JARGON VIRGINIA MASTROGIANNAKI
DURATION: 39 DAYS
A human clock measures time as it passes, as it tests the limits of body and mind. Virginia Mastrogiannaki renders her own body an analogue machine, a tool for calculating time, the hours we work, the time of the space in which she finds herself. Her mind battles to remain focused on every minute, eight hours a day, for seven weeks. This is an ascetic act that nevertheless links her with others through the overlay of time and place. The inability of the mind to follow the passage of time means mistakes are unavoidable, but notes taken on paper restore the spirit to the task at hand.
Mastrogiannaki’s performance was held on the second floor of the Benaki Museum. As a part of the installation, she had a table, chair, papers for tallying, and a red dot as a concentration point across the room. Each day Mastrogiannaki was wired with a microphone, connected to a loud speaker which the voice of her counting is projected into. She often walked around the floor, interacting with visitors.
Over the course of the performance, Mastrogiannaki began holding conversations, taking naps, sitting in silence, all while mentally counting. As she would describe, she was even counting in her sleep. With time, she also reached precision to actual time. Many days towards the end of the performance, she would start and end at the right time, opening and closing the exhibition. The voice projection became a unifying element for all the performers on this floor.
Virginia Mastrogiannaki graduated with a Masters degree from the Athens School of Fine Arts of Athens (2013), a Masters degree from the School of Visual and Applied Arts—Faculty of Fine Arts, AUTh (2010), and received the D.N.S.E.P. (International Superior Degree of Plastic Expression) from the Rouen School of Fine Arts, France (2002). Selected exhibitions: in 2015, “Global Control and Censorship” curated by Bernhard Serexhe at ZKM in Karslruhe, Germany, and the 5th Young Artists' Workshop “Romance” curated by Areti Leopoulou and Yeni Tjami at the Thessaloniki Biennale; in 2014, the Municipality of Thessaloniki Pavilion at the 24th International Istanbul Art Fair in Turkey, curated by Nikos Mykoniatis & Thalea Stefanidou, and the “Lhi-Lna” resident programme in Almopia, Greece; in 2012, “Rooms” curated by Charis Savvopoulos at the Saint George Lycabettus in Athens, Greece; in 2009, “Kitsch Today” at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Thessaloniki in Greece; in 2004, resident sculpture workshop “Imbahim Calli” in Pammukale, Turkey; and in 2002, Paris-Berlin/Recontres Internationales at the Immanence Gallery in Paris, and Podewill Contemporary.