It was in 1991, when I was painting the “Black Squares”, that I envisaged a notional point in the universe whose position would be defined by heavenly coordinates. With this notional point as an artistic tool, I could design personal trajectories and three-dimensional shapes between the stars and the galaxies—shapes that while incorporeal and invisible also existed because they would be defined by the stars’ true positions.

This vision led me along an artistic path where the material expression of the work increasingly became of lesser importance. “Zeppelin” (1993) was followed by “The Grand Cross” (1995), the “Center of the World” (1997), “Geometria Universalis” (1998), and “The Force is Required to Make Values Applicable” (2000), as well as the publication of The History of the Square (2000).
In 2000, I drew “From the First Moment I Laid Eyes on You”, my first heavenly shape; “How Beautiful It Is” (2003), a three-dimensional octagonal constellation defined by six stars and which envelopes our solar system, and “Belgrade” (2004), as well as other astral forms and trajectories.

In this exhibition, Ouranometria (Measuring the Heavens), I present the portion of my work created in the framework of this visual space game.
Drawings of new three-dimensional constellations, sketches that have been introduced into the zodiacal cycle, mathematical points at fixed positions but also in trajectory—all are defined by astronomy coordinates and assimilated into our solar system.
There’s also “Athens 12”, a four-sided reverse pyramid whose points are defined by three stars and a position in the exhibition space. The visible part of this work is the detail of the heavenly body that enters the exhibition space. At a specific but different time each day, this heavenly sculpture is synchronized with the installation at the exhibition.
In these works, the background painting depicts a game played in real outer space.

The exhibition Ouranometria is the first part of the “Traveler” trilogy, a journey of self-perception and the self’s relationship with its surrounding space. The trilogy visually records the tracks of a course supported by meanings and values that I believe coexist in the essence of human existence:

the infinite and fluid parts of life and the simultaneous stability of their vantage point and clarity of our personal perception;
the infinite and incorporeal world of thought, imagination, and emotion with their ultimately unique manner of existence in the material world through our expression every moment;
the dignity, seriousness, and consistency that do not exclude but provide balance to poetry, humor, play;
visions and their realization.

Dimitris Tragkas
November 2012

(Prologue for the exhibition ”Ouranometria” at the Pop Up 123 Art Gallery, 2012)

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