Performance

Signs of Proximity

Curated by Marina Fokidis

It has already been eight months since our lives radically changed within a day due to Covid- 19 pandemic. All we hear from mainstream media, besides statistics tracking the spread of the disease and the national death toll, along with confused strategies for prevention and crisis management, is “we are all in this together.”

But who are we? And what is this?

We are living through a rapture and as we experience this inevitable change, where everything is in flux, the space loses its shape and transforms into nothingness, an immaterial place. Can we identify a set of emerging new queer capacities that might go beyond the hysteria of hyper-connectivity and navigate the turbulence of the demanding extraterritorial terrain in which we all live?

To inhabit a moment like this, unfolding metaphorically between the Aristotelian notions of actuality and potentiality, needs patience and care, as well as a sense of bittersweet tenderness and the lurking course of “de-globalization” that has been developing over the past few years and now takes a new meaning. For this special year, Art Athina is taking place online by pairing older and newer narrations that go beyond pre-defined historical times. The aim is to protect the sense of proximity and solidarity, even if for now we can meet only in the (digital) cloud.

Below you will find a series of works focusing on performance, selected both by the curator and through an open-call. An amalgam of gestures that have taken place in recent years and are taking new meaning under the current circumstances, are at your disposal. It might be possible that through collective efforts we will be able to throw light to a new “exhibitionary” vocabulary and get through the barriers that the current pandemic generated among us all.

Marina Fokidis

Aquis Submersusus (Callas)

Panos Charalambous
2008-2014
Duration: 3’8’’
Courtesy the artist.
The notion of space, an invention of modern times, space in general, consisting of homogeneous points, is disassociated from any reference to a subject, it has no ontological importance; place, on the other hand, and more specifically the region of Ambracia (P. Charalambous’s place of birth, and perhaps his final resting place), becomes the topology par excellence for its formation and breakdown. It is a formative place, an indispensable place! The drawing Aquis Submersus (Submerged in Water) is an allegory of “life and death”, a landscape painting with a distinct mental tune (a Stimmung). It is a self-defining event with modular episodes, in which the subject, the artist himself acquires his own identity, an amphibian, flexible, changeable, and literally “temporizing” identity. P. Charalambous isn’t the self-complacent aesthetic subject who produces the events, who brings forth the episodes. Rather, he is a place where something happens, and the very act of narrating this “something” makes him happen as well. Π.Χ.

Aquis Submersusus (Hail)

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Panos Charalambous
2008-2014
Duration: 2’26’’
Courtesy the artist
The notion of space, an invention of modern times, space in general, consisting of homogeneous points, is disassociated from any reference to a subject, it has no ontological importance; place, on the other hand, and more specifically the region of Ambracia (P. Charalambous’s place of birth, and perhaps his final resting place), becomes the topology par excellence for its formation and breakdown. It is a formative place, an indispensable place! The drawing Aquis Submersus (Submerged in Water) is an allegory of “life and death”, a landscape painting with a distinct mental tune (a Stimmung). It is a self-defining event with modular episodes, in which the subject, the artist himself acquires his own identity, an amphibian, flexible, changeable, and literally “temporizing” identity. P. Charalambous isn’t the self-complacent aesthetic subject who produces the events, who brings forth the episodes. Rather, he is a place where something happens, and the very act of narrating this “something” makes him happen as well. Π.Χ.

Alvorada Dourada

FYTA & Pedro de Senna
2013
7’06’’
Courtesy of the artists
In 2013, FYTA, in collaboration with Brazilian performer Pedro De Senna, initiated a discussion around the global rise of extreme right wing politics. Golden Dawn gaining major parliamentary representation in Greece was the starting point for this video; later on, Jair Bolsonaro’s ascension to power made the work even more prescient. In ‘Alvorada Dourada’, Greek language is assumed as a quintessential aspect of not only Greek nationalism, but also global white supremacism, which traces its origin story back to ancient Greece. Two hundred years after the establishment of the modern Greek state (and ahead of next year’s celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the Greek revolution) the ghost of a Byron-esque philhellenism returns to remind us that fetishising greekneess can have detrimental effects. F.

In Remembrance & I Must Not Stop to Rest Here

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Delia González
2010-2015
16mm
Courtesy of the artist and Hot Wheels Athens
In Remembrance, is a 16mm experimental dance film that embodies the lyrical trance of Ballet accompanied by a minimal piano composition. Both the ballet and piano piece are composed and choreographed by the artist. Like an invocation in ritual magic it is about channeling the spirit of dance through music. Influenced by a Henry Miller text where he strives to go back to a world that is brighter than the one we live in, the world which is our inheritance; the piece invokes the tradition of metaphysical channeling, hoping to recreate a hypnotic state amongst its listeners. The film/score investigates the possibility of retrieving authentic spiritual experiences from contemporary music. Rooted and Inspired by Afro-Latin religions, which syncretize all manner of cultural materials to represent and channel the power of deities, which represent elemental, natural energies, my film poses the question of whether music can be used as a substitute for these force. D.G.

Tooveetheeoo Lai Lai

Dionissis Kavalieratos and Sifis Likakis
2004
Duration: 2’3’’
Courtesy of the artists
Dionissis Kavalieratos and Sifis Likakis
2005
Duration: 3’40’’
Courtesy of the artists

Cigarettes

Dionissis Kavalieratos and Sifis Likakis
2003
Duration: 1’12’’
Courtesy of the artists

Artistique

Dionissis Kavalieratos and Sifis Likakis
2005
Duration: 6’36’’
Courtesy of the artists

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