A day after a day after a day after a day, 2013

solo exhibition, curated by Florent Frizet @One Minute Space, Athens

This body of work takes as a starting point Vlassopoulou’s research on Leros island, located in the east of the Aegean Sea and only an hour off the coast of Turkey, and its histories of multi-layered confinement. Leros has a long history of incarceration rooted in its exemplary landscape defined by water and unique architectural heritage. In the area of Lepida, military barracks built during the Italian occupation (1912-1943), have been reused ever since as indoctrination institutions in post-Greek Civil War era (1948-1964), prison cells for political dissidents during the military junta (1967-1974), mental healthcare facilities (1958-today), and refugee camps, known as hotspots (2016-today). Last year, right above the existing infrastructures, on top of the hill, a new controlled refugee camp, with barbed wire fencing, surveillance cameras, x-ray scanners and magnetic doors and gates, was built.

Thinking of the common living conditions of all these very different cases of unwanted bodies, Vlassopoulou is drawn to the plate as an object widely recognized as a symbol of sustenance and as a domestic object linked to material culture. She creates multiple porcelain plates to carry words, lines, scratches. Each plate acts like a journal entry documenting numbers of confinement. In the exhibition space, the plates build up a storyline through drawings, notes and quotations. 

In the middle of the space, two sculptures refer to the marshy ground and the natural flora that surrounds the facilities at Lepida. Although nature is often associated with a sense of freedom, in the case of the inmates the feeling can be very different. The plants act as an additional barrier to a possible escape and exacerbate the feeling of fear.

A day after a day after a day after a day serves as a cognitive and sensorial experience on placement and displacement.

To love the hibiscus, you must first love the monsoon, 2022

@Weather Engines, curated by Daphne Dragona & Jussi Parikka

Water is a regulatory factor not only for the climate but also for life on the planet. Today’s higher temperatures and often extreme weather conditions affect the availability and distribution of rainfall, snowmelt, river flows, and groundwater. This also further deteriorates water quality. The work “To Love the Hibiscus, You Must First Love the Monsoon” is a composition of objects that refer to water collection, transport, and storage. Tiles, pipes, filters, vessels, and funnels that seem to be complete or broken, industrial or handmade, of the past or the present are found on the ground as fragments of water infrastructures and utensils. They point to the use, waste, or shortage of water, whereas their placement highlights the connection between water, ground, vegetation, and life. The title of the piece is a line from Hala Alyan’s poem “Thirty” and refers to the need to confront a system larger than ours.

Bread, 2020

commissioned by TAVROS, in collaboration with Elisavet Koulouri (baker) and A Whale’s architects /Iris and Leda Lykourioti (architecture office )

How the chemical reactions that form the invisible micro-architecture of connections and disconnections that erupt into bread are metaphors for the complexity of our political interactions as the body politic vibrates and demands. Grain, cultivation, city states and the written word were after all born concurrently. The complexity of the biological and the political are explored, through bread, with words? The newspaper is a response to a need (or a want) for us all to be in touch, to touch, to be touched. So that our senses, currently denied a common response to matter, can return to the haptic and mouths, tongues, words, language.
The texts appearing in the newspaper have been translated into the language of (almost) every community that resides in Tavros – Greek, Punjabi, Russian, Albanian, Armenian, Arab and French. It has been disseminated freely in bakeries in the broader neighborhood and has been posted to a group of colleagues and friends, while the city of Athens was in a lockdown.

Images by Alexandra Masmanidi

Training drills, 2019
memory of the world, 2019
marker on taverna table cloths
Slogans found written on the walls in the exiles self-organized dining-room or school-room of Anafi during the 1930’s.

@Phenomenon 3, a biennial project for contemporary art held in the Aegean island of Anafi, Greece

Part of the residency was a breakfast hosted at the ancient Apollo Temple – now the Christian Monastery of Anafi & a poster.

All images by Alexandra Masmanidi

Practising Pleasure Where Possible, 2018
Ceramics, steel, electric wire, kitchen towels

@Geometries, curated by Locus Athens/ produced by the Onassis Cultural Center

The ceramic exhibits borrow their forms from modern and ancient breast pumps as well as sound producing objects such as megaphones and fifes. The metallic grids that function as showcases make reference to the “gossip table”*. The ceramics hanging on electric cables highlight the idea of information or/and physical substance transmission.

This work acts as a score, an ode to the idea of care that is emphasized through the use of soft towels, which is also a very useful material in sculpture. With the piece Practising Pleasure Where Possible I try to explore the transformation of society from agricultural to industrial, underlining the different roles the woman takes on patriarchal western societies.

*Gossip table: is a piece of furniture that consists of a seating area stretching out to a table where the telephone is located.

images (c) 2018 by Dimitris Parthimos

Pour, stir, dissolve, serve or march, 2018
wood, plastic kitchen gloves, plaster, towels, markers

Pour, stir, dissolve, serve or march design is based on the structure of advertising boards and transforms them into items of clothing–costumes that are reminiscent of both a cooking apron and a picket sign. After visiting the Olympic Village Women’s Association, curious about what brought these women together, I started thinking whether their meetings include characteristics of political self-organization, and whether a sewing class could put someone on the path of a protest. The resulting sculptural works suggest, through the wooden shapes, the firmness both of domestic work and political action and humorously indicate, through swollen gloves, the human labor.

22nd & 23rd of January, 8:30 PM 

Museum of Cycladic Art 

This is a collaboration between the independent artist run space 3 137 and the Museum of Cycladic Art.
First act: Paky Vlassopoulou
*Dress code: total black*

Stemming from ceramic art of ancient civilizations, I created objects that could redefine the classical format of a formal dinner. Running along the full length of the table, there was a consistent grey surface onto which a three-legged rack was placed, one for each guest. The soup, first plate, was served in bowls placed on top of the racks. The second plate, fried baby shrimps, arrived, before even realising that no cutlery was provided until then. Finally, the main course lands directly on the grey surface together with the anticipated forks and knifes.

The dessert was granite served in a ceramic semi-feeding bottle, semi-bong device. Design meets primitivism whilst objects become ceremonial rather than just utilitarian. Through a series of unexpected episodes the dinner evolves into a collective performance that invites us to negotiate our primal instincts. Serving utensils, materials, dishes, and dining companions are put in a new sequence, known but unprecedented.

images (c) 2018 by Ilias Seferlis-Frantzis

Smoking and waiting. Waiting and smoking.(The Stranger I)
perfomance in public space
Monday 25.09.2017 – Thursday 28.09.2017
from 4.30 p.m until sunset
at BRDG, Antwerp
Special thanks to Mathias Mu

Taking as a starting point the public space, as a place where, each second, unexpected/ absurd and random encounters take place, this work aims to explore the daily use of public space and questions the vicinity between the people sharing the same public urban landscape.
What does it mean for someone to stand still at the same spot for a long time in a city like Antwerp, seemingly for no reason, under the current (turbulent) political climate and aggressive immigration policies?
For four days, at the junction between Oostenstraat and Mercatostraat, a performer stands still, waits and smokes.
At the request of the residents and on the last day of the performance the police approached the performer to investigate his intentions. At the same time a woman that resides in the neighborhood was surprised to hear that the performer was part of a visual arts project. Until then, she thought the performer was homeless, who for reasons of dignity did not ask for help.

images (c) Mark Rietveld

Hello Mrs Ramsay (Things Don’t Change That Fast), 2017
30 min.
@The Living Room XL, AIR Antwerpen, curated by Alan Quireyns
Special thanks to Frederiek Weda and Kim Snauwaert

Stemming from the distance between the person who is serving and the person who is being served, this work touches upon the woman’s role as a caretaker and questions social work regardless gender.

Two performers, a professional performer and the exhibition coordinator, are taking on the role of the hosts and serve the audience wine and sea snails. However, the utensils are deformed. The ceramic carafe used to serve the wine is 80cm long and the platter’s handle is almost one meter long. Attached to their shoes they have bricks and they wear neck ruffs highlighting the role of the servant. The title of the work is referencing the protagonist of Virginia’s Woolf “To the Lighthouse”, Mrs Ramsay, a role model for wife, woman and hostess.


(c) 2017 by Alena Schmick