S T I L L L I F E is an architectonic material research on the form of absence and presence in the physical realm of objects and space. Ermioni Garramone is presenting an installation and a performance as a result of her studies on the spatial form of absence and presence in Beckett´s oeuvre.
What is absent is as important as what is present. Beckett´s intentional method of subtraction highlights wisely selected objects, spaces and body parts that are the mere components of his corpus. Each component is just “being there”, present in the specificity of time and space, neglecting symbolism and metaphor.
A way to visualize Beckett´s conception of presence is through contemplating on the pictorial genre of still life. In visual arts, still life is the depiction of inanimate objects in the absence of an event or human presence. What emerges then is the significance of the corporeality of each object and of the empty space in- between. The “object – non object” configuration reveals spatial relations while allowing the space in between, the void – absence to emerge as an object in itself. Beckett´s characters are not objects – yet they are often isolated in wisely selected body parts.
The act of isolating the whole into parts, while emphasizing the importance of each part in relation to the whole and the empty space between is a focus point of her research. What are the spatial relations of objects and how are they contributing in achieving a whole? In which ways can one divide components from the totality of the human body, the architectural body or from a pictorial configuration of objects in still life painting is what fascinates her.
The installation is an archive of her current process of collecting architectural elements of buildings she has visited, while studying each element in itself and in relation to the empty space between. How can architectural components such as wall, pillars, beams or rooms be perceived as objects of a still life configuration, beyond symbolism, metaphor? The archive is currently organized in three categories a. room -non room, b. object – non object and c. object – non space.
The performance is a passage from an object-body perspective into a full embodiment. When the body meets ordinary objects of a still life configuration acts of division/isolation into body parts emerge. What appeared to be a purely visual space – a configuration of wisely selected objects and void between, is becoming a tactile space as body parts inhabit the inanimate objects and transverse the void.
S T I L L L I F E is a way of looking at the physical realm of objects, spaces and the body by celebrating the significance of physical presence while negating symbolism or metaphor. It is an attempt to confer upon each component “its being there”, while keeping it from being “something”.
MArch AHO, MArch NTUA