The title Do I Still Yearn for My Virginity?* refers to one of the artist’s favorite fragments from the archaic Greek poet Sappho. Stathacos recited excerpts from Sappho’s poetry during her recent performance-installation, Pythia's Rose Mandala at AA Bronson’s Garten der Lüste, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin and Pythia at The Breeder, Athens. The Pythia references the tripod structures used in ancient Delphi by the 'virgin' female oracles who inhaled the vapors of hallucinatory plants. Reflecting on her past, Stathacos presents the paintings as 'virgins’ to the public for the first time at Situations. While imagining The Eleusinian Mysteries, she created these radical works with the intention to evoke a shamanistic reading. Made in the 1980-90’s as a counterpoint to the Neo Geo and The Pictures Generation commentaries on consumerism and mass media, her investigation explored the spiritual properties inherent in visionary and healing plants.
Additionally, the AIDS crisis had a profound effect on her work, resulting in the use of direct impressions from nature. Just as one would take a handprint or make a death mask, Stathacos used leaves, roses, hair, and body imprints to create permanent marks, inspired by The Shroud of Turin and Yves Klein/s work. Stathacos' use of mirroring and patterning of direct printing from the plants manifests a sense of immediacy. She paints back into the canvas, creating an illumination by her use of drips and veils of paint. The final results are paintings that flip directions in the mind, with detailed alchemical gestures that conjure the plant’s inherent healing properties.
Situations is also pleased to reprint Chrysanne Stathacos and Anne De Cybelle, AA Bronson’s preface in her artist book, And So Beautiful (1995, Lombard Freid Fine Arts, NYC). AA Bronson references Stathacos’ self-created alter ego Anne de Cybelle and reveals her as the Psychic d’Elle Arte. Stathacos continues to embrace her Anne de Cybelle, the Psychic d’Elle Arte, and Pythia personages.