Rika Krithara

Exhibitions | Plotart, Centre for Contempory Art at the Colonna Castle, Rome, Italy
Gallerie La Sala Naranja, Valencia, Spain

Text by Myrtia Nikolakopoulou

Even increasingly modern people, especially the ones living in large metropolitan areas, have developed the tendency to retire to themselves, to withdraw into their own microcosm. Human interactions are confined in small and somewhat known social groupings: family, friends and colleagues.
Everything takes place within “safe”surroundings and secure environments. It is hard to withstand the hectic rhythms of the modern metropolis, the growing impersonal life of our congested urban settings, and the aggressiveness and social friction that come with it.

Social groupings have become more complicated and any novelty tends to be viewed with caution, or even with suspicion. The pace of change has facilitated such an outcome. Many and abrupt changes take place locally and globally; while the mass media aggravates our everyday confusion in the way it presents social upheavals, terrorist attacks, warfare, and natural disasters.
The politics of terror has found fertile ground in the average man. Modern man has chosen to reside in already familiar surroundings, thus leading to an ever greater sense of reclusive ness, and ultimately bringing confusion and a tendency to withdraw from one's life.

Many recent works of art are dealing with such issues. Films where all the action takes place in psychotically sealed environments or where the leading character lives in seclusion and ends up being enamored of his “personal” belongings. In visual arts, many artists have transformed the reservation and reclusive ness of modern man into space trappings and spatial dead ends.
Could such widespread loneliness and insecurity be dealt with? Or at least , be confronted with another kind of human relation with his/hers surroundings?

Rika Krithara explores the aforementioned in an inverse way. She escapes from the limiting, oppressive environment of every day urban life and juxtaposes modern reclusive ness with absolute freedom of choise.

Through her work, Krithara does not deal so much with the landscape per se but rather with its linear forms. By omitting superfluous references, and by having included a rudimentary figure in the edge of her work, the artist (or the man in her work?) carves her path to unknown and unvisited lands and ends up confronting her own nature as well as her own limits. Here, at this newly gained state, she has ample time and the right conditions to begin examining her own self in relation to the others, in relation with nature, in relation to herself, freed from modern repressiveness.

Mountainous and naturally remote areas demand a certain amount of hardship as well as a certain degree of loneliness in order to be conquered. What makes a landscape beautiful is its dignified presence and the lack of human element. It is a lieu, which has always existed contrary to the ephemeral nature of beasts, which inhabit or visit it. Mountain climbing or wandering serves a medium of self-and/or human rapprochement and not so much to admire the landscape itself. Rika Krithara manages to present this atypical human state and to expose the the unrefined beauty.

Myrtia Nikolakopoulou, art critic