acts of engagement

David Rees-Thomas - Invisible Dialogues - The feeling of not feeling at home

"How does one create a home away from home? How do you decorate your living space in a new place? Our homes provide a place of sanctuary and security. They reflect our sense of identity socially and culturally. The objects we choose to place in our living spaces help define who we are, an exteriorisation of our inner condition. They are the distillation in physical form of our essence as physical beings".

-Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception

What happens when we are forced to move and live in circumstances not of our choosing? How do we inhabit these foreign spaces and make them our own? Do we recreate an identical space to the one we left behind? Are these the traces of memory and nostalgia of our ‘true’ home? Is it possible to not feel at home in our place of origin and find a home elsewhere that feels like we’ve always belonged?

These are the questions and concerns that I explore without preconception of desired result. What is found, is what is found. Whatever comparisons or similarities that may exist are open to the viewers interpretation.

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C.A.S.A. at the Athens Biennale | September 2016 Events

C.A.S.A. at the Athens Biennale | September 2016 Events

Athens Biennale OMONOIA resumes its action with September events. Artists from Greece and abroad refocus on Omonoia square, exploring diverse ways of interaction with the Athenian public. All the projects have as a reference point the venue of Bageion and the venue opposite of Varvakeios Market, which the Municipality of Athens has offered in the context of the co-organization of the Athens Biennale OMONOIA.

http://athensbiennale.org/en/nea/september-events-2016/

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Emilia Bouriti | Post-industrial Agrarian Routes

Emilia Bouriti | Post-industrial Agrarian Routes

The series of participatory performances was developed in Aspropyrgos, which is located 18 kilometers from Athens. The town has 30,000 residents today that coexist with many immigrants of different nationalities who arrive as seasonal agricultural workers. 
This town has been exclusively rural and unfolds the story of the history of Greek development from agricultural to industrial and then to the post-industrial era. 
The project is experiential and inspired by the rural life, the cultivation of food and the post-industrial phase of the area. 

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Emilia Bouriti | Performative lecture : Post-industrial Agrarian Routes

Emilia Bouriti | Performative lecture : Post-industrial Agrarian Routes

Emilia Bouriti is a choreographer and artist. She studied Performance and Visual Art with a master in Performance at Brighton University. Her work combines performance and installation, as she works on a site specific basis. She also creates "integrated performance" works, where body movement, the spoken word, visual art and music create a dynamic dialogue. Emilia teaches part-time at Fontys University Holland and at the Athens School of Fine Art.

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Vilelmini Andrioti | Bordello of Borders

Vilelmini Andrioti | Bordello of Borders

Vilelmini Androti is a Greek choreographer and sociologist, who considers her body as a vehicle to activism. As an artist based in Athens in the heart of the economic crisis, she both witness and experience vulnerabilities exposed by structures of economic inequality, which has deeply affected her work as an artist. Throughout her work she questions the boundaries of fragility, vulnerability and precariousness. She has been using her craft and dance theatre group Periigites (Wanderers) to propose an understanding of vulnerability. 

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Yvette Vasourkova | Inbetween city scale (CCEA, MOBA)

Yvette Vasourkova | Inbetween city scale (CCEA, MOBA)

Yvette Vasourkova is a founding member of Centre for Central European Architecture (CCEA) in Prague. Besides her curatorial activities, as an architect she is also involved in MOBA, a multi-purpose architecture platform, which she founded together with Igor Kovačević. She is a member of editorial board of Era 21 magazine.  In the context of  the ACTS OF ENGAGEMENT conference Yvette presents the inititiation processes on two projects in the public sphere she is currently involved in, the  Negrelli Viaduct project in Prague, and MAGISTRÁLA = NOVÁ PRAŽSKÁ TŘÍDA

Yvette Vasourkova presented the talk "In between city scale? in the context of the ACTS OF ENGAGEMENT conference, organised by Contemporary Art Showcase Athens in the context of the Athens Biennale AB5to6 "Omonoia.

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Athina Kanellopoulou | "Concord"

Athina Kanellopoulou | "Concord"

Is it possible for a language to keep all the elements and the pronunciations of words, when the residents of a country migrate and leave behind much of this tradition in an effort to adapt to new conditions? How does the meaning of a word sound from a man who lacks the state of the exact word and from someone who has forgotten its interpretations/ meanings?
The movement of populations and globalization are two reasons that make people to the use a common language as a communication medium. The result of this phenomenon is the elimination of those cultural platforms over the years. It is quite difficult to be able to keep the elements and the factors of a language from the previous generation to the next, because those elements are not parts of an everyday experience by the new users.

The Definitions I is an audiovisual archive, where the recording of specific conditions intended to ensure preservation. Video has been selected as the mean to imprint in the same time the timbre and expression of participants –visually and vocally-.

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Jussi Koitela | Skills of Economy

Jussi Koitela | Skills of Economy

Jussi Koitela is a curator and a visual artist currently based in Ams­ter­dam, Neth­er­lands.  Currently he is a participant of De Appel Cur­at­orial Programme. Jussi will be presenting his long term cur­at­orial research pro­ject Skills of Eco­nomy, addressing artistic reactions to economic discourses and structures.

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Erasmia Tsipra | Bordercrossing Flesh

Erasmia Tsipra | Bordercrossing Flesh

Erasmia Tsipra approaches her public performance work with a sense of urgency and directness. She considers working in the public sphere important due to the opportunities it offers for art to be exposed to a broader public, beyond the "closed" environments of the museum / gallery, as well as the multiplicity of interactions that the work sets up within an outdoor public setting. Tsipra approaches the public space as a space of "polyphony", as a site (citee) that is a natural-unnatural stage for expression, a canvas in which the artist is positioned and positions.

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C.A.S.A. presents ACTS OF ENGAGEMENT

C.A.S.A. presents ACTS OF ENGAGEMENT

Contemporary Art Showcase Athens presents the results of ACTS OF ENGAGEMENT | Cycle I in the context of Athens Biennale AB5to6
Tomorrow at 19.30 the opening of the exhibition and the performances on the Omonoia square.
The exhibition will continue on Sunday from 12.00 to 21.00
and the symposium will take place at 19.30 at Bageion Hotel, Omonoia.

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Javier Gonzales Pesce

Javier Gonzales Pesce

By typing Omonoia Square on Google, I encounter many comments from people warning tourists or potential visitors about this place and how it is dangerous. My first approach is to map this place personally, making pictures, recordings and mainly experiencing the place myself. This personal experience during the workshop leads me me to the production of a series of projects

A sculptural detail from inside the Bagkeion, a bust of Hermes, is cast in plaster, fragmented into small pieces, and transported by 10 carrier pidgeons to a new location where they it is then re-assembled. This way the pigeons are exchanging features that reveal certain activities or simply specific situations that could take place in both sites, making a slight difference in subtle elements that are relevant for understanding the identity of each place. Pigeons are themselves elements of the city landscape, this way I pretend that the landscape itself (through the pigeons) would reconfigure this slight elements on itself. 

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Tomas Diafas | I want an art superior to me

Tomas Diafas | I want an art superior to me

Quickly-made banners, with barely distinguishable slogans, manifestos on flyers spread in the streets, meet the lonely paths of the single protestor, the artist. This time the slogans are not in demand of a relief in taxation or a change of law. They aren't directed  to ministers and member;s of parliament. They begin from the question: "What should we do with art when we are starving?" Therefore, the banner "We want an art for the starving, no more works for the privileged" that was placed by Diafas on the facade of the Bagkeion on Omonoia Square, which hosts the Athens Biennale, is a cry directed towards artists. The work hints towards the notion of a more active relationship between art and society, which is the topic of Tomas Diafas' research.

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Thodoris Trambas | Syn+

Thodoris Trambas | Syn+

The "Syn+" performance focuses on people’s connection with one another. In his attempt to wrap a transparent plastic membrane around himself and his viewers, the artist ties himself tight up to another person, then to somebody else and so forth until all of us are tied up to one another. After the creation of a complex net resembling an umbilical cord that keeps all of us close together, the least movement of a single person is communicated to the entire cluster of the tied up participants arousing the need for awareness. It is, in fact, a transparent net that captures everything inside as it spreads all over the place from the one end to the other. A developing activity which the viewer is invited to get involved with, to trust, to keep it going or put an end to the performance.

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Helen Zervou | Free Araf

Helen Zervou | Free Araf

The “permanent residents” of the Omonoia Square, are in a continuous stand by state, waiting to be relocated (literally or figuratively). In 2016 the child population of the square has rapidly increased, a temporary safe-haven. During the “Acts of Engagement” workshop the artist approached the people of Omonoia Square –young and old- collecting wishes in the form of drawings. The majority of the participants were children and they used drawing to illustrate their wishes on flying lanterns. Those objects function as wish-carriers creating with their flight a mental vertical axis from the center of the square towards the universe.

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Andreas Papamichail | The Sowing of the Seed

Andreas Papamichail | The Sowing of the Seed

The action takes the form of a celebration in the center of the city, with ceremonial elements, held on the public space of Omonoia Square, which acted as a in-promptu social gathering with a large participation by the public. The festivities are  is  food and drinks distributed by the social kitchen independent solidarity group "O Allos Anthropos".  Street musicians are also involved the festivities. The public actions on the square, the sharing of food, dancing and singing, bring people together, a friendly coexistence under the symbolic idea of sowing. Within this setting, the ritualized action of the "sowing of the seeds" is undertaken by the artist, who spreads clay balls containing wheat seeds on the square and the surrounding areas.

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