Artists: Natasa Biza, Constantinos Hadzinikolaou, Persefoni Myrtsou, Apostolos Ntelakos, Paky Vlassopoulou.
Curator: Despina Zefkili
A lecture performance starting from a film (which could not be made yet) and the material gathered for Ilias Papadimitrakopoulos , the great minimalist novelist, who lives in a farm in Paros.
The stories which came out from a research on the Greek participation in the International Exhibition of San Francisco in 1915, having as a starting point the gold medal which was awarded to the agricultural cooperative of Marpissa for the tobacco leaves, and is now hanging in the Community building.
Folk designs that photographer and folk art researcher Zacharias Stellas masterfully collected in his book “Paros Zougrafies Atsoumpales ” (1975) (Paros Clumsy Pictures), regain their position inside the village through the live acting-out of three chapters of the book in the public space.
The video-assemblage of a circular narration regarding the earlier and current migrational trajectories of members of two families in Greece and Turkey, which were stamped by the vendetta of a forbidden marriage, through modern-day documentations, chronicles and testimonials -personal and collective ones.
A Styrofoam “lifejacket” and plastic water bottles in a narrative of travelling as a personal quest to “infinite” space but with a strong reference to the sea, trying to abstractly approach a state of emergency and, through the game of balancing the materials, to make a comment on the sense of orientation.
How are these stories related? How do they meet with this year’s thematic of “Routes in Marpissa” festival, travel? In a clumsy way. And organically. The constant concern about how we re-approach tradition, the question of how and why we conceptually re-work the remains of the past, the interest in the place where the personal becomes collective and vice versa, summer readings, discussions and random encounters, old memories as a spectator of the festival, travels from Paros to Prague, Berlin, Turkey and San Francisco, deconstructed symbols of the past, movements that are repeated and gain a new meaning in the current sociopolitical conditions, all these are intertwined in a proposal for a summer exhibition in a village of Paros that for three days lives its own feast.
Description of the works by the artists
Natasa Biza, How to re-model a pavilion from German to Greek, performance-lecture. Duration +/- 30 min. How to re-model a pavilion, a collection of cases, 2016, book.
The starting point for the project was the document-award given to the agricultural cooperative of Marpissa for winning the gold medal for the tobacco leaves, in the International Exhibition of San Francisco in 1915 (Panama Pacific International Exposition).
I did a research in the archives of the time looking for the conditions that had made possible this participation.
The history of the Greek pavilion, its conversion from German to Greek, the gifts from Greece, the Ohio building and the trial of accents, are parallel and interlaced stories that make up the narrative.
Constantinos Hadzinikolaou, ηχπ, 2016, Perfomance-lecture. Duration +/- 30 min
They gave me his number on February.
I called him before Easter.
You are late, he told me.
Do you want to make a film?
I have a Super 8 camera.
some short films—
He interrupted me.
I just had a surgery.
He is a doctor, I thought.
We hanged up.
I called him again in late June.
Mr. Papadimitrakopoulos, please
(extremely difficult to fully pronounce
his last name).
I remember you.
How are you?
Let’s talk in autumn Mr Hadzinikolaou.
We hanged up again.
But I did not have patience.
Persefoni Myrtsou, Laissez-Passer* / Laissez-Tomber**, 2016, Video Performance. Duration 15 min.
The video work “Laissez-Passer / Laissez-Tomber” consists of an audiovisual collage, which assembles a circular narration regarding the earlier and current migrational trajectories of members of two families in Greece and Turkey. The convergence of these stories is a forbidden marriage between a Greek Christian woman and a Turkish Muslim man. This forbidden act provoked an enduring blood feud between the two families, which is lasts until today. Due to this vendetta the members of the two families have been continuously displaced in every corner of the world, in order either to rescue themselves from or to perpetuate the vendetta.
Through modern-day documentations, chronicles and testimonials -personal and collective ones-, a descendent of the greek family follows the story in conjuncture with its sociopolitical framework, and by documenting its historical continuity, seeks to understand the causes of the perpetuation of hatred. Ethical and sociopolitical stereotypes (such as the property of land and woman, the betrayal of blood and fatherland, the detraction of virginity, and the practice of incest) are captured through the observation of the viability of hatred throughout time and constitute concrete evidences for the valid questions of the documentarist.
* “Laissez-Passer” is an official document issued by the UN and allows mobility for individuals, who for various reasons are unable to issue travelling documents.
** The french expression “Laisse-tomber” is used to encourage someone to “drop” something, not to bother too much with something.
Apostolos Ntelakos, “Paros, Zougrafies Atsoumpales” (Paros, Clumsy Drawings), book A’ Zaharias Stellas, 1975, 2016.
In the first chapter of his book Stellas describes the carved in marble, double-headed eagles that adorn the churches of Paros. These eagles are traditionally placed in the center of the church floor. Quite often though they decorated the ‘patosis’, that is floors made from well-pressed soil (‘patao’ means press in Greek), common in most Parian houses. The ‘special days’, when they had some kind of celebration, residents drew with water decorative motifs which after a few hours were of course disappearing. The first part of my work is named after the first chapter, ‘afaloi dikefaloi’ (double-headed eagles) and is a performance in which I am using a backpack sprayer to “draw” with water the first chapter of the book on the ‘floor’ of the village, that would be its streets and squares.
In the second chapter Stellas describes the “kareglakia”, small wooden objects where villagers placed the lighted ‘kantilaki’(ritual object containing oil and a wick, usually placed in front of an icon, both in churches and houses). These objects had again references to the double-headed eagles, but here again as in the eagles, the ‘clumsiness’ of the craftsman transformed the shape of the eagle in other, new forms. These objects were also so heavily oil-painted that any details got lost anyways. The second part of the project is called “kareglakia” and the kareglakia this time are made from red clay, they are oil-painted in yellow colour and are placed in the public space as an idiosyncartic marking system.
In the third chapter of the book, there is a record of tamata (small metal effigies of ill persons or body parts, offered to god, as part of a vow). The record is accompanied by several interesting drawings. Photocopying the pages of the book, the paper offerings (tamata) come out of the book in order to be hang in the courtyard of the church, creating in this way a kind of a drawn grid consisting of images of objects and body parts that the people of the village consider important.
And finally, there is the chickpea which is the Sunday meal of the island (chickpea stew or ‘revithada’).
Finding very interesting that such a humble legume becomes so valuable for a whole community, I decided to cast it out of gold and create a jewelry out of it.
Paky Vlassopoulou, Be quiet/ Παρακαλώ ησυχία, 2016, styrofoam, plastic bottles, water.
The work, part of a larger body of work which was presented in March 2016 in the Czech Republic, has as a starting point the a narrative of travelling as a personal quest to “infinite” space but with a strong reference to the sea. The main material of the work is water both as topology and as the basic ingredient of being or the minimum needed for survival. The styrofoam functions as a life jacket, as insulation material, or for maintaining the temperature. “Be quite” is a project that wants to abstractly approach a state of emergency and, through the game of balance between materials, to make a comment on the sense of orientation.