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Title

...From the secret life of statues

1994
printed 1995


Artist

Peter Lyssiotis

Cyprus, Australia

1949 -


About

Peter Lyssiotis is a Melbourne photographer and publisher of the small press Masterthief Enterprises. Born in Cyprus he came to Australia with his family in 1954. His first book, ‘Journey of the wise electron and other stories’ 1981, contained the dedication: ‘To my parents who taught me how to watch, and how to adjust.’ ‘Since then’, says collaborator Ted Hopkins, ‘Lyssiotis has continued to produce many outstanding artist’s books … and extended his repertoire to include film and photo experiments, typography, design, and forays into gallery spaces with photo montage.’1

‘…From the secret life of statues’ is, in common with all of Lyssiotis’s books, beautifully produced and laden with meaning from its fabric to the images and accompanying, enigmatic, texts: the red glazed kid-leather cover is the colour of blood and fire; as Lyssiotis has written: ‘the love can become … the blood of life.’ The paper ‘is white and smooth like marble.’ ''…From the secret life of statues' rediscovers sixth-century Athens by way of Burwood east.’2 Drawing on his experiences and memories Lyssiotis brings together parts of stories, ‘like those reconstructed amphora’.3 These include the poetry of George Seferis, Jean Cocteau’s film ‘The blood of the poet’ 1930, Montgomery Clift’s facial paralysis, Luis Buñuel’s ‘L’age d’or’ 1930, among many other fragments which spark reveries to do with love and desire, the animate and inanimate. ‘The real story’, writes Lyssiotis, ‘is to be discovered between the images and the text. The outcome of the narrative is to be found outside the pages of the book …’4

1. Hopkins T 2006, ‘Peter Lyssiotis: vanishing point’, Watson Place Gallery, Melbourne
2. Lyssiotis P 1996, ‘… from the secret life of statues,’ ‘Photofile’, no 47, Mar p 30
3. ibid p 27
4. ibid

© Art Gallery of New South Wales Photography Collection Handbook, 2007


Details


Dates

1994
printed 1995


Media category

Photograph


Materials used

19 type C photographs


Dimensions

1 - Untitled (face lower centre); 13.2 x 13.5 cm; image

1 - Untitled (face lower centre); 14.5 x 14.7 cm; sheet

2 - You send me a voice through lips of marble; 20.5 x 14.1 cm; image

2 - You send me a voice through lips of marble; 21.5 x 15.1 cm; sheet

3 - I need a ship to begin my journey. Your eyes will ; 17.4 x 12.5 cm; image

3 - I need a ship to begin my journey. Your eyes will ; 18.7 x 13.8 cm; sheet

4 - Untitled (draped head); 15 x 12 cm; image

4 - Untitled (draped head); 16.2 x 13.3 cm; sheet

5 - Then the sound of the sea.; 19 x 7.8 cm; image

5 - Then the sound of the sea.; 20.1 x 9 cm; sheet

6 - Untitled (figure with blue background); 14.9 x 9.7 cm; image

6 - Untitled (figure with blue background); 16.3 x 11 cm; sheet

7 - Untitled (book on table); 16.8 x 12.2 cm; image

7 - Untitled (book on table); 18.1 x 13.5 cm; sheet

8 - Marble has an appetite for love; 24.9 x 14.6 cm; image

8 - Marble has an appetite for love; 26.2 x 15.9 cm; sheet

9 - Untitled (bronze figure); 19.1 x 13.2 cm; image

9 - Untitled (bronze figure); 20.4 x 14.4 cm; sheet

10 - Untitled (tiles and clouds); 18 x 12.6 cm; image

10 - Untitled (tiles and clouds); 19.3 x 14 cm; sheet

11 - He wakes as others sleep; 15.8 x 12 cm; image

11 - He wakes as others sleep; 17.2 x 13.3 cm; sheet

12 - Untitled (figure in waves); 21.9 x 14.5 cm; image

12 - Untitled (figure in waves); 23.2 x 15.9 cm; sheet

13 - Untitled (feet and male figure); 19 x 10.1 cm; image

13 - Untitled (feet and male figure); 20.3 x 11.4 cm; sheet

14 - Untitled (profile); 10 x 16.5 cm; image

14 - Untitled (profile); 11.3 x 17.8 cm; sheet

15 - Untitled (face and hand); 16.6 x 11.5 cm; image

15 - Untitled (face and hand); 17.9 x 12.8 cm; sheet

16 - Untitled (statue in demolished street); 11.1 x 17.1 cm; image

16 - Untitled (statue in demolished street); 12.3 x 18.4 cm; sheet

17 - like any traveller all he desired was rest; 25.7 x 13 cm; image

17 - like any traveller all he desired was rest; 27 x 14.2 cm; sheet

18 - Untitled (wall with relief carvings); 23.4 x 16.1 cm; image

18 - Untitled (wall with relief carvings); 24.7 x 17.5 cm; sheet

19 - Untitled (male in water with door); 9.4 x 6 cm; image

19 - Untitled (male in water with door); 10.7 x 7.4 cm; sheet


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Gift of the artist 1995


Accession number

108.1995.1-19


Artist information

Peter Lyssiotis

Works in the collection

2


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history


  • Imprint, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Feb 2016–22 May 2016