It was one of the destinations I was looking forward the most during my trip to Paris: visit Brancusi’s atelier reconstructed as an extension of the Contemporary Art Museum Georges Pompidou. I had in mind a black and white photograph where the Rumanian sculptor was sitting at his studio in between a series of his sculptures. As the line to the gallery advanced, I was suspicious that, since I was visiting a reconstruction of the original atelier, it was very possible that the spirit of the place that had fascinated me might have been lost. To add to my suspicion, as soon as I saw Brancusi’s sculptures crowded in a way, as he used to have them in his original atelier, I was proven wrong; the spirit of the photograph I was so attracted to was still palpable. Each sculpture stood with a material dignity that was enhanced by the light entering from above. The space pulsated with the energy of raw materials.
Brancusi must have enjoyed living within all that materiality. There is something in it all that transmits a state of constant metamorphosis. The sculptures, all of them in process, must have created a sense of familiarity, if not a sense of family that kept the sculptor company. The interaction, some of it visual, a lot of it manual, must have gotten deeper with each movement. Each new sculpture transformed and activated in a new way the space. If we put attention, which intrinsically implies the use of our imagination, we can, even in the visit Brancusi’s reconstructed atelier, perceive the tactile relationship the sculptor must have established with his space and with all the sculptures that conform it – a life of contact.
Katerina Alatzia’s sculptures – a series of bodies of objects – create a sense of familiarity. They are at once worked out with a precise geometry that rings of the universal at the same time that they are worked out at the scale of the hand. The result is that one feels one has in their possession a world of space; In one’s hand one grabs a utopia – complex shapes that one can comprehend, that one feels familiar with. Alatzia’s sculptures pulsate with a similar vitality as the work of Brancusi does. Alatzia’s sculptures turn out to be objects, no doubt, meticulously worked out. And perhaps because of it, is that one feels the weight in them, the weight of labor, the weight of effort. Alatzia’s sculptures are beautiful objects that gain their beauty by carrying in them their taking shape – they are sculptural bodies that show the effort of the body that worked on them. I believe that quality can only be achieved when one’s purpose is to give life to an object. With that in mind, I believe Katerina Alatzia’s work pulsates. It pulsates with a sense of utopia – with a desire to give shape to the intangible.