margaritamyrogianni@yahoo.com
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MARGARITA MYROGIANNI

 “White Queen” is an installation consisting of 32 photographs, each representing a separate chess piece. The photographs of the 16 white chess pieces hang in 2 rows of 8, facing the 16 black chess pieces in a narrow corridor. The highly reflective surface and the dark background of the pictures, as well as the display lighting ensures that the viewer’s reflection is clearly visible and becomes part of the installation.

 
The reflection of the viewer is important part of this piece. What role is the viewer intended to play in these photographs?
 
The time of day, the number of viewers standing in front of the piece, the duration spent with the work, all contribute to generate a unique experience, activating the piece and setting the game in motion. The set up of the piece reproduces the 8X8 matrix of the chess board, creating an enforced proximity for the viewer, which emphasises the reflections of the opposing pieces.
 
None of the photographs are actual images of chess pieces, for example the two black bishops are photographs of keys and the white king is the torso of a man wearing a tuxedo. Why have you chosen these particular subjects as representations of chess pieces?
 
I did a lot of research, both in symbolism and visuals, and was particularly influenced by Man Ray’s work. As a starting point, you will notice that the white pieces derive from human subjects whereas the black ones are inanimate objects. The position and the function of each piece also defines the image shown. For example, the two white towers are my mother’s and my stepmother’s hands. Opposite these two, the black towers are door handles, which refer to the work of David Lynch, Lewis Carroll, as well as Hesse’s “Steppenwolf”, where various doors opened up to different spaces.