Marina Petri outlines the personality of the contemporary Greek with humor but also with a critical glance through the familiar to all of us figure of Karaghiozis. The cunning and crafty protagonist of the theater of shadows. She transforms herself into a busy puppeteer and moves the threads of the artistic game. She creates images, often through the assemblage of different materials, and narrates everyday stories. She enriches the traditional thematic scheme of Karaghiozis with new actions and modernizes her sly hero.
Gone are the days of slavery, poverty and misery! Karaghiozis, in the role of the contemporary Greek, is a free and satisfied man. A member of the European Community, an official citizen of the Continent. Educated, he knows everything just like his co-actor Morfonios from whom he steals in Petri's work some additional characteristics. For example, he displays the arrogance of the intellectual, he dresses elegantly, he likes to show off and he is just too fond of himself.
Karaghiozis the contemporary Greek, an admirer and victim of fashion, acquires one more European trait, that of the passionate art-lover, an art-collector to be. A regular visitor of the past, he travels with a time machine to the realm of yesterday in order to speak privately -like a successful yuppie- with his favorite artists: the marginal Caravaggio, the lustful Balthus, the exotic Gauguin, the Mediterranean Picasso -a pioneer of cubism along with Braque- the explosive Pollock, to name but a few..
A fanatic patriot, he is particularly proud of antiquity and the Byzantium. He admires the linearity of the ancient vases, the clear contours that form the shapes and remind him of his morphology...
As a true Greek, Karaghiozis feels he is first! A worthy successor of Herodotus, Thales, Pythagoras, Socrates, Heraclitus and so many others. The latter's philosophy has greatly influenced him, that is why he perpetually changes while combining in his temperament the extreme opposites: the traits of the comic and the tragic hero. Funny, but at the same time a smart aleck and a know-all, he repeatedly overcomes the limits and becomes ridiculous, a pitiable vagabond, wandering around aimlessly, shifting opportunistically according to the wind...

However, Petri escapes from the various ideologies concerning what is named "Greekness"...
Bia Papadopoulou
Art Historian

Illystrated dy MARINA PETRI
page.48 .
PRICE . 20 euro

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