Past Tense 2000
In his short story “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” the Argentinean author Jorge Luis Borges invents not just one but two worlds connected to each other. Uqbar, a mysterious Asian country that lies somewhere between Horasan and Armenia and Tlφn, an imaginary world twice removed from reality whose discovery in every detail, is gradually becoming the sole literary preoccupation for the scholars of Uqbar.
For her participation in Photosynkyria’ 2001 -the International Photography Show in Thessaloniki, Greece- curated by John Stathatos entitled A Vindication of Tlön, Despina Meimaroglou chose to present a series of three photographs using stereotype images, under the title Past Tense referring to Egypt, the country where she was born and raised but was forced to leave at the age of eighteen in the early sixties due to circumstances beyond her control. The fact that Egypt in Meimaroglou’s mind has become over the years a fantasy-world where reality overlaps with her imagination and her passion to reconstruct her past made her choose lithography as her medium of interpretation trying to recapture the feeling of Orientalism. The artist decided against presenting her images in their original form (printed on photographic paper) since the world she means to reconstruct could very possibly be the product of her imagination, therefore impossible to capture within the camera obscura. The resulted portfolio contains three 4-colour lithographs, from the original photographs shot by the artist, manipulated in Photoshop and hand-printed at Pyramid Atlantic Press, Riverdale, Maryland in December 2000 in a limited edition of six.
Past Tense 2000 / approximate paper size: 48.75 x 62.5cm each / Edtion: 6