The meaning of the Greek word ‘deinos’ is highly ambivalent: it encompasses both ends of the spectrum between good and evil, because we need to translate it as both wonderful and terrible. Sophocles’ most famous line asserts that man is also deinos, because he is inhabited by a force that makes him at all times both a hero and a monster – not by binary opposition, meaning as one or the other, but he exists at all times in duality. The underlying idea is that man is constantly engaging in superhuman act, under- and over-acting, which must be viewed with a mixture of respect and fear.
The exhibiting artists not only borrow their symbolism from antiquity, but also share this conviction of Sophocles. Sometimes depicting gods, sometimes deformed humans, their figures seek to answer the question of how man can be represented beyond strict anatomy, involving unpredictable inner qualities as well. The question is an ancient one, but technical solutions and forays into contemporary non-human philosophies have given it a modern twist.