After Wallinger I

Emmanouil Bitsakis, After Wallinger I, [2018]

After Wallinger II

Emmanouil Bitsakis, After Wallinger II, [2018]

Emmanouil Bitsakis

On Mark Wallinger

In an obvious, perhaps superficial reading of Mark Wallinger’s video installation, those coming out of the arrivals gate at the airport look like newcomers to the afterlife, where the work’s viewer already resides. There is an inversion of logic that moves me: we, the viewers, who exist, become the dead, witnesses to an undocumented post-death world, and welcome those who were only just alive – from the documented world of the living, yet heroes of Wallinger’s fiction. The work takes over the space, includes the viewer and undermines his existence. In my own works, there is a similar undermining of the self-evident, but with a clear difference in scale: instead of diffusion there is introversion, like concentrated dots that ignore the viewer, unless he chooses to enter through his gaze. And the reference to death is another common theme in the work that attracts me. From the Collection I would choose one of the almost deathly Nudes or “Crocodile” (as the imposition of something bizarre as obviously natural – the expression on the hero’s face seems to say “Hey, hello, I’ve arrived and I’m doing something commonplace while casually holding a muzzled crocodile”) to relate to “Threshold to the Kingdom”.


Aphrodite of Knidos