Installation “Why be Still? Arabesques on a Reflecting Pool” by Fotis Flevotomos, in Imaret

18 May 2022
 - 22 May 2022


Location: Imaret

Schedule: Thursday to Monday, 11:00-13:00

About the exhibition

MOHA Research Center presented the work Why Be Still? Arabesques on a Reflecting Pool, an installation specifically designed by the visual artist Fotis Flevotomos, for the water garden of Imaret. It consisted of thirty-five pieces, which floated in the hotel’s pool. The arabesque motifs and color-scale of the work were inspired by the decorative patterns of Islamic Art and the ideas of contemplation and rejuvenation which are associated with the design of Islamic gardens. The pieces were loosely attached to each other so that the overall composition could follow the subtle motion of the water. A certain variability of the size, position and shape of the work was deliberately planned as a way to praise motion and constant change. 

The Swimming Pool series started to emerge as part of Fotis Flevotomos’ stay at the Villa Empain of the Boghossian Foundation in Brussels, Belgium. The artist has taken his cues from favorite historical art movements like Art Deco and color-field painting, but also from Islamic Art. With these works he attempts to reimagine his connection with the notion of pleasure through modules that create their own gravity fields. As he states, “I see these works as visual reminiscences of past experiences or responses to tactile fantasies, the observation of temperature, light, water. Mostly they are expressions of life as I remember or imagine it.”

On the occasion of the International Museum Day, May 18th, 2022, MOHA and Mr. Flevotomos organized a tactile tour of the set installation for the members of the Kavala’s Prefectural Association of People with Disabilities, with various degrees or loss of vision and their companions. The participants had the opportunity to explore through verbal description and touch the artist’s work, as well as to exchange with him thoughts and ideas on the artistic creation and experience with low vision.

Fotis Flevotomos is a visual artist with parallel interests in socially engaged and multisensory practices. An aspect of his research focuses on equiluminant color relations, visual motifs and spatial exploration.

Flevotomos’ work in museums combines elements of verbal description, participatory discussions, performance interventions, walking practices, sound pieces, touch tours and story-telling. In 2014 he initiated in collaboration with the Benaki Museum a monthly program for visitors who are blind or partially sighted. He has also designed such programs for the Selis Manor Center and the New York Public Library in NYC, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center and the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens.

In 2012 he received a Fulbright grant and was hosted by the New York Public Library for a study on the connections between art and low vision. While in NYC he had many opportunities to contribute to NYPL initiatives for patrons who are blind or partially sighted and speak publicly about making art with low vision.

His works and drawings have been published in the journal LEONARDO (MIT Press), the NYPL blogs and other popular news and culture websites.