I am who I am. Blackrap


The Luggage Store Gallery, San Francisco

   Photos by Jay Jones



"Every landscape presents the image of a vast disorder,

leaving everyone free to choose the meaning they prefer to give it.”

Tristes Tropiques, Claude Lévi-Strauss, 1955



Contemplating Eva Mitala’s overall work on occasion of her I am who I am. Blackrap solo exhibition, the French anthropologist and ethnologist Claude Lévi-Strauss came to mind. For Mitala’s artistic research and inspiration always seem to draw

-consciously or not- upon the methods and practices of researchers of various disciplines; anthropology, sociology, psychology, and even environmental studies.

Mitala's art delves into the complex relationship between people and the urban landscape, reflecting on how human life shapes and is concurrently shaped by the environments they inhabit. A subtle projection of urban narratives becomes the central point of her work. Something that started as a personal artistic diary, capturing the presence of the artist herself in the city, evolved into a visual and conceptual exploration of the innumerable -and often contrasting- elements each and every one of us craft in order to conjure our lives. Returning to Lévi-Strauss, "the explorer (or in this case the artist) is confronted with phenomena that are superficially inscrutable. To record and assess the elements of a complex situation, one must possess very subtle abilities: sensitivity, smell, taste (all of which Eva Mitala highly possesses). And yet, the order that permeates a world initially incomprehensible is neither random nor arbitrary.”

Mitala’s artistic practice is likewise guided by the same values. The materials she uses in her artworks and the processes that lead to the final outcome are a combination of chance and choice. Silkscreen printing, painting, digital images and writing on airy silk organzas, canvas, paper or the latest addition of the heavy, sculptural, light-blocking black wrap, “all come together to a harmonious union of opposites that transcends the boundaries of cities and people, reflecting on a universal fragility and celebrating the ephemeral nature of all things”, to rephrase the artist herself.

Eva Mitala’s work evolves while carrying at all times a piece of the past within it. This specific body of work, however, encompasses a bit of everything in it. Her current work is a synthesis of all her previous creative pursuits, perhaps representing her strongest stance yet.

Galini Lazani

curator, cultural manager

Athens, March 2024