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The series CARRÉ-CARRÉ (How to cope with emotional panic) by Angelos Spartalis is an artistic reaction to the “criminalization” of handshakes, hugs, kisses, human contact in general, in times of pandemic such as the current coronavirus outbreak.

This series includes hand-painted short films and film drafts (see here). Young couples in love kissing for the first time, a canary singing all alone in its cage, a little girl caressing and kissing her toys are only some of the topics at which I look in these films, where every frame is hand-painted. Ét is an arduous and time-consuming process, but, in these times of isolation, stuck at our home-nest-cave, in a state of “cannibalism” imposed by the confinement, we suddenly have lots of time on our hands. Imagine a painter in an Economides’* film painting with an eerie serenity, dedication and skill while the other occupants of the building that was closed down by the sanitary authorities tear each other apart wickedly, slowly, with short demeaning words and choreographed acts of violence.

In terms of technique every frame of my films is an autonomous and unique artwork but, in a strange way – although hand-painted – every frame is an artwork of a multiple nature, a copy, since it shows strong similarity to many of the rest adjacent frames of the film. The painted frames are digitally photographed or scanned one by one and then, projected consecutively, at a rate of 5 fps (5 frames per second) in order to produce the original silent film (the basic sequence), which is usually of a short duration (from 10 to 40 seconds). Then, the final film is edited with the use of loops, permutations, inversions, reflections and magnifications of the basic sequence's original frames (without any kind of digital editing or any other alteration of the original pictures), and with the addition of narration, sound and music –and less often photographs or video. The final film is usually much longer than the original (from 2 to 5 minutes).

From this point on, the original frames can be exhibited in galleries and museums and commercially distributed, whether individually or in groups of more than one frames, since they function in perfect harmony with a space in groups of two, four, eight, sixteen or more. And so, someday the original frames will reach every corner of the world while the film composed by them shall remain one single work –thanks to digital technology- eternally touting for viewers in the world of YouTube.

For this series of handmade films I chose the title “CARRÉ-CARRÉ” and Manos Stefanidis** the subtitle “How to cope with emotional panic”. It is a series in constant development and a first part of it, including the original painted frames posted on walls and the completed films shown on screens, will someday be presented publicly for the first time in the real world and not only on the Internet, when and if life goes back to normal, with some kind of familiar social activity, and when galleries and museums or at least houses are open again.

Angelos Spartalis
Athens, 11 March 2020

 

* Yannis Economides is a film director and screenwriter. He is considered one of the greatest directors in Greek contemporary cinema. His films deal with violence, both emotional and physical, the fall of the petty bourgeoisie and the pathology of modern family. Profanity and excessive violence are typical elements of his work. (Source: Wikipedia)

**  Manos Stefanidis is an Art Historian and an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre Studies in the School of Philosophy in the University of Athens.

 

 

 

 

CARRÉ-CARRÉ: THE FILMS


1. THE FIRST KISS (4' 19'', Greece, 2019-2020, 4K UHD)
A young couple in love embracing and kissing for the first time. Featuring Anezina Blazoyannaki and Dimitris Floutsakos. Narration by Angelos Spartalis. Dimitra Spartali’s voice is also heard. Music composed by Zinovia Arvanitidi and sound design by Vassilis Myrsinias. The original 50 frames of the film were painted with oil on Canson paper with linen coating, 290 gsm, 24x33cm each.

See here one of the 50 original frames (.jpg file)
The original silent film is available here (.mp4 file)
Watch
here the final film on YouTube
 

2. CANARY IN THE COAL MINE (4' 20'', Greece, 2020, 4K UHD)
Part of the film is a re-take, in painting, of a scene from “The Notebook”, a 2004 film by Nick Cassavetes. A young couple (Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling) are embracing each other and kissing on a beach. Mr Orpheus-Pipis, Dimitra Spartali’s pet canary also appears. Music and sound design by Vassilis Myrsinias. Narration by Adonis Kafetzopoulos. The original 192 frames of the film were painted with acrylic on matte Velvet paper, 200gsm, 13x25,5cm each.

See here one of the 192 original frames (.jpg file)
The original silent film is available here (.mp4 file)
Watch here the final film on YouTube
 

3. GO TO SLEEP YOU LITTLE ANGEL (2' 47'', Greece, 2020, 8K UHD)
A 10-year old girl is holding and kissing a dog doll and is singing to it: “Go to sleep you little angel, hush, hush”. Featuring Dimitra Spartali, who is also the narrator. In her arms she is holding Bucephalus, her plush toy dog. Original music and sound design by Vassilis Myrsinias. The original 60 frames of the film were painted with acrylic on archival cotton Hahnemühle paper, 308gsm, 16x16,5cm each.

See here one of the 60 original frames (.jpg file)
The original silent film is available here (.mp4 file)
Watch here the final film on YouTube

 

 


CARRÉ-CARRÉ: HIGH RESOLUTION FILM STILLS



The first kiss




Canary in the coal mine (the young couple on the beach)


Canary in the coal mine (Mr Orpheus-Pipis)



Go to sleep my little angel

 

 

 

CARRÉ-CARRÉ: ANIMATED GIFs

 

 

CARRÉ-CARRÉ: CREDITS

painting, script, direction, editing: Angelos Spartalis
narration: Angelos Spartalis, Dimitra Spartalis, Adonis Kafetzopoulos
music: Adonis Papaspyros (Oblivion), Vassilis Myrsinias (Renegade Instruments) , Zinovia Arvanitidi
sound design: Vassilis Myrsinias (Renegade Instruments)
translation, subtitles: Sofia Charalampous, Angela Svoronou
producers: Angelos Spartalis @ Angela Svoronou
production: wish you luck films (c)2019-2020

 

 

CARRÉ-CARRÉ: REFERENCES

From the first moment I saw works from the series CARRÉ-CARRÉ, I gave it the subtitle “How to cope with emotional panic”. This is a multi-work and a great idea by my friend and brainchild –mine and Nikos Koundouros’- Angelos Spartalis; an idea impressively executed and prophetically relevant, to the point of being disturbing. Spartalis is a self-taught artist, painter, director, writer and performer, and an original and bright talent, one of the few this country can boast of.

In this series, Spartalis demonstrates with surgical precision the way in which the most human, the most tender, candid, spontaneous gesture, a kiss, can be transformed into a deadly threat under certain circumstances. Love and desire can be transformed into death. That is the case today, in this very moment, a very bad moment indeed. But a kiss can also become the subject of great art. An art that is so much our own, as it is evidently universal; it is interesting and it is relevant to every person on this planet since it talks about our common fate.

Therefore, when this international nightmare, this punishment of “civilized” inhumanity and globalized arrogance is happily over, we must showcase this work in the best possible way. And we must also remember that the big tragedies of mankind, the common tribulations are only monumentalized through art. It is art that transforms horror into solace and history into knowledge.


Manos Stefanidis
March 14, 2020

 

The artistic and cinematographic oeuvre of Angelos Spartalis as it is presented in the series CARRÉ-CARRÉ is exceptional and attractive both as a concept and as a meaning-content. I cordially congratulate him and I am proud of him. I also thank him for having the eagerness and the inspiration –in a time when everything has stopped- to create groundbreaking artworks, hybrids of jump cut cinema and brushstroke painting.

But how could such an oeuvre be presented to the public? No one knows, or perhaps only Spartalis would know. In any case, it is of vital importance the way this work is promoted so I will focus on that and offer a suggestion: Angelos Papadimitriou and Angelos Spartalis, the two multimedia artists together in a double exhibition. This could also work as a proposal for a Biennale. It will be a good combination and will demonstrate a wider context. I also think of something else, inspired from an old memory from 1993, when I was teaching Media Semiotics in the Aristotle University; during my tenure I organized a tribute festival to Art Cinematography at the Goulandris-Horn Foundation, featuring films by Ioulia Aggelidi, Kostas Sfikas, Thanassis Rentzis... This got me thinking that perhaps a rally of Spartalis and other avant guard cinematographers (from the past), as well as Angelos Papadimitriou (in the present) may become the foundation for an important exhibition in a museum, where Spartalis would be at the historic edge of it (for the future). Thus Spartalis would appear as new and old at the same time, because otherwise he would cut a lonely figure coming from nowhere and then very few people would understand him.

These were some of my thoughts upon seeing the first short films from the series CARRÉ-CARRÉ and following Spartalis’ demand –his volcanic energy is always enticing- I put them down on paper.


Charis Kambouridis
March 29, 2020

 

How beautiful is your work, Angelos Spartalis! Every single time. CARRÉ-CARRÉ. This is it! Angelos, man, you’re a big player in life and in art, an elf of Crete and Exarhia, of painting and cinema. Keep on painting, man! And make cinema the way only you can. You’re a giant. With your thundering laughter, your generosity and your amazing energy. Your pictures are pure magic, man, pure magic.


Yannis Economides
April 16, 2020

 

 

 

CARRÉ-CARRÉ: FILM DRAFTS

 

 1
 
 2  3  4
1. "Queen Elizabeth II : We will meet again”, 2020, 30x20cm, acrylic on matt fibre Hahnemühle paper, 210gsm. Three painted frames from the historic televised address by Queen Elizabeth II in relation to the coronavirus outbreak, streamed live by the BBC, Monday, April 6, 2020, pre-recorded at Windsor Castle.
2. “Alice in Wonderland”, 2020, 48x33cm, 2020, acrylic on cotton archival Hahnemühle paper, 308gsm. Six painted frames from the homonymous silent film by Cecil Hepworth êáé Percy Stow (12min, 68mm Â&W film, 1903, UK), the first-ever film version of Lewis Carroll's tale.
3. "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom", 2020, 48x33cm, 2020, acrylic on cotton archival Hahnemühle paper, 308gsm. Three painted frames from the homonymous film (118min, 1984, USA), directed by Steven Spielberg, based on a story by George Lucas.
4. "Don Quijote", 2020, 48x33cm, 2020, acrylic on matte Canson paper, 180gsm. Two painted frames from the homonymous unfinishef film project by
Orson Welles, based on the novel by Miguel de Cervantes.

 

 

 

SEE ALSO

PAINTING SERIES
video documents

2020   CARRÉ-CARRÉ
2019   Me or Mrs. Vasso?
2016   The apology of Socrates in Kaufbeuren
2014   Christ Re-Crucified
2012   My troublid minda

ANGELOS SPARTALIS
links
1. Web site
2. Biography
3. Filmography
4. Painting exhibitions
5. Publications