Rhythms of expectation
Everyday life, the way it appears, is what the influential artist Kalli Kastori depicts in the finest and most rigorous manner.
The way things appear in everyday events of all types – detached yet simultaneously full of promise and expectation – is what this excellent artist brings to the fore in her human figures. These figures exist on a borderline that hovers constantly between the recent past, the present and the near future.
Kastori’s human forms exist in a situation of ‘poetic licence’ – a state of expectation, anticipation and endurance. They are situated as ‘observers’ but have the charismatic ‘potential’ to be actors. And this is because this talented artist has the gift to grasp a moment of transition between the seemingly active and the monk-like inert. This inertness forms the ‘basis’ for the inevitable moment of direct expectation in the next event.
These forms, vivid and given an immediacy to indicate their status, are also, thanks to the creative awareness of the artist, rendered both imaginatively and momentarily disabled in order to sharpen the contradiction between distance and activity, firing the imagination of even the most ‘detached’ viewer. The viewer is indeed encouraged, thanks to the ingenious and always psychologically penetrating acumen Kastori brings to bear as integral to any state or any stage of an event and its development. And most importantly this is rendered without drawing attention to itself but is effectively part of the ‘reading’ and ‘interpretation’ in more than one way, giving dynamism to every composition, in short, participating in its dynamic ‘flow’. This feature neutralises and makes charismatic the default two-dimensional surface, transforming with maximum effectivity the artist’s intention, which makes the prevailing atmosphere hang, ‘suspended’, in the imminent action. Moreover, and by definition because of the grounding of the composition, the immobilised forms persuasively ‘move’ through a vivid glance, in the slightest but always significant detail of posture and gesture. These testify and highlight a relationship between them or the opposite – an intensity in detachment.
The imagination of the artist, with an enhanced sensitivity to outward defences, succeeds in delivering the very presence/absence of what characterises a face – the psyche of every type, coming straight from the body itself: the inclination of the head, the way an elbow is folded, the attitude of the feet, the relationship of any object to the form it illustrates. Utterly frugal in the way she orchestrates each scene and banishing any disruptive element that would harm its cohesion, Kastori develops to the fullest and without precedent the power to make each visual testimony compelling.
Using an extremely poetic yet ‘immediate’ approach, the artist succeeds in orchestrating a visual testimony to modern life as it becomes ever more inventive and transfuses us, thanks to the originality of what she has to offer – the very DNA of our environment, the solitude, the isolation, the detachment, the transformation of relationships and action, the alienation – or, conversely, an implicit but real tendency to communication.
Each of Kastori’s works acts as a mirror to modern lifestyles and does so using the most simple and effective means. This compelling artist has succeeded, in our modern era of easy solutions and imitations, and has cultivated not only an absolutely personal style but has provided within this a ‘message’, as defined by art that is authentic.
Message – as instinct – stems from the creative psyche and resists every prosaic, mundane description through its dual aspect – the cosmogonic within the texture of existence: art and its essential poetic. Indeed, Kastori manages to convince us that ‘spirit’ and ‘matter’ consist of two different views of the ‘supreme truth’, which are in appearance one.
Dr Art Historian-Critic
Officer des Arts et Lettres