Art exhibition: Cycladic Rondo (return / feedback)

Cycladic Rondo (Return -feedback)

 Artists: Eva Yannakopoulos, Dimitra Kondylatos George Samandas

Curator: Despina Zefkili

Bearing the same name of George Samandas’ artwork created specifically for the festival, this year’s exhibition— carrying over from the celebrations that took place two years ago-on the occasion of the then tenth anniversary- and after last year’s suspension—sets the notion of “restart”, “resume” as its departure point. Can the “sapience/wisdom” of the natural landscape as well as the historical, archaeological, and folk heritage provide us with new instruments for thinking about the future? With reference both to the cyclidic surroundings and to the popular and archaeological tradition of the island on the one hand and to its status as a tourist destination which kicks off again within a country that restarts in the middle of a pandemic and a planet worrying about the climate change, on the other female and male artists treat input and the feedback received in diverse manners. Researching by means of figurative and anthropological tools, they cogitate upon the stereotyped representation of gender both as regards to the archaeological heritage and the economy of tourism. The manual dimension of the return, the intangible qualities of hospitality, the sound of the island hearing itself constitute some of the in-situ observations made by the three visual artists and highlighted in their works.

Return, feedback and conceptual repurposing.

Eva Yannakopoulos, ‘Korai’

“Korai” sets out from two examples of gestural classical sculpture or classicist sculpture to then be extrapolated to the process of returning and reaching an island. Olympia, Memory, Female Archer ,Young Woman and Resting Athlete-artworks of the Parian sculpture Perantinos-are being looked into afresh with a skew pro-statuesque glance, but also with references to the archival material of the sculptor. Which gestures are categorized and deemed as effeminate or manlike and why are we surprised by the statues of “Kouroi” of the island of Despotiko, which instead of tightening their fists they hold a flower like the statues of “Korai”? Inspired by the sculptural and monumental gesture on metal surface, the work seeks to reflect upon the stereotyped representation of gender roles and to highlight he manual dimension of return.

Dimitra Kondylatos, In the shade of the season

The essay video projection titled “In the shade of the season”, presents topics of reproductive and emotional work within the commercialized environment of tourist accommodation conditioned by gender-specific ranking. Through fragments of conversation among female friends occupying various job positions as well as through the visual recording of tourist zones and accommodation, it seeks to detect how the notion of domesticity is being redefined and how the intangible qualities of the professions involved are performed; with intangible qualities we understand  hospitality, care, communication, empathy and generosity all viewed within the concrete professional framework established by the return of the tourist season.

George Samandas, Cycladic Rondo (Return -feedback)

It has to do with a two-tier piece of work which, on the one hand, is unfolded in the natural space of Marpissa in the form of an audio landscape meant to merge with the “natural” audio landscape, and, on the other, in the digital cyberspace of Internet, inviting the audience to interact with it.

The basic constituents of this piece of work are audio recordings from Marpissa and other points of Paros and the Cyclades. The material has been recorded since 2010 and it has been chosen according to its relevance to the different nuances of the sense of return. Fragments of the audio recordings will be made available to male and female visitors in digital format which will be accessed via smartphone so that such extracts may be sent to one’s loved ones as audio postcards. Outdoors, the audio material is composed according to the rondo audio technique, and is processed along the fine line between noise and artful weighting of the feedback effect- that results when stereo system creates a circuit that hears itself-, while, at the stage of generation, the prerecorded material incorporates more than one spaces to which the artist returned in order to replay and record again the material, once the mobility restriction due to the pandemic had been removed.

A few words about the artists

Eva Yannakopoulos, utilizing the camera as the medium for observation and corporal extension, experiments with performances video, premises/installations and participative activities. Her interest in social anthropology has led her to in situ explorations in the area of representations of women and queer groups inspecting how they relate to radical ideologies and observation techniques.

Dimitra Kondylatos through her experimentation with diverse media and through the relationships that she creates with the fields and subjects of her investigation, attempts to record disdained aspects of tourism. She researches and monitors through motion picture how the female domestic work in the area of tourism emerges and acquires new sense.

George Samandas tackles anthropology “beyond the text” in the overlapping sphere between visual arts and social sciences utilizing sound and walking as the main expressive/recitative tools. Part of his job has taken place in the Cyclades as regards to the historical and cultural construction of the scenery, water as a common good, gardening practices and supranatural/metaphysical mutations of the land. Under the shadow of the “environmental crisis” he is more deeply concerned with the relation of juncture and reciprocity between natural and cultural.