Nikos Doulos: Ephemeral: The Transitory of Art / Transformation and wearing down of form as a liberal process towards artistic evolution.

 Mentor: John Heymans

Independent reviewer: Jorinde Seijdel

Enschede, 2008


What is considered to be ephemeral and to which extent can this be related to form and art practice? Through my artistic practice I have been often dealing with the ephemeral, developing great interest in how a single project loses its form and earns a new life through the form of documentation. Moreover I have questioned the effect of that specific process in me as an individual artist and wondered about the necessity of building up a "closure" in works that appear to have multiple endings due to their nature.

I therefore started to investigate the transitory through seemingly closed art forms and manifestations, to discover ephemeral to be embedded in various works that I have so long admired. In some occasions the term is evidently ingrained in the form of a project, and in others is more contextually implied and therefore plays an influential part in the formation of the art piece. Since every efficient articulation requires form and content to bind together, anything temporary and transitory that appears in one (that is form or content) is merely, if not equally evident in the other and vice versa. My writings will try to investigate what happens to the form and content of an art work when flirting with the transitory. Thus to start any modus operandi related to ephemeral a "new" definition needs to be given to the term. Considering all what is mentioned before I choose to "expand" its meaning in directions that will prove to be most fruitful to my research. Consequently: Ephemeral things are characterized by a continuous change in form. Ephemeral things were and have the possibility of becoming again formless. Ephemeral things are unique odes to momentum. While the term ephemeral unfolds a big chapter in post war art I prefer to elegantly maneuver away from works and artists that vividly follow a transitory pathway. Initiating my research from painting and more precisely from Edward Ruscha's Liquid Words and their contextual disintegration, I shall move on to the innovating transformations in contemporary dance through the work of Steve Paxton and continue my examination in the advanced form of Kafka's literature and its significant weakening through translation. My explorations on the ephemeral will conclude with an ode to the work of Derek Jarman and more accurately to his last cinematic innovation.