Spiros Gratsias’ book Rootless Roots builds a multidirectional dialectic. A combination of art and words create a communication hub between reality and imagination. 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.
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.