Issue 18

Complex Conventions of Gesture

Sara Glahn


(”Expressions of emotions relies on complex
conventions of gesture” - John Boardman)

The approach is simplistic. The path to realism and deep phsycological study was broad and easy and later generations would travel it swiftly. This timeless quality which could be detected in even transient events, and especially in victory, required expression in an art which looked beyond the immediate reaction and emotion.

She found how naturally they agreed with their own basically architectonic view of forms, living or abstract, that they sought to realize in stone. She expressed herself more consciously and clearly, that of preoccupation with proportion – that view of the human body as a virtually divine demonstration of mathematical principal. The artemis was set high and her features seemed sad as you approached, joyful as you left, possibly the effect of a smile viewed closed from below and head-on at a distance.

With no change of pose and little in proportions, it proceeds inexorably towards a more realistic though still immobile creations at the end of the century. The unnatural twist, which put the forearms facing forward though the fists were turned in, is properly adjusted. She observes progress, therefore, only partly in terms of anatomical accuracy. She finds the differentiation of age in the forms of the body as only tentatively expressed and to rely generally in differencies.
In their faces she looks for no more than a grimace of lust, pain or terror.

The sculptor frees herself from the technical limitations. When seeing the strictly frontal aspects of the sculpture and of art, she begins to face the problems of relating figures to each other in action or in the impression of a narrative.

They stand with their left foot slightly advanced, gathering their skirts in a natural gesture which the sculptor (she) exploits to, at first, displays folds and uncovers the outlines of the limbs beneath. Compositions of parts observed individually and frontally were presenting images and compositions to be read, not compared with life.

Scene I (the declining of the smile)
Video, silent

Scene II (the description of the archaic smile)
Video, silent

Scene III (the seated woman)
Video, silent

Scene IV (the immobility)
Video, silent

Scene V (the transition)

Text arranged from of quotes by John Boardman from his books “Greek sculpture: the Archaic period”, “Greek sculpture: the Classic period” and “Greek Sculpture: The Late Classical Period & Sculpture in Colonies & Overseas”. 2014

Videos produced 2013, Athens, GR.
Actresses: Hara Kontaxaki, Katerina Gatzogia, Stella Mari.