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Conversation. Equilibrium. Conservation

Lydia Dambassina has been working with the obsessive concern about climate change since 1976. For years, she lived in Rouac, near the “Parc national des Écrins”, in an old farm she renovated herself, cultivating the yard according to the book by Claude Aubert Le jardin potager biologique and involving herself in as many aspects of nature protection as we can only imagine, from protecting the night, the animals, the trees, the bees… Today she lives in Tzia where together with Manolis Baboussis she has planted more than 300 trees – having in mind the ancient Chinese proverb that states that you have succeeded in your life if you have planted a tree, had a child or wrote a book.


While much of her artwork deals with economic inequalities and religious absurdities, in reality, all of her work has in a way or another, as her life, an ecological anchorage, even when the human is at the center of her creations. Few artists have been as involved for so many years in combining humanist values, the preservation of nature and the fight against economical inequalities in both art and life, notwithstanding a special interest for time, repetition and decay – that are obviously also linked to the question of ecology. Her “Love Letters”, a video collage of personal love writings from 10,000+ pages of letters, notes, emails and sms, sent and received from and to different lovers, are a paradigm to the question of “conservation” – in such case of love. Conservation is also very present in the choice of material – found objects, mattresses, animal skins or skulls, plants, seeds, bread, all poetically standing for transformation of decay into respect.


However, dichotomy is the core of her artistic and intellectual position. In her latest work, the artist uses beautiful old scales, weighing out sand with the terrestrial globe, fishing lines and hook, blades and needles, salt and bread, a goat skull with a human ear mold, leading the viewers to weigh in themselves present and past, human and animal, plants and the world, with subtlety and poetry.


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