LIMINALITY | Solo show  
Kappatos Gallery 
March 13th - April 13th 2024



One of the main characteristics in George Sampsonides’ exhibition, that raises, by means of its title and its content, the interest of both the viewer and the most suspicious critic, is that the artist really puts his finger on some of the current functions and forms of art. In an era so utterly overwhelmed by images of all kinds and experiences so instantaneous and dense in the speed of their diffusion, art is now expected to review many of its statutory ontological and formalistic functions. This is achieved by assuming the acrobatic stance of a “liminality” (Liminality, is by the way the title of the exhibition) between the purely aesthetic and the everyday life, the “New Sublime” (according to J-F. Lyotard, as not related to the original term launched by Kant) and the given, the ecstasy in front of the unique and the fugacious experience.
As a matter of fact, the asymmetrical parataxis of the images and their juxtaposition with a text that characterizes the hybridity of Samsonides’ works, refers directly to a borderline process of capturing a social and visual experience. The simultaneous and seemingly identical use of technical means with the traditional technique of the gesture in painting, the choice of topics from the pop culture and the glorified tradition of its cult version, this very abundance of images that alludes to the coexistence and fusion of the genres of the cultural process in the society ( cinema, comics, advertising, graffiti, neon signs) does not thematically exhaust the content of the works. Exactly like the passage of the flâneur in Benjamin’s Passagen-werk in the city environment does not exhaust the non-stop surprise, the Schockeffekt of the constant synesthetic-perceptual bombardment of the modern man with images.
In his work, Sampsonidis creates a habitus in which he manages to encompass all the moments, as well as almost every form and symbol of the perceptual phenomenon and the aesthetic conception and acceptance. It is the sum of the “aestheticization of the experience” that, although appears as a whole, however in the course of its experience it is revealed discontinuous and incoherent. It arises as a fragmented environment, analogous to the one that modern capitalist and consumer society dismember and simultaneously diffuses -thanks to the technical reproducibility-throughout the full extent of the social time and its reproduction, the duration (material and formal) of the fetishized products in everyday life . A process that, alas, includes the work of arts in the guise of assets in the global art money-exchange. It is the editing process that helps Sampsonides to achieve the final, unstable and liminal however, unity of his work, which ensures the necessary density of the whole that enables the viewer to grasp these unstable images in order to achieve the seeing in, the property for the appreciation and apprehension of the artworks so dear to R. Wollheim.

It is precisely the editing (this assembling technique), as the composition of a unique historical space that refers to the social organization of time and space through the imprinting of the cultural context, that allows Sampsonides to make a key comment on the relationship between the work of art, the content, the form and technique with the everyday uses of images, objects and their utility, their function on the collective unconscious and the social subjectivity.
Henceforward the aesthetic objects (and here lies the difference of Benjamin’s daily experience), do not create a simple Shockeffekt, nor do they teach the masses a new way of perceiving the reality of modern times. Today the objects of daily experience, which have been reduced to aesthetic works through the omnipresence of the design or after their functionality has become obsolete and passée, create a “style“. They impose an attitude and form of life, they proclaim a social and cultural behavior, determined exactly by the “limitality” of their duration and intensity. Images, which, as Sampsonides implies, are captured and processed only through their (always subjective, but at the same time generalized in his critical analysis) “editing” and by comprehensively summarizing them.

Dr. George-Byron Davos

Beirut Art Fair
Kappatos Gallery 
17-20 September 2015


Group show  
Kappatos Gallery 
Nevember 20th - January 3th 2015