05/05/2023 - 28/07/2023

Contemporary - Prints

Chiara Ambrosio - Monochords

Monochords is a suite of linocuts by London-based Italian filmmaker and visual artist Chiara Ambrosio, in response to Yannis Ritsos’ collection of one-line poems by the same title.

Yannis Ritsos, a Greek poet, communist, and active member of the Greek Resistance during World War II, composed the 336 Monochords in August of 1979, in the space of one month, following the end of one of his many political exiles on the island of Samos. Each line is a poignant and essential observation of an instant in time, at once ephemeral and resonant; the resulting collection of poems reads as a personal archive of time past, present and future, offering, in the poet’s own words, keys to his own poetic sensibility.

Chiara Ambrosio had been carrying a copy ofthe Monochords with her for over a decade; a compass, a torch and indeed a key, offering inspiration, direction and companionship as she developed her own poetic vision. One day in 2020, as the pandemic began to spiral out of control, she turned to the book once more and felt compelled to make images in response to the monochords: not illustrations, nor translations, more of an experiment in entering the space opened up by the poem.

Marylebone 18 Paddington St, London W1U 5AS