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Rootless Roots

Rootless Roots – Facebook Page Link

(3) TRAPPED EMBRACE S1

A multidirectional visual/text discourse on how civilization can provide an inspirational hub for renegotiating socio-political phenomena and values.

Introduction

Spiros Gratsias’ book Rootless Roots builds a multidirectional dialectic. This means that the figurative range of every section – of every “step” in the course of the “brotherhood” which he has invented – extends by variable vectors beyond its primary narrative area. The core values of friendship, brotherhood, humanism which Gratsias’ millennia old entities uphold, are not one dimensional notion but emerge out of a dialectic relationship between opposites: violence and conciliation, love and hate, understanding and delirium.

This is also the case with the conscience which Gratsias’ marble characters develop through the eons. Memory, debt, history are not treated as static and immutable data but, rather, as being in motion: from forgetfulness to remembrance, from personal witnessing to collective testament, from responsibility to freedom. It is just this relationship of strife that makes clearly visible the author’s concerns as well as his expectations – yet another dialectic interplay in this work.

Nevertheless, the well-honed dialectic of Spiros Gratsias does not culminate in unmitigated skepticism and solipsism. It would be an omission here not to note that he attempts to articulate a line of thinking even about the negation of dialectic itself. Frequently he tries to locate what is unchanging in human experience, what has remained as a table point of reference in human behavior and – eventually – has ended solidifying as a nucleus and a representative trait of human societies across time: from prehistory to the future that is being gestated well past our own era.  Politics, economics, art, war, migration are some of the social aspects on which the author offers comment. Current developments intersect at this point with social experience across time.

In closing this brief introductory note, we may turn to the defining relationship of the materials out of which this publication is constructed. The materials by means of which Spiros Gratsias builds his work are none of the ones discussed thus far. What has been commented on so far are interpretative readings of the book. But the work is constructed out of the word and out of images. That is the generative impact of Rootless roots; the relation between the visual artwork and the word. In other words, the way in which the initial visual stimulus gives birth to a world which must then find a language in which to speak.

Here then is why this book takes us back to a deeper function of knowledge. First it invites us to imagine a world for ourselves. And then, to talk about it to someone else. In this manner we ourselves arrive at our true face. The face which Gratsias’ entities do not possess.  We may well wonder about his choice to present them to us without one.

Christos Chrissopoulos

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