My work explores the relationship between marks and text and texture.
In my text based work I approach text as an image, therefore I try to minimize or eliminate all information that would serve the very purpose of communicating meaning through text. The text goes through different sorts of transformation in order to become illegible, and then I trace or hand copy a blurred image or a dense texture of it, to reveal what language itself generates: a deceptive imagery.
Part of my work makes use of enlarged photocopies of text or drawings, which I then trace on paper. I see tracing as a process of manual reproduction of enlarged copies, a time-based process which reverses the procedure from manual to digital (scanner) or mechanical (photocopier). It is an attempt to literally trace back to the origins of marks and the uncanny background or depth behind them.
The drawings on tracing paper are a combination of semi-transparent abstract landscapes of marks, grays, empty spaces between letters and blurred typeface borderlines thoroughly traced, or dense layers of handwritten text, through a process which resembles that of tapestry or weaving.
Certain text drawings make more direct reference to the handwritten copy, by using carbon paper to transcribe entire books to paper, reducing them to one single surface. The superimposed layers of text reveal a certain shape of the book copied and create a new surface that turns language as a system of codes back into undecipherable information. The idea of the handwritten copy or the reproduction of texts alludes to the painstaking labor of the monastic scribes, ironically reversing the outcome since the drawings only reflect an image of the text and not the text itself.
In several non text-based works I explore ways of revealing and hiding the image through combinations of mark-making, with tiny pencil marks, or puncturing, in themes related to motifs of tapestries and cushions, or 18th century gravures for book illustrations. In this case, my investigation is about the perception of drawing through a textured surface rather than the actual representation.

Nina Papaconstantinou


Read more at:

Exhibition Catalogue Instead of Writing, 2011, solo show at National Museum of Contemporary Art, text by Tina Pandi, in Pdf.

Exhibition Catalogue Instead of Writing, 2011, solo show at National Museum of Contemporary Art, text by Claire Gilman, in Pdf. (link in greek "προφορικές ιστορίες")

Exhibition catalogue In Present Tense, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece, text by Tina Pandi, in Pdf.

Exhibition catalogue Transexperiences Greece 2008, National Museum of Contemporary Art, 798 Space, Bejing, China, in Pdf.

Exhibition catalogue Women Only, Beltsios collection, curated by Sot. Bahtsetzis, Margaris Foundation, Amfilochia, Greece, text by Sotirios Bahtsetzis, in Pdf.














detail from Dante inferno, 2007


















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