Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Towards the Bank of the Future, 2013 at Visual Dialogues 2013

Theo Prodromidis
Towards the Bank of the Future
2K, stereo, 7'30"

© courtesy of the artist 2013

"Towards the Bank of the Future" observes and engages with two conceptual axes.

The first axis derives from the analysis of Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics, where Aristotle presents the problematic of a definition of the "work of man". As the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben comments "the aim of such a definition is the designation of the ultimate good (Agathon) as a subject of political science, in relation to which the engagement with ethics, operates as a form of introduction. This ultimate good is happiness".

In Cavafy's work, one can locate this engagement, between the ethical and aesthetic operation of man and specifically of the creator of work.

In the same way that Aristotle sets the work of man in motion, this form of a life that is activated by the operation of Logos, Cavafys repositions life, or a form of life at least, in the sphere of History, a history of action, an action beyond a simple livelihood (ζῆν).

Cavafys in a way that is essentially modern, and with modernity being clearly visible in the formal qualities of his body of work, describes, and thus positions in the sphere of aesthetics, actions and events taken from both the historical and the everyday, and thus elevates them in forms that while they are located in the common, they are set in motion by the sublime.

At this exact point, the work "Towards the Bank of the Future" focuses on the second axis, on the concept of historicity, thus the specific position and use of History in the work of Cavafys. The poet frequently narrates in his works, of a man who is historically located either in the classical or the modern times.

What is always underlying and gives the work its characteristic force, are these historical moments that one can come in relation to in Cavafy's poetry, moments that usually overturn established political and social orders. And while the narration revolves around the tangible and the everyday, the historical position is always a key element for both the semiotic and experiential engagement with the poem.

The above element is the one that transforms the work of Cavafys to a significant moment of modernity in poetry. The displaced historicity of the form, where the atemporal collides with the historical.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Visual Dialogues 2013 at Plato's Academy, Athens, organised by Onassis Cultural Centre

Visual Dialogues 2013

November 7th, 2013 – January 7th, 2014

Visual Dialogues 2013 leave the confines of the OCC to transform Plato’s Academy Leisure Park into an ideal space for exhibiting works inspired by the great Greek poet, C.P. Cavafy.
Visual Dialogues 2013 is a project, organized for the third time by the Onassis Cultural Centre, with the purpose to build a communication bridge with the audience in public spaces of Athens, suggesting to Athenians a different viewpoint of their city through art.

On the occasion of the celebrating year 2013, which marks both the 150th anniversary of C.P. Cavafy’s birth and the 80th anniversary of his death, Visual Dialogues 2013 aspire to constitute a reflection on how the great poet deals with, interprets, evaluates and “transfers” the Ancient Greek Thought’s heritage in his era.

Within this framework, 10 contemporary, young artists, who work with digital image, were invited to approach through their artistic language C.P. Cavafy’s oeuvre by creating completely new, original works produced with new media technologies (video, animation, etc.).

In the attempt to create a dialogue between Greek and foreign artists, and as an hommage to the cosmopolitan character of C.P. Cavafy’s life and work, among this
year’s participations there are three foreign artists and a large number of Greeks, permanently living and working abroad.

The ten, in total, digital artworks are shown inside self-contained architectural structures standing in the Plato’s Academy Leisure Park, designed especially to fit in with the Park’s natural surroundings.

The presented artworks will be the following:

Athanasios Argianas
Pinna, 2013
Marianna Christofides
Here let me stand, 2013
Joana Hadjithomas – Khalil Joreige
I stared at beauty so much..., 2013
Rick Myers
An Excavation / A Reading (Before the Statue of Endymion)
Theo Prodromidis
Towards the Bank of the Future, 2013
Bill Psarras
Urban Halo, 2013
Erica Scourti
Out of Time, 2013
Yorgos Taxiarchopoulos
Oracle, 2013
Yiannis Theodoropoulos
Antioch, 2013
Maria Varela
And so much intensity in Greek phraseology, 2013

Plato’s Academy Leisure Park
Exhibition curator: Marilena V. Karra
Exhibition’s Duration: November 7th, 2013 – January 7th, 2014
Opening Hours: Mon – Sun 12.00-18.00
Free Admission

It is worth noting, that the work by Katerina Athanasopoulou, “Apodemy”, which was commissioned by OCC and was first presented at Visual Dialogues 2012 at Plato’s Academy Leisure Park, was awarded with the internationally acclaimed Lumen Prize on October 8, 2013. This prize is awarded annually and it aims to bring out the best digital works internationally.

“Visual Dialogues” are implemented in the framework of the project “Greek Cogitation Colloquia: Experiential Learning Programs” as part of the action “Academy of Plato – The city and the citizen”. The project "Greek Cogitation Colloquia: Experiential Learning Programs" has been designed by the Onassis Cultural Centre – Non Profit Organization and is implemented in collaboration with the National University of Athens. The project is co-financed by European Social Fund and National funds through the Operational Programme Education and Lifelong Learning.

This project, focused on Education and Lifelong Learning for people of all ages, aspires to open up new avenues of thought on issues of global and diachronic interest through a wide range of experiential activities, focusing on the Greek way of thinking and the "Academy of Plato".  Leading thinkers, scholars, scientists, artists and intellectuals from around the world are participating in public debates, educational programs, workshops and experiential learning programs targeted to the Hellenism, the City and the Citizen.


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