CM: Costas Varotsos' Aureole belongs to a series of installations incorporating glass mass. It came into being in the artist's studio at the time he was experimenting with the dialectic relationship between sculpture and its space. Varotsos acknowledges that ancient Greece excelled in this respect. In the artist's words: "The ancient Greeks made an artwork not in relation to the object itself, but in relation to its space. They intended the object's energy to be diffused in space. That is why upon encountering Hermes of Praxiteles, you feel the stone's energy returning to you." Decisive for Varotsos was his visit to America, which revealed to him the vital relationship of the buildings to the urban layout. This experience inspired Varotsos to explore new ways by which the artwork conquers space.
Varotsos was interested in utilizing the potential of sculpture to conquer space in a natural way. The present work is a prototype of the relationship between sculpture and space, as well as a condensation of their union. The Aureole consists of a steel sheet in proportions larger than man. High in its center the sheet is pierced from side to side with a circle, in which is suspended a large piece of glass mass. The way in which the glass mass conquers the circle's vacuum symbolizes a self-knowledge for the spectator. The Aureole transmits the message that the only way to operate in space is by mutual interrelationship, not by focusing only in our selves - as conceptual art suggests - but rather by conquering space with energy.
The particular way in which the raw glass mass concentrates light creates a great tension and yields the impression of glowing energy. It looks like a portrait of a saint surrounded by a divine aura. This energy, which the glass mass concentrates, is multiplied by its contrast to the dark material and the cold texture of the surrounding sheet. Thus it turns out that space is conquered not by the material as such, but by its tension and energy. This leads to the conclusion that the conquest of space cannot happen superficially with the presence of matter alone, but with its energy semeiologically. The Aureole is the embodiment of Varotsos' theory, which took off with works such as this one in his studio, and which he continues to materialize on large scale.
[Megakles Rogakos 01/2007]
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time 2008 The American College of Greece - ACG Art, Athens