Nana Sachini at Korai / Nicosia

Nana Sachini / Through the Clearing

curated by Panos Giannikopoulos

30 September to 19 November


Nicosia, Cyprus

“…a tiny flicker of fire in the middle of the gleaming black varnish of
the darkness” W. G. Sebald, Austerlitz

Korai presents Nana
Sachini’s first solo exhibition in Cyprus, entitled Through the Clearing.
Calypso inhabits a clearing. She is hiding, seducing, emitting waves of light
around the planet Saturn. The revelation is part of the concealment, the
material of the myth inseparable from the cosmic reference. The clearing in the
forest, the crack in the ground, the craters and loosely connected materials
smoothening the surface of the moon bearing the nymph’s name all relate to each
other beyond language and form; all reflect each other’s image.

A clearing is a
paradox found in nature. It is formed by uncontrollable factors: the composition
of the soil, natural disasters, fires, avalanches or human intervention. At the
same time, it is a place where life grows, providing shelter and a resting
place for travelers.

Heidegger uses the
concept of the clearing to refer to a space free from conventions, a poetic
dwelling of things in harmony with the world, which bears within in the notions
of care and protection. For Heidegger, our subjectivity is not an enclosed
entity but rather an open structure of possibilities forging a passage into a field
of consciousness. This space is the clearing, which yields new entities,
things, words, vocabularies, practices, and beliefs. For Henry David Thoreau,
it is the space where one could potentially settle, the possibility of a new
reality, a potential location for a house. It is the place where everyday life
and habit are consolidated; the familiar and worn by us, appropriated, and
fenced in some way

The clearing is a spot
for meeting and for gathering, serving both as opening and as enclosure,
foreground, and fringe. It is a place of ceremonial flight, where witches dance
in the collective imaginary; a place where nymphs dwell but also a square in
the city, a multiplicity impossible to entrench. It is a permanent, creative

 In Nana Sachini’s work, objects are covered to
reveal the world. The work does not function as a representation, but as a game
of covering and revealing. Sculptural installations made of soft materials,
prints, elastic fabrics, as well as ready-mades (objects drawn from the
banality of everyday life) create a playful installation evoking the autonomy
of its parts. The installation is an open space for a performative assembly, an
attempt to construct a multifaceted and elastic environment. The Calypso moon,
the shadows, the eclipses, the bodies of warrior-witches, the wounds/open
tissues are conjoined to the notion of the clearing and together they bring
forth a new cohabitation context. Sachini privileges living processes by
binding her forms to elements unknown, and yet complementary.

The artist combines
and reconfigures found materials and sculptural forms, while at the same time
implicating her own body into the work. The prints reveal an opening in the
forest populated by covered bodies, silhouettes which become part of the
landscape placed within clearly demarcated boundaries, in niches and in tree
trunks, in recesses of the ground. Her materials, ideas and references are
porous, constantly bleeding into each other. The process is reminiscent of Ana
Mendieta’s Silueta series performances (1973-1980). In this case, however,
there is no allusion to the absence of the body, which is instead driven back
to its materiality.

Sachini’s work calls
to mind the “wrapping” and covering of figures, so familiar in the
history of art: from the depiction of ceremonies to the folded fabrics found in
Baroque sculpture, the Rococo burial shroud and veiled marble sculptures, the
cloth-covered faces in the work of Rene Magritte; and no less in the erotic
forms of Hans Bellmer and Unica Zürn, the idea of the gift, as well as the
objects, architectural structures and female bodies presented as wrapped
figures by Christo and Jean Claude, where the object turns into form and
aesthetic decision, into a different way of observing the familiar.

Sachini puts in place
a grid within which subjects and objects are jointly transformed. Fabric, body
and representation, three-dimensional rendering and photographic impression
come together through ritualistic gestures. A mask is placed in relation to a wire
mesh, a plastic shell to decomposing petals, body parts to product packaging,
archetypes of houses to protective shells hosting animals of the sea.

Presences both living
and non-living are treated with care, wounds are covered and revealed. The
artist’s figures stretch and contort between the wall and the floor. Their
gendered features are draped over, yet the sense of femininity, the description
of the body and the importance of vulnerability and precarity pervade the work.
The figures are concealed, the fabric takes the place of the skin, of
feathering, of scales or becomes the sheet with which children make shelters.
All this results in a multitude of cover systems, blending mystical scenes
derived from mythology or from science fiction. The weight of history covers
entire regions.

Text by Panos

Bio: Nana holds a
Master and a Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and
Design, London, UK and BA Hons- School of Fine Arts in Thessaloniki, GR. She
has presented work in Greece, UK, U.S.A., Germany, Austria, Lebanon and Cyprus.
Her work can be found in DD Collection-Dimitris Daskalopoulos, State Museum of
Contemporary Art, F.Kyriakopoulou and other private collections. She is also
founding member of the live-art group “KangarooCourt”. She lives and
works in Athens since 2010 and she is the mother of a 8-year-old girl.

6–8 Korai str, 1016,
Nicosia Wednesday 4–7pm Sat 11am–2pm and by appointment via

Funded by the Cultural
Services of Cyprus Deputy Ministry of Culture