No Flash

Xenophon Sachinis

To the eventual question that one might ask: where does Art go when we do not receive it, the answer is that it hides in the hearts and minds of every artist who will express himself in a chosen moment and then it will appear. But that very moment concerns only the artists and it is her/his decision alone. Art takes on the face of each artist. We have to admit that nothing is lost in the practice of Art. Things are always added. Again it is the free will and the needs of each artist that will guide her/him to follow a “new” or an “old” technique and a “new” or an old artistic thought. Moreover, what is new today will be old next morning. So in my point of view the importance lies in exploring of the personal truth and quality expressed by modern or classic methods and practices. Quality is always the final objective of every artistic research, and that has to be proved by the work produced.

An artist is a being that has to justify his /her inspiration and its artistic transformation by the results of his/her work. That means that the artist must experience every step of the procedure I mentioned above. So, all the experience I gained the last 30 years of working as an artist will be revealed as a contribution to this important symposium. I would like to add that my friendship with Richard Noyce was a crossroad in my life. He has the certainty, which I also have, that Art is free to move its boundaries in accordance to the needs of the artists.

To start, we will have as a base the definition of Printmaking as this definition was formed to describe an artistic method and practice in the past. In order to accept the use of the term “printmaking” we must recognize as part of the process the presence of the matrix, the print and the edition of the print. So, we are talking about the multiplicity of the image that was engraved or etched, using all the relative techniques. The printed image derives its characteristics directly from the characteristics already shaped in the surface of the “manipulated “ substance of the material. Here we have a very clear reference of the print to the matrix. Our aim is to print the negative or positive wound interventions applied to the matrix by physical or chemical forces. In order to have a good printed example It is obvious that we follow certain rules. But the entire History of Art is nothing more than a continuous movement οf the boundaries already established and a continuous changing of the rules concerning the concept of the artistic creation.

Keeping this axiom in my mind, I decided to accept the challenge of overcoming the strict technical rules that define a piece of art as a print. At the first step of the research I asked myself, why the printed paper must have a clear pictorial relation with the matrix. A print is derived from an engraving-etching praxis followed by a printing praxis. What if we separate the common objective of these two procedures, which is nothing more than to serve the pictorial link between the two praxes, composing the image on the printed paper? For centuries we have denied to the matrix its autonomy. We had never admitted its artistic independence from the printing procedure. However, modern and contemporary art posses, now, the right to overcome sterile technical rules and artists can create under complete conceptual freedom. New materials such as the plexi glass are available to us. They have the same and sometimes more qualities than those previously used. For example the transparency. Suppose, now, that we apply the engraving action on a transparent piece of plexiglass. Then, with the already engraved piece and 5 others of the same size, we construct a transparent cube that has one or more of its sides engraved and inside the box we put a printed paper that on its surface has not necessarily a relative image to the one engraved on the plexiglass surfaces. So we have in a three dimensional space the results of an autonomous engraving and an autonomous printing praxis. Therefore we can claim the creation of a three dimensional print. A memory box, a sarcophage of plexi glass that protects the memory of the printmaking procedure till the end of time. The protected print is also the tangible memory of the engraving praxis. So in printmaking we have a constant fight between memory and oblivion.


X. Sahinis, The Emmigrant, mixed media
X. Sahinis, Threat, mixed media


X. Sahinis, Leaves, mixed media
X. Sahinis, Incision Table, mixed media

Since we started our thoughts with challenges, we will dare to go one step farther. What if we decide to keep the idea of the multiplicity but without having to ink the matrix and extract the image from the inked and wounded surface of it, without using the pressure of our hands or a machine. Transparency of the matrix material is the key for the solution. If we put a transparent engraved and inked plexi glass matrix between two mirrors, then the image, the idol, of the matrix will appear upon the mirror surfaces to the infinitive. Finally we do have an edition that we can never number. But it is a non tangible edition. A more daring proposal comes as we are thinking of leaving the procedure of printing the matrix. And how, one may ask, we will have the image of the engraved and inked trace that the plate is supposed to give us? A vertical strong light beam comes through the transparent plate. The inked traces resist the passing of the light through the inked wounds thus creating a shadow that has the shape of the traces. The shadow is projected vertically on white paper giving us the notion of the print. It is clearly understood that our thoughts are closer to the contemporary definition of Art than close to a defensive barricade based on a sterile application of printmaking techniques.

To emphasize my ideas expressed above, I would like to inform you about my credo. Every single one of us had experienced printmaking when we were children. Every one of us had fallen and hurt his/her knee. We can say that the wounded knee is the engraved and inked matrix and the blood stained gauze is the printed paper. This can be the inspiring concept of today’s cross covering fields of Art, including traditional and modern printmaking. Hence our horizon is getting more and more wide and our artistic concept concerning printmaking should be unlimited. In his dialogues mainly likely in Phaedon, Plato says that the things we see and touch are not true. The true things are found in the sky and are called the IDEAS. If the tangible reality around us is fake then Art is twice a lie and this is because it is imitating the surrounding world that is not true. And in the case of Printmaking where can we find the hidden truth? In the forgotten matrix which is not true (but tangible) and its use is quickly ended? In the print, that somehow is the imitation of non true matrix and represents the memory of the engraving praxis? I believe that we can seek the truth in a combination of gathered and collaborating ideas, that are derived from our experiences of using the qualities of new materials and the applications of fearless artistic concepts. For example: By installing a three dimensional engraved and inked transparent matrix, representing leaves, and by putting at the same time the printed leaves in a forest on a ground full of fallen leaves and with a mirror under the engraved surface and under the trees of the forest, we succeed to gather in the same space the IDEAS concerning the truth of the hidden dimension of printmaking. The result of the engraving praxis appears together with its tangible memory, the print, digital or analogue, together with the idol of the real things, which is captivated on the mirror.

Photography borrowed the term “print” when referring to the development of the films. Today modern machines which are transferring the files from the computer to the paper they are also called printers, even though they do not use the force of the pressure to print the ink. Now three dimensional printers are in everyday use. SO, no matter with what method, Print, print, print.

Xenis Sachinis

Xenophon Sachinis (1954, Thessaloniki , Greece). He studied printmaking and stage design (1973-1978), in the Fine Arts School of Athens, Greece. He graduated with honours in 1978. From 1981 till 1985 he continued his studies in painting in the E.N.S.B.A. of Paris, France. He is Professor of Printmaking and until 2014 Director of the Printmaking Workshop of the Fine Arts School of Thessaloniki University, Greece. He took part as a speaker in the IMPACT 2003, Printmaking conference in Cape Town, South Africa. During the IMPACT 2005 in Berlin and Poznan, Poland, he presented his work in the National Museum of Art in Poznan. In 2007 he took part in the IMPACT 2007 conference that was held in Tallinn. From 2011and on he was elected, three times President of the Visual and Applied Arts Department of the Thessaloniki University. In 2014 he was elected Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. In 1997 he funded with E. Giannadakis the printmaking Center of Neapolis , Thessaloniki, Greece. From 2006 till 2014 was the Artistic Director of the Neapolis printmaking Centre where he organized exhibitions and artists residencies. We can find his works in the National Gallery of Greece as well in numerous public and privet collections in Greece and abroad. He was awarded the big prize of Alexandria XIX Biennial for Printmaking. In March of 2016 he was awarded by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki the prize for excellence in accordance to the recognition of his Artistic work abroad. More


X. Sahinis, I Am A Decent Citizen, mixed media
X. Sahinis, I Was A Decent Citizen, mixed media
X. Sahinis, Herald Of Evil News, mixed media
X. Sahinis, Our Daily Bread, mixed media


X. Sahinis, Every Artist And His Destiny, mixed media
X. Sahinis, Sea, mixed media


X. Sahinis, Traces And Memory, mixed media
X. Sahinis, The Message, mixed media



Graphic Collective Gallery, Dragoslava Jovanovića 11, Belgrade, Weekdays 12 - 20h, Saturdays 12 - 17h, Sundays closed
tel: +381.11.3285.923; tel/fax: +381.11.2627.785