Yiannis Pappas: A Key

Yiannis Pappas

b. 1978, Patmos, GR

A Key (2016) 

Photographs by Natalia Tsoukala for NEON and MAI

This work tackles the issue of confinement as a form of personal, political, economic and religious conflict, and as a state of social exclusion and exploitation. The title A Key is a homophone of the Greek work “εκεί” (pronounced “ekí” — meaning “there”) and, as such, encapsulates both a fixation on making an escape, and an act of coercion into a state of subjugation. Yiannis Pappas will focus on self-imposed states of bodily museum-confinement for eight hours each day. Making his way through a sequence of “cells”, his only tool for escape is a key, which he uses to break through the walls. A lack of imagination — that is, a spiritual limitation — is offset by repetitious action and an insistence on escape. The final confinement cell opens only when a visitor takes the key from his hands and slips it into the lock.

Yiannis Pappas is a visual and performance artist based in Berlin. He studied sculpture and photography at the Athens School of Fine Arts until 2008. During the last year of his studies, he attended Christiane Möbus' class at the University of the Arts in Berlin (UdK), and completed the artistic and scientific Master of Arts Space Strategies at the Academy of Arts Weißensee in Berlin with Professor Maren Strack and Professor Kathrin Wildner. He has received awards from the Academy of Athens, Greek State Scholarship Foundation (IKY), Goethe Institute Residencies, and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Yiannis’ work has been exhibited in Israel, Germany, Mexico, France, Chile, Italy, India, Greece and Egypt. Religion, urbanism, nature and cultural spaces are central to his artistic themes, while the notion of intervention dominates his work.

Performed as part of:


March 10 - April 24, 2016
Benaki Museum
Athens, Greece

AS ONE Interventions