Gates of Heaven | Ioannis Lassithiotakis

05/2 – 30/4 2022

DL gallery | Pireus | Greece

The exhibition attempts to reconstruct a spatial event where viewers are invited to experience human pain based on the semiotics and the logic of a crucifixion. Works of identical dimensions, laid out so as to engage in dialogue, narrate conditions of precarious balance without any descriptiveness. Black lines trace boundaries, decisively cross the canvas from end to end and touch a blood-red parallelogram, palpating the wound of human transience. The canvas is always there, all-white and immaculate like reminder, like a holy shroud, to receive these interventions. On a large mural, a succession of shapes of different colours form a tunnel across space-time, generating the feeling of an intangible virtual space. They invite the viewer to cross the threshold into an unknown transcendental area, grandiose and divisive, where pain is present but is there to liberate, to set free. The shapes in their variations are pieces, fragments, excerpts from a work in constant progress. Nothing is whole, final or complete. Various elements are persistently repeated like a code, like the multicoloured aural signals of a voiceless sequence.
So what are the Gates of Heaven? Are they something known, familiar and comforting or the unknown that scares and challenges? They are the blood, the loss, the experience of mourning, the devastation, the pain and, at the other end, the dream, the memory, the ideal, the major existential question of the end. The passage to the opposite bank, to the beyond. The Gates are strange and mysterious, imaginary and ideal, intangible and tangible. They permit the viewer’s gaze or touch as they hover between memory and oblivion, reality and imagination. They stand between ‘here’ and ‘there’, at once dividing and uniting different things, defining transitional places. They are places of potential crossings and revelations. They guide the viewer’s gaze to an unclear, unknown vanishing point, to a future as yet unfathomable. The Passages, these successive linear Gates with their minimal tangible imprint, are the imaginary thresholds the work calls upon us to cross. As to whether they lead to Heaven or not, it rests upon the visitor to decide.
Ιοannis Lassithiotakis