perception.

My works also play with the idea of growth, damage, decay and erosion, qualities inherent to every living organism. My pieces display these traits to create a connection with everything considered living. Through this bond, my work seeks physical interaction with other living entities (humans as spectators). My practice is a narrative, slowly progressing through various stages between the ‘inorganic’ and ‘organic’. Throughout the narrative, the artworks turn into the ultimate Gallery Creature (BIOHAZARD) in a white-cube environment.