CM: Fotaki's Bother is a rather complicated painting. It uses for background the consecutive repetition of a woodcut by Fotaki which presents a seated figure. Despite being used for aesthetic reasons, the repetition suggests that things in life go through circles. The basic concept is the juxtaposition of an old woman and a young girl. The old woman that Bother presents appears often in Fotaki's art. The artist finds her to be endowed with a strange kind of hardness, which is as much internal as external. The grains of the woodcut in the background accentuate the impression of lines on her aged face. As opposed to the old woman the body of the young girl has a velvety skin. The rigidity of the old woman is juxtaposed with the flexibility of the body of the young girl. The choice of color for the rendering of the old woman and black-and-white for the young girl accentuates the difference between the two figures. The girl is in its adolescence and is a virgin, just before finding out what awaits her or what is to happen to her.
The face of the old woman is repeated at the right side of the painting, this time in profile and camouflaged by the background. Fotaki uses the effect of camouflage to suggest the feeling that the old woman is a ghost who may not exist but is physically there. This effect insinuates that the young girl proceeds towards aging, and reminds those who behold the image of the ghost that inevitably all of us evolve towards our own 'vanishing'.
Fotaki's Bother has a lot to do with the position of woman in society. The element of society's 'racism' for the third age is prominent. Bother criticizes the way society behaves towards third age, the neglect of people when they age. The painting disapproves of a reality in which freedom is only virtual, while claiming that old women have the right to a decent life. Bother presents the negation of decency as a distortion, of holding on to a desire and shuffling it. The painting represents distorion by the displacement of its constituent elements. The hands get hold of the body intensely, while the bent head is replaced by another suspended one. Fotaki combined the foreign head of an adolescent with the representation of her own body, to express the condition of distortion. The artist confesses that "the aim of Bother is to make the beholder feel ucomfortable".
[Megakles Rogakos 02/2006]
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time 2008 The American College of Greece - ACG Art, Athens