WEEKLY DIARY #7
Text by INTERWEAVE for MAI
Photos by Natalia Tsoukala and Panos Kokkinos
Monday, April 25th – 2016
The seventh and last week of As One marks end of NEON + MAI’s exhibition.
This week, five interventional performances were presented: “The Office of Public Unburdening” by Eugenia Tsanana; “Dance with me’ by Thomas Diafas, also presented during the fourth week of As One; “Portrait of the unknown man” by Yannis Antoniou & Stavros Apostolatos; ”There was voice” by Katerina Oikonomou, both presented also during the second week of the exhibition; “I came to the sea and I was scared. My heart is broken” by the invited Irish performance artist Kira O’ Reilly; and a re-performance of Marina Abramovic’s “Cleaning the Mirror” has been presented by Martha Pasakopoulou.
Highlights from the public programs included: Sofia-Eliza Bouratsi’s talk “The Body Outside Time - Aesthetics and Poetics of the Body in the Αbramovic Method”; Kira O’ Reilly’s talk and workshop; Jacopo Godani’ s talk and workshop; Thanos Argyropoulos’, Elina Kountouri’s and Serge Le Borgne’ s talk about the As One exhibition; Serge Le Borgne’s talk on ”Immateriality in the Arts”; Paula Garcia’s and Serge Le Borgne’s workshop with plenty of artists that have participated in As One.
Tuesday, April 19th: Day 33
This is the first day of Evgenia Tsanana’s “The Office of the Public Unburdening” six-day performance. Setting up an “office” at the Benaki Museum, the artist invites people to share their nightmares with her. The nightmares are written down in pencil on paper, then erased. She stores the rubbings in a small case, which she will carry to the sea to throw out on Sunday.
The same day, two pieces were performed again from earlier this exhibition: Yannis Antoniou’s and Stavros Apostolatos’ five-day performance “Portrait of the Unknown Man”; and Thomas Diafas’ three-day performance “Dance with Me”.
In the afternoon, the art theorist, curator and facilitator in the Abramovic Method, Sofia Eliza Bouratsi, delivered a lecture about the limits and the aesthetics of the body in the Abramovic Method. Titled “The body outside time – Aesthetics and Poetics of the Body in the Abramovic Method”, the lecture was based on a philosophical approach to the history of the body in art and was inspired by her experience as a facilitator in the As One exhibition.
Wednesday, April 20th: Day 34
Kira O’ Reilly, Irish performance artist, along with the Greek performance artist Vasiliki Dimou, talked about O’ Reilly’s work “I came to the sea and I was scared. My heart is broken”. Dimou initially performed this work as part of a performance series called Love Letter to a (Post)-Europe, curated by Lisa Alexander], in place of O’Reilly.
Thursday, April 21st: Day 35
Choreographer Jacopo Godani and collaborator Luisa Sancho Escanero, of the Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company, leads two events: a two-hour workshop where Godani invites Greek dancers to take part in movements based on his style of dance, which aims to activate the underused parts of the body; and later in a public discussion. The two collaborators talk about dance as immaterial art and the differences and similarities between dance and performance art. At the end of their talk, they shared some video excerpts of their work.
Friday, April 22nd: Day 36
Kira O’ Reilly began performing her two-day intervention performance: using water, salt, vinegar and large copper pipes, the artist creates a work inspired by the words of a fisherman who found the bodies of young refugees on the beaches of Greece “I came to the sea and I was scared. My heart is broken”.
In the afternoon, MAI Director Thanos Argyropoulos, NEON director Elina Kountouri and MAI artistic director Serge Le Borgne, had a public discussion about the As One project, about the birth, the process and development, and final impact.
Saturday, April 23rd: Day 37
MAI Artistic director Serge Le Borgne’s gives a lecture on “Immateriality in the Arts”, which he discussed the philosophical meaning of immateriality, as well as how immateriality and performance are perceived in art; Le Borgne’s and Paula Garcia’s held a workshop with the project's performance artists: a number of the intervention and internationally acclaimed artists who participated in the project, talked about their experience and shared with the public thoughts and emotions.
Sunday, April 24th: Day 38
This day’s intervention performances included Katerina Oikonomou’s “There was voice”, which was also presented in As One during the second week of the exhibition - while Martha Pasakopoulou reperformed for the last time in this project “Cleaning the Mirror”, first performed by Marina Abramovic in 1995.
This last day of the exhibition was more like a celebration: the Benaki Museum was completely packed with people while intensely bittersweet emotions filled up the space. Some minutes before the closing time of the exhibition, several people were gathered around Virginia Mastrogiannaki’s space, to share the exhibition’s last minutes of life As One: everyone in the space counted down until 7.00’ p.m., thus marking the official end of As One.