HELP by Georgia Kotretsos
L’appartement 22, Morocco
Expedition 17: HELP
Title: Desert, Merzouga, Morocco | Friday, October 7th, 2016 | 31.099449 -3.987303
Artist: Georgia Kotretsos
Curator: Abdellah Karroum
Producer: Abdou Essaidi
Two Silkscreen prints / Pale desert gold on potato paper 300gsm / 43 x 100 cm, edition of 50, 2017
The Expedition 17 is the second expedition by artist Georgia Kotretsos, it takes place as a research trip to explore the phenomenon of Phototropism applied to human movements and the relationship to the political status of natural elements.
Artist and researcher Georgia Kotretsos writes in her trip notes : "The Phototropics are an ambiguous minority, primarily situated east of the Prime Meridian - often seen at the Mediterranean coastline. They have historically kept their myths, ways and tales secret from outsiders and non-initiated Phototropics, thus rumours about them have arisen. The etymology of their name echoes the phenomenon of phototropism, when plants turn to follow the light. Their name in Ancient Greek means phōs (generally phōtos), a light + τρόπος (trópos, “a turn, way, manner, style, a trope or mood in logic”), from τροπή (tropḗ, “turn ; solstice ; trope”), the two words literally explain the natural inclination of this group to be drawn to the sun."
The artist started her journey from Athens to Casablanca, across the Mediterranean and through Atlas mountains towards the desert at the border between Algeria and Morocco. These passages are important routes for the transcontinental immigration and other contemporary movements.
For this second episode, Georgia Kotretsos is using the popular carpet (hsira) found is marketplace and made out of composite material reproducing traditional motifs, as the visual element in the landscape.
The aesthetically rich landscape intentionally serves as a backdrop in opposition to the word HELP. Left as a trace - a collage in the landscape, it creates tension between what’s visible and the gesture’s immediate past documented.