Abfutura means in Latin “what is about to disappear”. Taking up from where Disjecta Membra ended, the works address the notions of excavating, curating and conserving the smallest and faintest traces of a past which has now nearly entirely vanished.
Clay fragments, clay paste and clay dust are what the pieces are composed of – mere traces of objects or constructions that once were, and of which only the material essence remains. A material essence which, despite its seeming fragility, lightness and modesty, nevertheless breathes resilience.
Deliberately non-figural, the installation is metaphorical of a situation archaeologists are most frequently faced with: that of gathering pieces and of attempting to make sense of thousands of loose fragments which, more than often, do not join. In struggling to grasp something recognisable, the visitor is compelled to scrutinise the details, to seek patterns. Is that a foot, a hand? Is it a mosaic, map, a spatial network, a strange alphabet?
In raising such questions, the installation prompts the visitor to gaze inwards, to take a plunge into imagination in order to seek for explanations. What is more, because of their near-absence, these small mismatching pieces trigger a creative urge. Faced with such minute remains, the visitor must resort to creativity in order to piece together an image of what these traces may have once been a part of.
Like the smallest pieces of archaeological material, the traces awaken a desire to preserve and protect them, to keep them safe from further decay. By sheer virtue of their quantity and their gentle disappearance, these traces appeal, fascinate, provoke melancholy but are also suggestive of a future – a future which we are striving to make them a part of.
With special thanks to the Heraklion Archaeological Museum for hosting the exhibition and to Cliqa Studio for the workspace.
Photographs by Vasilis Flouris.