• The Cone Of Memory

    Eleusis is a town famous as the site of the Eleusinian Mysteries, a major Athenian religious celebration in the ancient times, and it is situated about 18 km west of Athens. By the late 19th century it became a town. After the Second World War it was a major industrial centre of modern Greek State, with a concrete factory, a soap factory and the largest oil rafinery in Greece. The town attracted workers from all parts of the country.
    In that exceptional location, ancient ruins stand side by side with modernity’s ghost industrial corpses, heavy industry factories and residencial housing buildings.

    In 2016, Eleusis was named the European Capital of Culture for 2021/23. In 2019, in the framework of the festival’s programm, a group of elderly people with refugee background were the non-professional performers of a street site-specific performance. The event was related to the people’s collective and personal experiences, and took place at their neighbourhood ‘Prosfygika’ (meaning refugees’ area). The district was founded in 1922, as displaced people from Asia Minor arrived in the town after the 1919-1922 Greco-Turkish War and the subsequent population exchange between Greece and Turkey. In the same festival’s programm, a group of young professionals participated in a workshop on theatre criticism and theatre review, where I also tought, with the aim of writing about the street performance.

    In my video The Cone of Memory, performers’ and workshop participants’ personal and collective stories mix with thoughts and emotions, and come together in a complex construction. In the flow of the video, the workshop participants talk about what they imagine and expect from the street performance shortly before attending it, and about their impressions and thoughts immediately after. In between, the group of performers talk about their experience of participating in the street performance.
    The structure of the video reflects the basis of my artistic strategy. The camera follows the chronological development of events and their perception with immediate recordings and without the mediation of time that usually affects the process of ‘crystallizing’ the experience. It captures the actions of people in their mental and physical movement ‘inwards’ and ‘outwards’ from the artistic performance. The work seeks to shed light on the passage from the private to the public sphere, to fathom ideas as they emerge, and to illuminate the processes that shape expression and determine our perception of life experience through art.

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