‘Merciful, Wonderful’ (by Loukia Alavanou & Cecilia Jardemar), single-channel HD/16:9 video installation with sound, 4min 30sec, commissioned by IASPIS, Sweden, 2013
“Merciful, Wonderful” takes as its starting point the Maria Icon of the Greek Island Tinos, a powerful symbol of the modern Greek State. The enduring fascination of the Icon is centered around its unavailability – it is completely covered by golden jewelry and precious stones, creating a sort of extra skin in front of the image. Interweaving different filmic sources through montage in a way that can be likened to collage, the artists tear apart the skin of the image/Icon, creating the ‘’rend’’ that George Didi Huberman speaks of, where possible alternative meanings can emerge. A parallel can be drawn with what is happening in Greek society today, where the fragile surface of civilization is rupturing.