Summary: Maria’s Tsagkari art is mainly ephemeral, poetic, reflexive and talks about all those things that begin at the same moment we conceive them as concluded. Her work is caracterized by the interplay between the impossible and the paradox.
Keywords: Ephemeral art, installation, poetic reflexivity, paradox.
Maria TsagkariPiraeus, 1981. Lives and works in Athens, Greece.
The New Green
The project concerns the establishment of a contemporary myth, of The New Green company, established in 2015, that has made the first discovery of a formula that converts the green color found in nature into blue. The company applies this formula to gardens all around the world by taking a plant-based blue pigment bringing it back to its natural habitat thus cultivating an oneiric environment that rescues lost dreams. Through its commercial campaign, the company presents a new trend of worldwide change that starts with the conversion of the natural landscape and promises that the embrace and acceptance of this transformation can make the impossible a reality.
From the hanging gardens of Babylon and the ancient Egyptian ones, to the gardens of the Roman Age and the Islamic, Renaissance, and Baroque, we encounter the garden playing, inter alia, games of power and ownership.
Whoever owns the garden is transformed into a person of power, a monarch and the garden into evidence of his power and authority, both economical and political; becomes an attempt to tame and transform nature, a reconfiguration that followed, among other things, the political developments of the state.
At the same time, we are witnessing the history of colors as a complex cultural construction, as a social product. Among them, Blue prevails as the color that man reproduced, created, and tamed with more difficulty and delay compared to all the others. One that emerged from plants and added to the wealth of countries (e.g., Spain, France); which were then transformed into "blue gold" after becoming more valuable than actual gold; a color that was established as Romanticism's fruit, ending up being the absolute political color expressing the principles of order and democracy.
The capital of the Blue Gold
Albi was one of those cities. From the middle of the 15th century, the region of Albi flourished thanks to the trade in saffron and especially pastel: the Occitan name for the Woad (from the cabbage family) plant that produced a blue dye. Albi had a tremendous economic expansion connected to the culture and trade of the Pastel or «Isatis tinctoria» in which pasteliers masters take a pigment from the plant, which yields 7 variations of blue and serves essentially to dye materials. Woad was sent all over Europe and Albi became famous and wealthy for its production of this crop and traded with customers throughout France, Flanders, England and Spain.
By becoming the «capital of the blue gold», Albi grew in size and its habitants built themselves luxurious Renaissance style houses in and around the city,which glorify the ancient centre and even today testify to this prosperity. The growing of woad ensured wealth for the bourgeois merchants who played a major role in the life of the town.
At the same time, we are witnessing the gradual birth of the national, military, and political blue. Hence, in France we encounter the blue of the royal coats of arms, which was established as the color of monarchy in the 13th century, turning into the color of the state and of the government and, later, of the nation; that, eventually, led to the birth of the ‘political' blue, the color adopted by both the defenders of democracy and the liberals but also by the conservatives.
Albi welcomes The New Green