Weekly Diary #3
Text by INTERWEAVE for MAI
Tuesday, March 29 – 2016
The third week of the As One exhibition has come to an end. In addition to the six long-durational performance artists, this past week As One also hosted four interventional performance artists: Giannis Karounis, Dimitris Chimonas, Serafita Grigoriadou and PASHIAS. The artists presented their works alongside many workshops, lectures and film screenings to complete this week’s As One experience.
Highlights of the public programs from this third week included Marina Abramovic’s presence in two events: a workshop with nine Greek artists and a lecture on the Terra Comunal project that was presented last year in Sao Paolo, Brazil; Paula Garcia’s workshop, where several As One’s interventional artists (Nikolaos, Yiannis Pappas, Katerina Oikonomou, Thanassis Akokkalidis, Anastasia Papatheodorou, Lovesick, Stavros Apostolatos and Yannis Antoniou) shared their thoughts about As One; and Denis Zacharopoulos’ talk on The Cleaning the House workshop and the way it is connected to self-awareness.
Tuesday March 22nd: Day 11
This week started with two interventional performance artists presenting their work all week long (Giannis Karounis and Serafita Grigoriadou). Dimitris Chimonas’s “Happy Birthday” was presented until Thursday, and PASHIAS’s “Diagrama” picked up the torch until Sunday. Giannis Karounis’ “Orbital” explores the constant, tortured attempts of one person to find their balance: for eight hours, the artist brings his body into a mutually dependent relationship with a ball - acting as another body, another being that he tried to understand and fall in step with, on which he balanced in order to come closer to his true self and his own self-actualization.
Nearby, Dimitris Chimonas sang “happy birthday” to himself, over and again, endlessly – a compulsive repetition that created the opportunity for a new outcome. This universal song, perhaps the best known in the world, becomes a personal elegy to a lost innocence.
Serafita Grigoriadou used several spaces in the Benaki Museum to present “The Never-Ending Song”, a work touching upon issues of immigration and emigration: the artist traverses the space, repeating her song over and over for eight hours each day, changing positions and levels to transport her voice and her memories throughout the space, with moments of intensity and silence, with whispers and melodies.
The Highlight of the day was Marina Abramovic’s second workshop with nine young artists: the artists presented to Abramovic their work, and discussed with her ways and ideas to develop it.
Wednesday, March 23rd: Day 12
Two extremely interesting events happened on this day: Paula Garcia’s workshop and Marina Abramovic’s second and last lecture. For two hours, Paula met with Nikolaos, Yiannis Pappas, Katerina Oikonomou, Thanassis Akokkalidis, Anastasia Papatheodorou, Lovesick, Stavros Apostolatos and Yannis Antoniou to discuss the artists As One experience. The artists shared their thoughts and feelings about the exhibition, both with Paula and the audience.
A little bit later, Marina Abramovic held a lecture on the Terra Comunal project in Sao Paulo, and spoke about long-durational work and shared with the public some highlights of her own long-durational works.
Thursday, March 24th: Day 13
The day that Dimitris Chimonas’ journey at the As One exhibition ends, Denis Zacharopoulos, art historian and art critic, Artistic Director of the Galleries, Museums and Collections of the Municipality of Athens, holds a talk about the Cleaning the House workshop. Zacharopoulos analyzes the origins of the Cleaning the House workshop and the way it connects to the Abramovic Method and Marina Abramovic’s performance practice. Since Abramovic is also present at the talk, she has the chance to interact directly with the audience and answer some of the questions asked.
Saturday, March 26th: Day 14
After a brief pause due to Greece’s National Holiday, As One continues its journey with a new entry in its interventional performance works: centered on the body as a vehicle for the energy, skill, aesthetic ideals and ability seen in the world of sport and physical training, PASHIAS’ “Diagrama” explores the concept of contest.
Sunday, March 27th: Day 15
The third week closes with a truly interesting incident experienced in one of As One’s long-durational performance’s spaces: in Yota Argyropoulou’s room (“One Person at a Time”) a visitor enters with whom Yota’s interaction is extremely intense - so intense, that in a few minutes many visitors gathered outside the room. The visitor stays in this specific performance space for over an hour, provoking the artist and pushing the boundaries of the performer/audience relationship to an extreme. Gradually, an enormous amount of energy is being generated – a kind of energy that seems to have engaged everyone on the second floor of the Benaki Museum, even some of the performance artists too. A unique moment of performance art, a moment that everyone who experienced it, felt the “here and now” energy Marina Abramovic is constantly talking about. A moment experienced by many, As One.