SCULPTURE PARK - 3rd SCULPTURE SYMPOSIUM 2001
LIMASSOL-HAIFA, TWIN CITIES
A rectangular block of marble sets off from Haifa, arriving, across the sea, to the embankment of Limassol, where it is transformed, in the hands of the Israeli artist Saadia Bahat into a pair of interwined circles. Sculptural wedding rings
presented by the Mediterranean mother to the two coastal cities of Limassol and Haifa, for their twinning.
In perfect reconciliation with the environment, the sculpture comes to ease, with its simplicity of shape, the multiple complexity of the scenery, to smoothen with its gentle, curved volume the vertical austerity of the palm trees, to copy with its wavy carvings the flow of the sea itself.
In their harmonious coexistance, the circles become a symbol of communication between cities, religions, civilisations and peoples, in the southeasternmost end of the
Mediterranean, a common cradle serving to sedate the raw watery surface of storm and turbulance and to impose throughout the gloss of calmness and serenity.
The friendliness of the form creates conditions of direct acquaintance with the passers–by and the couples, as they are portrayed and photographed through the rings,
symbols of the ultimate union ‘let the two be joined in one flesh’.
An exponent of constructivism, the German artist Victor Bonato, works in simple and clear forms, each time aiming to condense a new ideological conception into a minimal and at the same time totally novel material entity. His method aims at inspiring the viewer, through the unconstrained directness of form, which gives the illusion of a structural oversimplification, a visual solution, easily achievable by everyone.
However, the dispersal of the illusion demonstrates that anyone attempting to reconstitute the sculpture would merely copy it, given that both its conceptual and plastic formulation are peculiar to the artist. According to Einstein, it is important to turn the difficult into simple.
Victor Bonato elaborates upon the three geometric schemata of volume, line and surface, which correspond to the sphere, the circular, winding spiral which surrounds it and the inbetween surface of the base, which stretches to an elongated semicircle.
The sphere, set as if poised to move and march on to oblivion, is kept back by the spiral, like a frozen wave which, having crystallised, now struggles to liquefy, to join the sea, in a journey toward eternity, with no beginning or end, in a vain and futile search for immortality.
Sphere and coil, made of stainless steel, emerge bright and shiny as opposed to the brown and shadowy semicircular metal surface.
The steel section of the structure, boasting through the feigned composure of an apparent durability, whose unchanging texture operates like a substitute for youth, stands in contrast to the dark iron surface which, is subject, with dignity, to the teleological wear of age and death.
The structure is predestined to die and Victor Bonato selects its location upon the rocks, directly adjacent to the water, so that the relentless touch of the waves intensifies the
process of erosion. The corroded metal semicircle is bound to decompose, scattering its dead molecules in the sea and dyeing rocks with the colour of rust. Sphere and coil, through their rustless garments, are bound to keep living and shining, copying life itself, where indeed ‘all that glitters is not gold’ but more often a pompous pretension overshadowing reality.
Having distanced itself from the complexity of space, beyond the row of trees, the fountains and the rest of the sculptures, a frozen wave stands up like a telescopic lens, asking us to focus upon moments of the city and the sea and detect the unseen essence of objects ordinary and familiar.
NIEDERKASSEL-LIMASSOL, 1724 MILES
The happening ‘Niederkassel-Limassol, 1724 Miles’ took place in July 2001, during the 3rd Sculpture Symposium by the German artist Victor Bonato. It symbolises the twinning of two far-away cities in Germany and Cyprus through the exchange of public floor-pieces.
White stones were removed from the Limassol coastal embankment to be placed on a Niederkassel road. At the same time black stones from Niederkassel were placed at the point where the Limassol ones were removed, thus puzzling and surprising the
passer-by, who gets to know about the twinning in the most innovative manner.
COUPLE AT REST
Collecting industrial waste, discarded in beaches and factories of Limassol, the Egyptian artist Ahmed El-Stoahy, goes through all the stages of a constructivist sculptural process and an absolutely personal contact with metal.
Cutting, welding, shaping and joining, he puts together a human couple at rest on the beach, ejecting the triviality of the materials and endowing the sculpture with soul
The female figure on the right, wearing a piece of clamp for a necklace is arrayed next to her partner, in a half-leaning posture which recalls carefree moments of the summer.
Spiral parts of machinery are transformed into heads which, in a winding movement, wave their hair in the blow of the August breeze, injecting into the composition the dynamic refolding inherent in the flight of sea-gulls.
The birds, made of ploughs, open their wings to land on a stir up of screws, which stretch on the base, like pebbles and beads.
The backward inclination of the work balances and compensates for the vertical repetition of the trees and blocks of flats, whereas its diagonal position in an open and conspicuous point allows for a cubist and three-dimensional view, highlighting a simultaneous exposition of its proportions.
In full harmony with the area of the coastal embankment, the rear view is transformed into a relaxing, hospitable seat; its semicircular back, made of a crane’s pinions, supports on one side the sculptural couple and on the other those strolling along and those in love, at times of rest, confession and recollection.
In an act of refuting its rusty metallic texture, the structure is painted in the black colour of existential being, revealing its most intimate aspects, as the figures are elongated in a transcendental observation of the sea, the sky and eternity.
MOTHER OF MANY CHILDREN
The sculptural tribute to the Mother of many children emerges from the artist’s total devotion to matter, a thoroughly erotic exchange with the stone, which, like a living other half, responds to every hammering, vibrates and writhes to release the miracle of maternity.
Working without a preconceived plan, Kyriakos Rokos abandons himself to the commands and the urges of instinct, strains his ears to the tremour and the murmur of the stone and is consumed in a ritual and symbolic journey to female limbs.
The smile of forbearance is chiseled upon the face of the primordial mother, whose archaic, almost primitive nose senses and foretells unerringly joy and sorrow.
The foldings of her eyes, reflecting serenity, become at times mournful lakes, overflowing with tears of sorrow for the missing and the dead.
Oversized fingers, with their celestial and divine touch, feel their way through agony and pain, wipe them away and stand up pointing the route to heaven and eternity.
In a deconstruction of the rules of logic, the sculptural discourse unfolds in an automatic narrative of dreams and emotions, which abolishes proportion, refutes succession and order and immobilises the moment in time into a multiform complex of several levels, which encompasses the essence of motherhood. The erotic encounter, gestation, birth and children become a circle repeating itself in the curvaceous grandeur of nature that is the womb of the pregnant woman, trasmuted into an egg, a bright sun, a full moon, a precious pearl.