Visual artist Vasilis Botoulas presents his third solo exhibition, under the title Out Here in the Perimetre, at Alkinois Project Space in Athens, from 15 September to 15 October 2022. To be exhibited for the first time are two separate, recent bodies of work, which were created in the aftermath of the 2018 fire in eastern Attica.
The work of Vasilis Botoulas is characterised by meticulous and methodical repetition of lines and dots, using almost exclusively black and red ink. The artist poignantly likes to call himself a «linesmith, dotsmith, repetitionist», to describe the way his practice has transformed these elements into a basic tool of his work and a medium for his ideas. It is a time-consuming, labour-intensive, and ascetic process, out of which artworks typically of a small size and great formal clarity emerge. All the above constitute conscious artistic decisions that give condensed works — since on their small surface a high density of gesture and labour is imprinted, something that contributes to the immediacy and power of each work.
The great fire of July 23rd, 2018 in east Attica (on the outskirts of Athens) has traumatised the collective consciousness of Greek society, since it’s been the deadliest in the country’s modern history. Being a resident of the afflicted area, Vasilis Botoulas passed the events of that day, as well as of what followed, through his own personal “filter”, transforming images and memories into his own visual narrative — now added to the historical record of those events. The tragic death of dozens of people, the total destruction of the natural environment, the experience of inevitable danger, and the panicked (and unsuccessful) attempt to evacuate residents from the area, have passed via the heart and mind onto the paper, through endless hours of recollection and depositing of graphic material. The result is two independent bodies of work that transmute these experiences in a different way and offer their own comment on the story.
Including works on paper, a sculptural exhibition, and a video projection with sound, the exhibition Out Here in the Perimetre summarises a substantial chapter in the evolution of Vasilis Botoulas’s work, where technical maturity meets expressive clarity, and individual perspective meets collective memory.