“My work comes from the silence of mind, it doesn't come from a desire to convey any particular meaning. If I had to say something about it I'd say forget about the meaning altogether leave it to the academics. Unburden yourself from the weight of psychological identification and just perceive without projecting. When we perceive without projecting, there is no separation and this absence of separation is what we call beauty.”
Alexis Vasilikos’s overarching body of work is beautiful, enigmatic and seemingly effortless. His art begins with his ability to see without naming – Vasilikos has the bewildering talent for pure observation.
While reading about his work, and finding there a series of Haikus and quotes by Eastern philosophers, I reached the conclusion that he must be an admirer of Buddhism. Vasilikos confirmed my suspicion, though he also told me that he does not identify with any particular religion or philosophy. He answered my questions with a number of contemplative poem-like notes. My guess is that the practice of photography is to him not unlike meditation.
As a photographer, Vasilikos excels the expectations of the medium. Yes, he shows a great understanding of the method of photography but he goes far beyond this. For the past eighteen years, the artist has been creating breathtakingly original compositions that capture fragments of beautiful quotidian moments, rich in detail and familiarity. His range may be incredibly vast, but so is life, which is ultimately his subject matter.
Vasilikos’s photography conveys serenity and encourages thought. He captures a sort of simple magic that exists all around us, but is rarely seen. His notes tell me that his work should not be analysed, aligned with isms, identified with philosophies, art movements or psychologies. The work is there simply to be seen, “There is a seeing which doesn't see objects, it doesn't see thisness and thatness.” Perhaps ironically, this leads me to read his photographs as a sweeping representation of the eternal relationship between everything and nothing.
“When I see something, I don't see something "out there", the seeing takes place in me and what I see is intimately known and felt as an aspect of myself, a temporary appearance of what I am, manifesting as an object, in this case a photograph. In a way for me photography is a form of undressing the things from their names,when things lose their names perception returns to its original silence and the being is relieved from the weight of identity.”
Words / Ana Gomides