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
C-prints
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.

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
performance
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

If Future a Dead Loss, 2017
Werft 5 – Raum für Kunst, Cologne, Germany
installation, performance

Performance
2 hours approx.
Opening night. The waitresses stop serving drinks at a certain point of the night for no apparent reason. The visitors of the exhibition get involved in a particular frustrated transaction because of not being informed in advance.

Flip books
10 cm x 5 cm
Available for public to take away.
David Bowie, Muhammad Ali, Mark Fisher

«What happens if the young are no longer capable of producing surprises?»*
Conceived as a sculptural gesture, If Future a Dead Loss plays with the notion of a tribute to personal and collective expectations of western cultural production.

The central piece of this exhibition is 33,478 (2014-18), a sculpture comprised of a large wooden table that showcases books spines. The surface of the table alternates from glass blocks to wooden finish. I started by tearing pages of books, mostly encyclopedias, history books and dictionaries, only to keep the book spines, in order to question the manual labor behind the intellectual one. The work is using scenography, something between a staged funeral and a fashion defile, in order to unveil the void I face in contemporary cultural production.
At the opening night, 3 performers were taking orders and serving the audience but gradually failing purposefully to deliver. My ultimate goal was to infuse a feeling of temporary frustration in order to highlight the sentiment of reward over anticipation. Most of the audience left earlier due to bad service.
Lastly, the exhibition included 3 take away flipbooks with David Bowie, Muhammad Ali και Mark Fisher, who all died in the same year. The flipbooks bring the characters into motion through quick hand movements that bring back the gesture of manual labour.

*Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?, John Hunt Publishing, 2009

Flip Book with David Bowie’s «Heroes» album cover, released in 1977

Cause love is such an old fashioned word (Δουρειος Ίππος), 2016
@Enterprise Projects
Installation, fanzines
A text commenting on the installation written by the artist Kosmas Nikolaou was displayed close to the benches. Πεζοτράγουδα για την Καλλιόπη (ή διαφορετικά το πένθος ταιριάζει στη Ηλέκτρα)

The relocation of  Kalabsha temple in Egypt  and its relation to story of the Trojan horse inspires the exhibition. The show is dealing with the idea of the monument, the ruins, the landmark, the performance of destruction and the ever shifting of the above definitions.
The exhibition space becomes a pseudo-historical space, a pseudo-memorial site where the audience is invited to consume. This work was constructed from materials that were either accidentally found at the exhibition area (studio of other artist) or moved from my studio mainly as repurposed elements of earlier works. The white acrylic paint along with a fanzine and a wall text by artist Kosmas Nikolaou, written especially for the exhibition, were the only new elements of the show.
The word “Welcome” written on the “Horse” indicates the intermediate moment that occurs in every encounter.

δελτίο τύπου / press release

photos: Stathis Mamalakis