Corrections (2017/8) and
Failure Requires Faith in Humanity (2018)
The materiality of Corrections - seaweed - creates a conceptual link with the main cause of death for the majority of people on their journey to Europe via the Mediterranean in order to seek refuge in the 21st-century: the sea. Yet, the sea alone was not the murderer, but a whole political system, which did not – and still does not - take responsibility. ‘Corrections’ offers a poignant statement on the (ir)reversibility of political failures and the importance of one having faith in the abilities of human beings to ‘correct’ things. At the same time, the phrase ‘We swam the same seas, even if we never met’, can be seen as having a double meaning. Initially one can read it as a melancholic call to an unrealised love. Yet, what happens when one reads it as a literal statement while being seen in the context of this exhibition?
At the same time, the textual statement - 'Failure Requires Faith in Humanity' - written on these marbles, highlights the failure of the political world to react promptly to the 21stcentury refugee and migrant crisis, increasing thus the numbers of deaths at sea. For Tzanakou, to recognise political failure, we first need to have faith in humanity. Faith in the capacity of humans to start reversing the complex causes of this contemporary humanitarian crisis. Namely, the causes for which people flee their home countries: war, poverty and environmental disasters. Yet, Tzanakou. most importantly, calls on us to not lose faith in human nature in front of the inevitability and irreversibility of death.
Maria Tzanakou, Corrections (2017-8). Text-sculptures, pencil on correction tape on seaweed. Courtesy of the artist.
Maria Tzanakou, Failure Requires Faith in Humanity (2017-8). Text-sculptures, pencil on marble. Courtesy of the artist.