The Visual Dialogues is the first production of the House of Arts and Letters in the field of visual arts. It constitutes a parallel activity to the international Athens Dialogues conference, which was the occasion for its creation.
Fifteen visual artists using contemporary forms of expression (video projections of electronic images or photographs, sound installations, animation, interactive works, etc.) have attempted to translate into images the problematic stimulated by the scholarly discussions conducted under the six thematic headings of the conference (Identity and Difference, Stories and Histories, Logos and Art, Democracy and Politeia, Science and Ethics, Quality of Life), and respond, each in their own way, to the issues that arise from the investigation and reappraisal of the cultural legacy of ancient Greece in contemporary society.
As a result, fifteen new works have emerged, especially created for the project and based chiefly on new technologies, which will be installed in busy public spaces (both in the open and indoors, eg. subway stations) so that people will come upon them unexpectedly.
The title “Visual Dialogues” refers initially more to the dialogue of the works to be created with the thematic headings of the conference, and only to a lesser degree to a dialogue among the works themselves, a development which may well ultimately ensue. It definitely aims to instigate a dialogue between the passers-by/viewers and the contemporary forms of visual expression. We do expect these passers-by, these hurrying viewers, to take a minute to look, return and prompt others, with different regular itinerary, to take this visual trip.
The immediate aim of this particular initiative is not that the Athenian public should seek out these works but that they should encounter them by chance in an unexpected way. What is hoped for is an effect of surprise, an arousing of interest, and –why not?– the creation of a public discussion about them.
We believe that this project will enliven, stimulated and revitalize the city, creating nuclei of involvement and poles of attaction in areas much frequented by the public, dispelling the indifference, the indolence or, conversely, the rush and stressful rhythms that govern the reality of city life, shattering ultimately the monotonous daily routine.
If an interactive relationship of the Athenian people with the works to be presented, a stimulation of their interest in contemporary forms of the visual art and in the dialectical relation of art with the scientific, philosophical and sociological discourse, as well as the attraction of a wider public, young mainly, towards the activities of the newly-built House of Arts and Letters can be realized, then the Visual Dialogues will have achieved its aim.
The artists and the works
The fifteen artists in total who are taking part in this project are, in alphabetical order: Andreas Angelidakis, Christos Apostolakis, Katerina Apostolidou, Kostis Velonis, Eleni Kamma, Anna Laskari, Despina Meimaroglou, Nikos Navridis, Nikos Papadimitriou, Angelos Plessas, Yannis Skourletis, Vasileia Stylianidou, Dimitris Tsoublekas, Makis Faros and Alexandros Psychoulis.
Basic caveat for the selection of artists was, as is obvious, the use of expressive media (video, animation, photography) which are directly related to the resolution that this action consists of “non-material” works, such as projections (of either separate pictures/photographs in slideshow, or short videos) or audio works... One more crucial factor was the quality of their overall work, as well as their active and dynamic involvement in the visual arts field in Greece and abroad.
Nevertheless, the principal criterion for our choice was the artists’ constant involvement in issues relating to a social, political, constitutional, ecological, humanist ultimately, concern (exactly like the sessions in the conference); an involvement which is either manifest or insinuated, at times. Besides, it goes without saying that art’s interventionism to the problems faced by society nowadays is, more than ever, given and self-evident exactly because it is extremely needed and unavoidable...
In the works of many artists, such as Anna Laskari and Despina Meimaroglou, the trenchant participation in situations of violence, human rights violations and brazen suppression of individual expression, or the active search for the parameters of human transgression and the compassionate association against suffering individuals or groups of either the Greek or the international community compose the main axis of their work.
In his unusually terse (only 25 seconds) work Breath (1969), Samuel Beckett connotates the human experience via the cries of a newborn, repeated inhaling and exhaling, and increase and decrease in the intensity of light, all on a stage littered with rubbish completely lacking the human presence. Nikos Navridis draws upon Beckett’s work and poetics, and approaches quietly and discreetly (our) repression, to the point of suffocation, in the explicit and implicit constraints of a pre-ordained punitive existence/co-existence. Tomorrow will be a wonderful day (?). Hopefully.
Giannis Skourletis’s work revolves around the more or less evident axes of the larger History that concerns us all but only in the long term as a source of knowledge and obedience (but as it seems, we do not adopt either one); of the small (our own) stories which harry and affect us not only immediately but possibly later too, as the end product of our life on earth. The splendour of the form-picture (both in terms of the settings and the heroine) blends with, mediates and even possibly clashes with the lowliness of the emotional impasse prospectively signified through three variations. The woman who wanders on the burial cross-catwalk is attired in the distant passion and despair symbolically alluding to a romantic hero –WERTHER(EAL)– who vacillates on many decisions between life and death.
The works of Christos Apostolakis, Kostis Velonis and Nikos Papadimitriou adopt different approaches to the role of democracy and to what it has come to be in the current historical political situation, namely, a futile repeated refrain, a perpetual appeal which has come to be used as a euphemism. Kostis Velonis and Nikos Papadimitriou illustrate, the one visually (through photographs of figures of the political, spiritual and artistic realm during their visit to the Acropolis) and the other one in sound (through proclamation extracts), a flashback to the 20th century history, through stories of controversial or not political figures that influenced it, either positively or negatively. Christos Apostolakis, on the other hand, wonders whether democracy, as practised nowadays, can indeed liberate, and poses the question whether this liberation (given that it does exist) is utterly fictitious in our time. (Anyhow, the essay did not free the captives in concentration camps.)
Covertly spirited and satirical, Angelos Plessas and Alexandros Psychoulis arouse, suggestively and willingly opaquely (Plessas), heretically and subtly but in no case shadily, despite appearances (Psychoulis), our conscience, as citizens not only of Athens but of the whole wide world, on various issues relating to freedom of expression on all levels and the right to a rightfully high quality, creative and, ultimately, brave life.
The same claim lodges and upholds Andreas Angelidakis through his works which constitute intrepid and radical (in this case) interventions in the architectural web, urban and human; people as units and as members of a whole which, sadly, they are not always aware of. Contrary, in the case of Dimitris Tsoumblekas, resorting to the pledge for a humane and effortlessly open city, as it reflects in the eyes of the children in the photographs he chooses (purposefully from past decades) seems futile since the pledge remains unfulfilled as time goes by. Who does Athens belong to? Could it belong to us, its residents, and we don’t know how to handle such a vested right or obligation?
Eleni Kamma and Vasileia Stylianidou place great emphasis in their works on oral speech and talk. Kamma’s video addresses, in the setting of a theatre, the level of morality of science which in researching and discovering new species violates nature and the natural evolution of species creating decorative hybrids. The game between the real narrative realm and the setting of the picture serves as an artifice and sets the terms for discourse between the normal and the ab-normal. Vasileia Stylianidou embarks on the progress of science in relation to morality using a futuristic scenery which “depicts” or shapes (to be precise, with respect to the materials used) a utopian-fictional city where humans, anthropoids and thinking machines mingle in search of a perfect, everlasting and ultimately immortal (?) entity.
Finally, in the works of Katerina Apostolidou and Makis Faros what dominates is the written language, the scripture, not only as a gesticulative-impressive process but also as a sense, fleeting at times, created by words that multiply, overlay and, eventually, blur, as signifier (forms) and signified (content) (Apostolidou’s work) or latent (Faros’s work) since what governs his work is the forceful impact letters have on the human skin, creating an ephemeral tattoo where the writing gesture and the memory of the individual alphabet symbols are more powerful than their meaningful deployment in words.
Artists per thematic session
|Identity and Difference
|Stories and Histories
|Logos and Art
|Democracy and Politeia
|Science and Ethics
|Quality of Life
The presentations of the works in the next pages are based on texts written by the artists (ed. G. Papadimitriou).
Identity and Difference
Nikos Navridis was born in Athens in 1958. He studied Architecture at the National Technical University of Athens and Painting at the School of Fine Arts in Athens. He participated in the 23rd San Paulo Biennial in 1996, and in the 49th and 51st Venice Biennials in both 2001 and 2005. He has produced the following solo exhibitions: "Nikos Navridis", Kalfayan Gallery, Thessakoniki, 1995. "Nikos Navridis", Kouros Gallery, New York, USA, 1997 and Epikentro Gallery, Athens 1997. "Nikos Navridis Kӧln Sculpture", Art Cologne ‘98, Kouros Gallery, Cologne, Germany, 1998. "Project Rooms", ARCO ’99, Epikentro Gallery, Athens and Madrid, 1999. "Nikos Navridis", University Museum of Contemporary Art, MUAC Gallery, Mexico City, Mexico, 1999. "Nikos Navridis", Epikentro Gallery 1999. "Nikos Navridis" Bernier/Eliades Gallery, Athens 2004. "Difficult Breaths", Foundation La Caixa, Madrid, Spain, 2004. Magnus Müller Gallery, Berlin 2006. "Tomorrow will be a wonderful day", Bernier/Eliades Gallery, Athens 2008. His work has been included in many group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. He has been professor at the School of Fine Art in Athens since 2008.
Tomorrow will be a wonderful day II
Over the past few years the artist has worked on the idea of breathing as the fluid force behind every action, an energy which is continually shared and created and transforms everything. The exhibition Tomorrow will be a wonderful day II, works in response to a text by Samuel Beckett and the breathing of his antiheroes, which exists not as evidence of presence, but as a trace of absence. This exhibition is a bright beam searching to expose. It is the projector at an army camp or detention area, where escape and punishment are sought. It is the transfer of an unreal situation into the fabric of everyday life in the city and talks about our primary abilities and the conventions that allow them to be able to guide us.
The piece is a video installation that pivots around a vertical axis in the space. Starting from the ground, it moves forward towards the buildings opposite, the sky, the buildings behind which it encounters on its circular track, repeating its same course, without end. In the projection, a man inhales holding his breath for as long as possible striving to overcome his physical limits of endurance. A peremptory hiss forces him to inhale after each exhalation.
The work of Angelos Plessas revolves around the web. The artist belongs to a generation of artists who grew up with Google and keep their studios on their laptop computers. Thus "uploading” their traditional media, such as drawings, on the web is for such artists perfectly normal. These works usually focus on the issues of identity and authority and become characters and portraits rich with the bizarre and the caustic, expressing the abstract which is usually experienced in our everyday electronic communications.
Angelos Plessas has exhibited his work in museums, foundations and galleries in solo projects, such as at the Jeu de Paume Museum in Paris, the National Museum of Modern Art in Athens, the Berkley Art Museum and the DESTE Foundation. He has participated in the Athens Biennial, the Valencia Biennial and Tirana Biennial. In 2009 he was awarded a grant under the Rhizome Commissions Program of the New Museum in New York. He has a scholarship from the Fullbright Program.
This work is an interactive webpage with sound. The artist took the inspiration for its creation from a recent book by the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, which deals with fantasy and fetish and their relationship with the images that surround us, especially nowadays in an age where the Internet dominates as the main means of communication. In this context, the artist borrows the title of the book and creates a project-portrait, the protagonist of which is possessed by a fantasy, an illusion perhaps, which is expressed through the eyes with a series of multiple geometric patterns or through the mouth with a series of incomprehensible words. Whether by clicking the open eyes-pendulums or by caressing her mouth – when it gives you a kiss – this project is a quest into the seductive world of fantasy and the senses.
Stories and Histories
Born in 1944 and raised in Egypt by parents from Asia Minor who ended up there due to historical circumstance. She completed her studies (1961-1965) at the School of Fine Arts in the city of Maidstone in Kent, England. She settled in Athens in 1966 and for a decade worked in the field of advertising. From 1981 until today she is dedicated exclusively to art and has presented her work at 24 solo exhibitions (Athens, USA, France). She has also taken part in important exhibitions in museums and foundations in Greece and abroad. In 2009, she participated with her characteristic installations in Biennials in Thessaloniki, Incheon and South Korea.
Over the last quarter of a century, the work of Despina Meimaroglou has developed around sociopolitical issues taken from the international press and television. Her workshop collects and classifies articles that have mobilized her conscience to the point that has caused her to contest them. Her interests focus mainly on issues related to "Others". Her vision, however, is not limited by her own personal approval or rejection, but rather it is to awaken public opinion. In her narratives, she focuses primarily on the process and less on the final outcome.
Today, under tremendous pressure from rampant consumerism and given the mass population movements due to sociopolitical upheavals, what is most important is the attempt to rescue the memory, as well as chronicling the violence which surrounds us. Thus, one of the major concerns of the artist is the recording of human fate: that which Carl Jung refers to as "destiny". Ultimately, this particular term is always the source of her inspiration.
The work Xenos is timelessly dedicated to all refugees and economic migrants, who found the strength, despite all the terrible adversities of being uprooted, to embark on the passage "to the other side of the sea."
Giannis Skourletis was born, lives and works in Athens. He has presented his work at the following exhibitions: "What remains is future", Patra – Cultural Capital of Europe, 2006. "Zourlokandero - Heroes" (curator, Nadia Argyropoulou), Bios, Athens, 2008. "Heaven", 2nd Biennial of Athens, 2009. "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" (curator Christoforos Marinos). (Show) "The deep-winter screaming cicadas on the oak trees of Thraki", The Breeder Gallery, Athens, 2009. "At home he’s a tourist", Remap 2, The Breeder Gallery, Athens, 2009. He is also the founder of the group Bijoux de Kant. He has done stage design and scene installations for plays and performances at the Free theatre and National Theatre.
WE R THE REAL
According to quantum physics, what we perceive as reality is just the probability expressed (history) in an infinite set of other possibilities (stories) that could be our every move, our every action. That is why all the expressions of life are endless clones of the particles that we are.
The work WE R THE REAL is a video-experiment in quantum physics, a visual field research of possible routes, open destinies, multiple stories; a fictitious narrative about uncertainty given the harsh possibility of the simultaneous, the parallel, the non-existence of the single, sole and unique history. A girl lies on a cross. The image creates a sense of the monumental, great, certain and secure Kantian "wonder" of history. This security and wonder rupture when she starts to make simultaneous paths, to "narrate" parallel stories. Her reflections are freed from the uniqueness of the moment and of the act. This is where the experiment begins.
What are the possible transitions of her reflections? The outcome of their actions? One image could be heading for suicide. Another cries. The third remains callous and stable. The intention of all of these images-stories (or eventually of a single one) is to arrive at a situation, at a story: tears fall from her eyes and flood the screen, erasing her conclusively, in a white dreamy mood which sears the vision. A revolutionary act against the form of safe or a manifestation of human weakness confronted by eternal uncertainty.
Logos and Art
Katerina Apostolidou studies at the School of Fine Art in Athens. She lives and works in Athens. Recent solo exhibitions organized in the Gallery Loraini Alimantiri – gazonrouge in Athens in 2008 and in the Macedonia Museum of Modern Art in Thessaloniki in 2007. Of her group participations the following are worthy of note: "In-scribe", Hellenic American Union, Athens 2010. "Atlantis, Hidden Histories - New Identities", Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 2009. "The First Impression", CRAC/The Regional Centre for Modern Art, Languedoc-Rousillion, Séte, France, and Macedonian Museum of Modern Art, Thessaloniki, 2009. "And Now?" Visual Arts in Greece 3, National Museum of Modern Art, Non-Profit Organisation Moni Lazariston, 2008. "Nightcomers", Biennial Constantinople, 2007. "Video Zone2 – The Second International Video Art Biennial", Tel Aviv, 2004. "Athens by Art", AICA Hellas, "Hola Grecia! 9 muses I presume?" Casa Encendida, Madrid, 2004. "Erasing today, tomorrow and yesterday", Technopoli, Athens, Macedonian Museum of Modern Art, Thessaloniki 2003 and Evangelos Averoff-Tositsa Foundation, Metsovo, 2002. "Open 2001, International Exhibition of Sculptures and Installations", Venice, 2001· "Leaving the Island", PICAF (Pusan International Contemporary Art Festival), Pusan Metropolitan Art Museum, Korea, 2000.
This work explores the point at which writing becomes drawing, its function disturbed and degraded in a violent manner. The hands, which appear on all four sides of the screen, mirror-write in both directions. The markers, like needles weaving, write with fast movements, rhythmically as if performing. As the words become a drawing through exhaustive repetition, the drawing becomes a context where the spectator is invited to make their own images - it becomes the frame of a notional work.
The act of writing, traditionally visual, is recorded by the camera lens and, through digital processing, is transformed into an image, which is then erased, returning once again to the form of writing.
Makis Faros is a multimedia artist, director and composer of contemporary music. He has created videos, installations and work on the Internet. He is a freelance collaborator and consultant on audiovisual installations at the National Museum of Modern Art. He has taught freelance on the Masters Programme at the School of Fine Arts in Athens, at the Photography School Focus and at IEK AKMI. He has collaborated with the modern dance group Choreftes and with the Modern Dance Group of Persa Stamatopoulou. He has also directed for National Television and the TV magazine on video art "Video Gallery" (1999-2000). Also, he has composed music for videos, modern dance, theatre, CD and LP with the music groups: This Fluid, Raw, Spider’s Web, Melting Ashes.
The pulse of the original sin
The work consists of two video projections. The first projection contains shots of fragmented bodies, which have letters and symbols written on the skin (like those from a typewriter), randomly at first, but soon which are organized into words which, like memories of the bodies, are slowly absorbed by the skin. The second projection is a strip of light, in which typesets aggressively and collectively hit the image of the projection. It is an attack of letters.
The two projections converse. Beyond the reasonable relation of cause and effect, the associations may progress further to the "penal colony" of Kafka, that within the city of Athens takes on another dimension, to the reconnection of the logic with Magic, to the unfree state of language learning (language dialect in Jakobson), to the "voice"/protest of language when faced with the drift within modern everyday life, to the pre-Socratic approach, and also naturally to the biblical references in relation to knowledge.
Democracy and Politeia
Christos Apostolakis lives and works in Athens. He studied Painting at the School of Fine Arts in Athens under Nikos Kessanlis (1995-99). Sculpture under Giorgos Lappas (1998-99) and Digital Arts (Master in Digital Arts, School of Fine Arts Athens, 2005-2007). His work is to be found in private collections (Emfietzoglou, 3E). He has produced the following solo exhibitions: "Phantoms & Fences", Alpha Delta Gallery, Athens, May-June 2009. "Hero-In" Alpha Delta Gallery, Athens, April 2003. "Double Worlds", Photosynkyria, 2001, TinT Gallery, Thessaloniki, Fenruary 2001. "Potrait", Gallery 4, Zalokosta, Athens, January 1997. He has also taken part in many group exhibitions in Greece and abroad.
Demokratie Macht Frei
This piece of work was created with 3D graphics. The video begins with the image of a peaceful, attractive swimming pool, on the surface of its clear water, which is gentling rippling to the tones of classical music, a photograph. The camera zooms in and we see that the photo depicts the entrance to Auchswitz with the famous inscription "Arbeit macht frei" ("work brings freedom") In this specific photograph, however, the word Arbeit has been replaced with the work Demokratie, stating that “Democracy brings freedom”. Here begins the game of relationships between the levels of the work, and the questions raised, thus setting the conceptual framework within which the work moves. Why is the selected pool digital? What is the relationship of space, especially the non-existent, with Democracy? Why has a closed shape with boundaries been chosen, such as a swimming pool? Finally, why this invasion of history in the work?
The work does not give clear and direct answers. Spectators must construe their own interpretation and find their own answers. But what this video clearly does is to raise questions about Democracy at this crucial time.
Kostas Velonis was born in Athens, where he lives and works. He studies Cultural Studies and Humanities (MRes) at the London Consortium (Birbeck College, ICA, AA, Tate Gallery, 2000) and Fine Arts at the University of Paris VIII (Maitrise, DEA) on fellowship from the Alexander S.Onassis Public Benefit Foundation 1996-1997. He is a Doctor of Architecture from NTUA (2010). He lectures in the Department of Architecture at the University of Thessaly. His interests focus on the concept of "domesticity" in modern art as well as in architectural production, sculpture and installations. Recent solo exhibitions include the following: "Pastoral Dreams in the Days of Bankruptcy", Dana Charkasi Gallery, Vienna, 2010. "Loneliness on Common Ground How Can Society Do What Each Person Dreams", National Museum of Modern Art, Athens, 2010. "How one can think freely in the shadow of a temple", Kunstverein Hamburg, Hamburg, 2009. "Craft Boy", Monitor Gallery, Rome 2008. "...was einmal über heute gesagt werden wird: "Köln Show2", BQ Gallery, European Kunsthalle, Cologne, 2007. His work has been included in many group exhibitions in Greece and abroad.
During the 20th century, every important visitor to Athens considered it their duty to climb the sacred rock of the Acropolis to be photographed in front of the "noble simplicity and silent grandeur" of the ancient temple. The combination of the official photograph with the historical monument as a backdrop – depending on the time of the visit - the characteristics of the visitor and the manner in which they chose to pose in front of the camera gave it different signification. Most of the photographs of these high profile visitors were published in the daily and weekly press according to their professional identity, revealing in the most direct way the ideological and aesthetic perceptions of the time. Knowing that the motive of conciliation with the classic idea can hide many misconceptions on the "fixed" value of the Acropolis, the photograph-documents are the best way in which to reveal any rhetorical abuse of the ideological identification with the democratic ideal and the high values of Greek civilisation.
The Parthenonas Project comprises of photographs of high profile visitors, artists, intellectuals, politicians, writers, generals amongst others, with the common denominator being the power they command. Although the interest of the Parthenon is so strong that any visit is doomed to be forgotten, it must be admitted that high profile visitors to the monument are the sum total of the official historical record of Modern Greek culture.
Anna Laskari was born in Athens. She studied at the School of Fine Arts in Athens and at the Pratt Institute of New York. Intensely political, her work explores social and cultural structures and networks. Mechanisms of authority and control, the individual and the collective are her common themes, which are analyzed and discussed through the shift and re-interpretation of objects, practices and symbols of modern everyday life, revealing and creating new dynamic relationships between these and the ideologies that surround them. Installations, video, sculpture and drawings are the main body of her work. She lives and works in Greece and in New York.
The following solo exhibitions are worth mentioning: "PINK", A.Antonopoulou Art, Athens, 2010. "Women-at-Arms", Washington Shakespeare Company, Washington 2002. "Flesh of the Dress", Egizio’s Project, New York, 2001. "Skin Deep", Bronx River Art Centre, New York, 1999. "Shoes", Barney’s New York, 1997. "Size 10" Kreonidis, Athens, 1996. "Patterns", Adelphi, New York, 1995. Her work has been included in many group exhibitions in Greece and abroad.
This work is an audiovisual installation on the issue of an unexpected and noisy swarm of birds. Unwanted moving images and unexpected sounds interrupt every minute and six seconds the routine and monotonous flow of anticipation of those who are at that moment in the projection space in Syntagma Metro.
The theme of the project is based on the multiple references to the concept of clustering in works of poetry, critical theory, literature and cinema. The cluster of black birds in Swarm refers to the (perhaps not so hypothetical) scenario of a an unknown, uncertain, unseen and unexpected threat. In the first seconds the projection shows a silent, slow and hypnotic fluttering of individual birds, which soon turns into a noisy and menacing flock which, however, is automatically shuffles and disperses as quickly as it gathered.
Nikos Papadimitriou was born in Chios in 1971. He studied Painting and Engraving at the School of Fine Arts in Athens and went on to do a Masters in Visual Communication at Kent Institute of Art and Design in Great Britain. He also studied at Edinburgh College of Art on Erasmus scholarship. He lives and works in Athens.
Until now he has done nine solo exhibitions, which include the following: "The First Universe", "Gallery Trophy" and "Glorious Days", Alpha Delta Gallery, Athens. "Non=places", TinT Gallery, Thessaloniki. He has taken part in many group exhibitions in Greece, such as: "An Outing – Contemporary Art in Greece in the 21st Century", Trikala, 2006. "What remains is future", Patra, 2006. "Athensville", Athens, 2008. "Paint-id", Thessaloniki-Athens, 2009. He has taken part in many group exhibitions abroad, as well as in Biennials (Sarajevo, Prague, Tel Aviv, Constantinople). His work is to be found in private collections and in the Public Gallery of Chios and in Athens in Hotel 21, Periscope and Intercontinental.
This work is a sound installation consisting of twelve loudspeakers. From each loudspeaker important speeches of political figures are played (excerpts of speeches by Gandhi, Churchill, Eleftherios Venizelos, J.F.Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Stalin, Che Guevara, Hitler, Trotsky, Mussolini, Lenin, Roosevelt).
The work comments on the influence exerted by historical political figures, whatever their political position, who led the "establishment" of political systems which were to a greater or lesser extent democratic and fair or who through their speeches changed social reality.
Science and Ethics
Eleni Kamma was born in 1973 in Athens. She studied Painting at the School of Fine Art in Athens (1995-2000) and at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London (MA Fine Art 2001-2002). For the period 2008-2010 she was a researcher in the Visual Arts Department of Jan van Eyck Academie, the post-academic institute for research and production, on scholarship from the Dutch state. She lives and works in Maastricht and in Brussels, where she participates in the WIELS Artist-In-Residency Program for 2010. She was candidate for the 5th award from DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art and she took Premio Stima of the Lissone Award in 2007. She has done the following solo exhibitions: "Forgotten Ties", Nadja Villene, Liége, 2009· "Once past the years of green emotion", Loraini Alimantiri – gazonrouge, Αthens, 2007· "Eleni Kamma", Vamiali’s, Athens, 2005. Her work has been included in many group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. In 2011, Eleni Kamma will be a resident artist on the IASPIS Residency Program of Stockholm and in Villa Romana in Florence.
This project takes its inspiration from news published on the Internet in 2004 referring to the first genetically modified pets and the related legal issues that were raised by commercial activity. These pets have the name Glofish® and are exotic fish that have undergone genetic modification so as to glow in the dark.
This project is a high-resolution colour video which addresses the relationship between science, moral values and decoration, combining audio information with the moving image. However, the relationship between image and word is not linear. Instead meaning comes from the rifts and gaps between the visual and verbal meaning. In the form of recorded dialogue, four different voices exchange information related to the issue of GloFish®. Questions and answers on the pros and cons stemming from the free movement of these fish in the market are given along with scientific statements from the researcher Bill Maher and information on investigation into the phenomenon of luminescence by the scientist Robert Boyle back in 1663.
The visual material consists of a series of takes of the backstage and the internal space of a theatre, the main areas of performance production. The audio information about the luminous quality of the fish was replaced at an optical level by changes to the theatrical lighting for the duration of the video.
Vasileia Stylianidou was born in Thessaloniki in 1967. After studying at the School of Philosophy of Ioannina (1986-1991), she studied Fine Arts at the Universität der Künste in Berlin (BFA, MFA). She had a postgraduate scholarship NaFoeG and DAAD for New York. She lives and works in Berlin and Athens. She has presented her work in solo exhibitions: "ΤΟΟ ΤΟPICS" (with Ulrich Vogl), TinT Gallery, Thessaloniki, in collaboration with the Photography Museum of Thessaloniki. "The Plotless Room", Friedman Galerie und Projekt, Βερολίνο. "Perpetuum mobile", Galerie Françoise Heitsch, Munich. "Playcities", Kappatos Gallery. She has also taken part in many group exhibitions in Greece and abroad.
Is a video which discusses the relationship between science and utopia, human and machine. From the theory of eugenics to the achievements of artificial intelligence, efforts to replace the human mind and body with intelligent machines have set the boundaries of organized and structured knowledge as regards creating the perfect human and the perfect society.
The video is based on scenes from classic science-fiction films Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927, Germany), Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982, USA), Renaissance (Christian Volckman, 2006, France, Great Britain, Luxembourg). In these films the relationship between man and primates, mortality and immortality, plays an important role. In her film the artist creates a new environment mise en scène for a "futuristic" film. Based on photographic material from the aforementioned films, she produces a new model, a new utopian city from photographs and material such as plasticine, card and wire. In doing so she creates a new architectural model for a new science-fiction film, where often words and phrases from plasticine replace or complement the buildings.
With the technique of stop-motion, the image generates motion and momentum. A text blending poetry and theory, manages the issues of the relationship between utopia and knowledge, man and machine. The text is recited rhythmically and runs through the entirety of the video, offering rhythm and energy. Often the text becomes a picture and together with the voice it works partly as advertising – addressing primarily the unconscious perceptions of the spectator/passer-by.
Quality of Life
Andreas Angelidakis was born in Athens in 1968. he studied Architecture at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Santa Monica (1989-1992). In 1995 he completed his postgraduate studies (in Architectural Design) at the University of Columbia in New York. He participated in the Architecture Biennial in Venice in 2000 and in the 25th San Paulo Biennial in 2002. He lives and works in Athens and also lectures in the Department of Architectural Engineering at the University of Patra.
He has produced the following solo exhibitions: "The Angelo Foundation Headquarters", in collaboration with the artist Angelos Plessas on the Internet space of Jeu de Paume (www.jeudepaume.org), 2009. "Headquarters", in collaboration with Angelos Plessas, Rebecca Camhi Gallery, Athens, 2009· "Cloud House", video for the YAMA Project, Constantinople, 2008. "A Short Visit", Rodeo Gallery in the Art Athina Art Fair, 2008. "Hotel Blue Wave", INMO Gallery, Los Angeles, 2006· "Blue Wave", MU Foundation, Eindhoven, 2005. "Neen World", The Breeder, Athens, 2003. "Inside-Out", Analix Galerie, Geneva, 2002. "Pause" with Jean-Pierre Khazem, Fargfabriken, Stockholm, 2002. "Last Year", with Angelos Plessa, Electronic Orphanage, Los Angeles, 2001. "Visionaire 34 featuring Andreas Angelidakis", Visionaire Gallery, New Yorkj, 2001. "Second City", Magasin project space, Centre d’Art Contemporain de Grenoble, France, 2001.
The Troll Building
"Joy" is a housing complex in Athens. Built in the 1960s as an ideal accommodation space, where the residents could live close to nature, surrounded by a garden on the wide and airy Patission Avenue. Today, conditions in the area and the building have radically changed. Patission Avenue is not the impressive avenue of the Greek films of the era, "Joy” is surrounded by modest, cheap and damaged buildings from the 1970s and 1980s. The locals, most of whom speak little Greek, do not know the glorious past of this building neither how the architects Spanos and Papailiopoulos had dreamed of its existence in the city. Might the buildings themselves understand these changes?
The residents in order to maintain the image of "Joy", as in many other apartment blocks, filled their balconies with plants, hoping for oxygen, but instead hiding the view from the windows. Gradually, the plants outgrow the balconies, and every last empty spaces of the block have also been taken over, the roof begins to look like one of those expensive planted roofs, but here it seems that the plants actually sprout on the building itself. Their roots begin to get inside the cement and the reinforced concrete, the structure of the building becomes one with the plants, many of the apartments also become filled with plants and the people no longer have space. Over time, the building can no longer stand its residents, it becomes filled with plants, dirt ridden and looking like some kind of a wild mountain.
One morning, in the adjacent apartment blocks, the residents are awoken by a noise, probably an earthquake, everyone darts to the balconies to see, they run down the stairs. But the noise is not from an earthquake because the other neighbourhoods are quiet, there is another tremor, it is like the earthquake is only happening within “Joy”, the building itself shakes as if alive...
Dimitris Tsoublekas was born in Athens in 1967. He lives and works in Athens and Berlin. He has presented his work in the following solo exhibitions: “Family Affairs”, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, 2008. “Family Affairs”, Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Centre, Athens, 2008. “Die Gans, eine Familiengeschichte”, Zagreus Project, Berlin, 2005. "Future Athens”, Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Centre, Athens, 2004. “Satori in Marousi”, Ileana Tounta Con/Temporary, Athens, 2002. “Broken Homes”,Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Centre, Athens, 2001. “Lisboa?” Kappatos Gallery, Athens 1997. “What will I do if I die?”, Gallery 3, Athens, 1996. He has also taken part in many group exhibitions in Greece and abroad.
Athens belongs to us
This work explores the substantial contact between citizens and their city, the most basic requirement for quality of life. These photos are organized in cinematic format. A collection of photographs from his childhood in Athens. Friends and acquaintances, and anonymous residents of Athens, offer photographs of children (pictures of their childhood, family photos from the past, photographs of their children) all shot in Athens.
The purpose of rotating the images is not nostalgic, but a reminder of the relationships we developed with the city during the first years of our lives, when we learned how to live, when we literally breathed our environment. Our childhood photographs are to remind us how to connect to our city and how we can learn to love it and to look at it, not just superficially but as a living experience. The deeper point is that just as Athens has no owner, so this project has no artist. It is a collection in so far as objet trouvé is made by people and their stories. Just as a city is its people, so a work of art is its audience.
Alexandros Psychoulis was born in Volos in 1966 and studied Painting at the School of Fine Arts in Athens. His first works are interactive installations that are activated by the spectator and explore the subconscious, decoding images or sounds of fear or desires and memories. Exploring the realities of the digital landscape is today a central theme of his work, which consists of space installations, animation and painting. In 1997, he was awarded the Benesse Award for his work the Black Box, with which he participated in the 47th Venice Biennial, while in 2010 he took part in the 12th Architectural Biennial in Venice.
He has held many solo exhibitions, including: “The Room”, a.antonopoulou.art, Athens, 2009. “Mammals”, Zina Athanasiadou, Thessaloniki, 2005. “Body Milk”, a.antonopoulou.art, Athens, 2003. “Talk about your life with materials without memory”, Lionheart, Boston, 1999. “Do You Want?” Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford, United Kingdom, 1998. “Nowhere is far away enough to escape the images and pain that your caused”, Deitch Projects, New York 1998. He has also taken part in many group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. Today he is Associate Professor in Art and Technology in the Department of Architectural Engineering at the University of Thessaly.
This piece is a flash-animation show made specifically for the platform of the Metro at Monastiraki station in Athens. The projection initially gives the impression that it is the shadows of passengers using the descending escalator. What actually takes places, however, is transcendent shadow theatre scenes unfamiliar to the everyday flow of things. Heretic behaviours and uses of the stairs, brief facts and exaggerations, always in continuous descent, trying to compose a poetic version of the city.