For its twentieth edition, the exhibition Rooms presents the work of twenty young performance artists and groups curated by that many curators in the rooms of St. George Lycabettus hotel. Occupying the hotel's second floor, the exhibition takes the form of a promenade, where each room is dedicated to a performance. Ranging from the introspective and poetic to the audacious and explosive, the selected performances transform the rooms that host them with props and materials, creating a kaleidoscopic experience as visitors wander from one room to the next. Below you will find a short description of all the participating performances. For more information (in Greek), check out the exhibition catalogue pdf here.
Fake ID, Marilena Aligizaki. Curated by Nasia Kalamaki.
This work is an experimental process in which the user creates a virtual face through the use of a digital simulator/avatar. The receiver listens to a recorded voice and has to create an avatar through the program FaceGen Modeler, which correlates to what they imagine represents the voice. Through the sound of the voice, an imaginary visualisation of the entity takes place and the listener is led to categorise the facial features as well as define social and racial status, while in the end they see the real face of the voice they heard. The project comments on stereotypes which stem from visual and acoustic factors.
Prime Matter, Maria Galazoula. Curated by Domna Gounari.
The materiality of wool as a natural, primary and everyday commodity forms the core of this artistic work where the creator emphasises the symbolic parameter of the material element which is laden with multiple experiences. The process, the physicality and participation starting from manual labor and the process of the material evolve through actions of sharing and trading and eventually create an environment of mutual contact and communication. Prime matter is shown here beyond its continuing role in the economic development of human society, as an indicative element of human identity, history, culture and existence itself.
Giannis Gardiklis. Curated by Christina Mot.
The hotel room becomes a platform, a common and personal non-space. It’s a place where anything can happen while any action of the past is being replaced by the next. In this time-based project proposed by Giannis Gardiklis, the aforementioned room is presented with luggage the (temporary) tenants had to leave behind after they departed. Each luggage contains the items which the guests brought and a soundwalk which the audience can listen to while viewing. The audience can interact with the luggage of previous visitors, leaving their personal fingerprint on a pre-existing object of the composition.
PANDORA 2022, Katerina Drakopoulou. Curated by Dora Kehagia.
Inspired by Andy Warhol’s 610 time capsules the artist attempts to create a collective “time capsule” which will contain the personal experiences of the participants. During the event, visitors enter depositing a personal item-memory. The performer records and packs the object. After the end of the exhibition the time capsules will be stored. Their opening will take place three years from now in 2022 during an installation performance. Katerina Drakopoulou attempts to investigate practices with which we connect, perceive and renegotiate our past. Her aim is to research the body as a field for reading, interpreting, recording and (re) constructing memory, but also as an active carrier of a story which may never be told.
part of the game, ZS Ensemble. Curated by Alkistis Maria Kontopoulou.
Zs Ensemble participate in the exhibition by creating an environment which is based on oppositions. The aim is to underline the meaning of borderline familiarity. Hot-cold, fast-slow, light-halflight, noise-quiet, in-out are some of the oppositions found on the route to meet with the spectator’s mind, body and self. Roads run through the city, corridors run through the hotel, arteries run through the body. Everything somehow leads somewhere. A spatio-temporal game with the senses, a discussion, contact with the other and with myself, a presence, a familiarity perceived through the spectrum of border as a temporal condition but mainly as a qualitative one.
NEVERMORE, Antigoni Theodorou. Curated by Francesco Kiàis.
The artist will inhabit the room, liberating it from the semantic bond of its symbols, weaving an ideal web of new meanings, a playful constellation of sense and reference to life and myth*. Identifying with the history of the place, Theodorou transforms the room into a tank in order to become a space of acceptance and a dochme** (ancient Greek word for palm) much like the palms of our hands when we unite them to let the world sleep inside them and dream.
*According to mythology Lycabettus was a rock that the goddess Athena carried in her hands. The rock dropped from her hands when she received ill news from a raven.
**The greek word for tank, δεξαμενή (deksameni), as well as dochme, have the same root as the Greek word δέχομαι (dechome), which means accept.
OUTLAND, GRAAM (Konstantinos Gkarametsis) and Anna Papathanasiou. Curated by Maria Xypolopoulou.
The project Outland constitutes a collaborative performance which attempts to investigate relations between genderless and gendered, real and imaginary through the complexity of contemporary identities. The term outland was first used by the author Lewis Carroll in his work “Sylvie and Bruno” (1889) to describe a place which transcends both reality and imagination. Through the use of materials which aim to create distorted reflections, the two performers propose a different way of viewing the human condition by creating two hybrid figures which appear to be reborn on stage through the process of transformation.
Confessions, Vera Iona (Papadopoulou) and Eliza Krikoni. Curated by Lina Tsikouta.
Two young artists create a new collaborative performance specifically made for Rooms 2019. At the entrance of the room a volunteer gives the spectators entry numbers, mirrors and instructions. In the room which contains randomly placed chairs Eliza and Vera sit down and confess to each other, discuss and act looking through the mirror. This constant action, contact, exchange, discussion is characterized by calmness, tension, unexpected events and multiple emotions. A condition is created where time and space are given to you to listen to yourself, the other and the viewer.
Synapses 2, Roula Karaferi. Soundscore by: Whodoes(composition-production). Curated by Valentini Margaritopoulou.
The performer’s body emerges from the darkness of the room as it sinks in the maze of projections showing the work of visual artist Nora Theodosiadou. The body reveals through its movement a vital energy mimicking the free scripting of ink on the canvas. Two actions together, two spontaneous visual unconscious thoughts, movement and painting cutting through each other on the altar of their inner impulses. The performance is transformed into a pulsating synapsis, the body radiates its non-conformist signals combined with the soundscape and touches the unconscious, creating the sense of an ancient visual language.
memOria futuRa, Spiros Kouvaras. Curated by Adonis Volanakis.
Spiros Kouvaras begins from dance only to find himself in the gap between performance and visual installation. The artist himself narrates “The past is transformed” and through choreography (actions of the present) he gradually acquires a subjective dimension of futurology, which is strengthened by the timeless coexisting of body and space. The choreography aims to activate this disparate timing as it differentiates and unites, flows and solidifies, unfolds and encompasses momentary sparks and fragments. Presences and absences, images and fantasies from the past and the future create in this way a “living present” which starts to vibrate under its own conditions.
URBANBOX Giorgos Nikopoulos. Music by Dimitra Trypani, Masks by Nikos Kokkalis. Curated by Maria Maragou.
The cast of the animated film THEOX are presented in real space and time through the live action of a single performer. In URBANBOX one individual reincarnates the film’s five characters, the Ox, the Old-man, the Old-woman, the Girl and the Angel, bringing the illusion of animated art in real life. Based on the artist’s method Animating Human Dolls, a method he is currently developing through his academic research, the performance bypasses the “everyday” body language and suggests an aesthetic and expressive hybrid constructed on conditions that transcend the limits of language and nations.
“...of Eleni”, Artemis Orfanidou. Curated by Irini Savvani.
Drawing inspiration from the story and tragic end of actress Eleni Papadaki during the events of December 1944 in Athens, Artemis Orfanidou trails the fine line between betrayal, naivety and misunderstanding.
Her character Eleni is inside her personal space/room and is prepared for the final act: her exit from life. Through a text written by the artist, which she performs with subtle, ritualistic motions, a silent dialogue is instigated between her and the audience. Orfanidou aims to challenge the audience to participate as a smuggled-in spectator to her protagonist’s final moments.
Fresco, Evgenia Papageorgiou. Curated by Dimitra Marini.
This work is a digital mural composed in real time. The performer as part of the visiting group separates herself to receive the visitor from their common psychological scales and take them by the hand to lead them through the narrative's essence. The elliptic representation during the time of the action reveals new interactive patterns choreographed upon sonic counterpoints. The performer approaches her digital counterpart in order to be repositioned against her current self. According to the curator “the convergence of technology and art stems not only from the request of a realistic representation of the imaginary but also as a structural trend.”
Urban Jungle, Iro Papakosta. Curated by Dio Kaggelari.
Iro Papakosta is inspired by the engravings of J.J. Grandville and creates the set of an urban jungle inside a hotel room with animal-like tenants who bring along their natural habitat.
Genesis 21<3, Marios Stamatis. Curated by Vasiliki-Maria Plavou.
Marios Stamatis examines physicality in the contemporary digital era through dating apps. He focuses on developing new technologies which address the personal reserve which then feedbacks on reality. Parallel to that, he comments on the two-way constitution of the subject-user as a person in real life and their digital presence. The performance processes simulations of relevant emotional impulses using the conversion of pop culture symbols as prime matter. Pop song lyrics are isolated and compose the vocabulary of an online erotic dialogue. Through an imaginary environment inspired by artificial intelligence technologies developed in the era of digital matchmaking, the artist upgrades the room to an emerging chatbox aiming to re-establish an electronic dialogue between the performer and the viewer as an active lover.
Dictum Factum. Vasilis Skarmoutsos and Foteini Alexopoulou. Curated by Nikoleta Prepi.
The hotel room is transformed into a hetero-spatial place where conventional space becomes private, becomes memory and personal story. The artist causes the spectator to experience an internal investigation which is transmuted into an artwork. Seated on a table he invites visitors to an interview with questions that arouse their innermost thoughts. Each answer is recorded as a note and is posted on the empty canvas on the wall over the bed. At the same time visual artist Foteini Alexopoulou transfers everything she hears to her in situ creations.
Velesi, Evtixia Tzanetoulakou. Curated by Evtixia (Faye) Tzanetoulakou.
The action depicts the weaving of a female mourning dress with wire in live time. Velesi (derivative of the Venetian word valessio) is a female undergarment. The meaning of the word is changed across different areas. Velesi in Mani is found as a dark blue dress with the distinct feature of a red belt and a wide red horizontal stripe of fabric placed along the knee line called bougazi. The bougazi was worn by single or married women. If the husband died they would tear a piece of the fabric over the grave or if a brother died they would tear it off completely.
Convergence, Thodoris Trampas. Curated by Simoni Niarou.
Thodoris Trampas applies in action every kind of physical expression aiming to discern an elevated point of universal identification for all the art forms. The sense of “here and now” does not exist in a space where the artwork is evolving continuously through a half finished action to visual completion. It escapes its narrow performative limits to become an autonomous and perpetual act without being subdued by narrative rules of beginning, middle and end. The body is featured as the point of convergence for every human act in a collaborative visual work between the audience and the artist.
Eleni Tsamadia. Curated by Macklin Kowal.
Eleni Tsamadia proposes a reenacting performance which is at the same time participatory, both introvert and extrovert. The audience is called to become involved in the action through a series of micro-events unfolding in the space. The performance springboards off issues of consumerism ideals and uniformity. Tsamadia projects a common aesthetic through expendable materials and presents a critical stance towards the epidemic of liberal capitalism.