A seminar by Nina Fischer, Marina Fokidis* and Lilli Kuschel
WHAT IS TOPOS? (LOCATION) AND WHAT IS TIME IN THE GLOBALISED HYPERLINKED BRAVE TRANSWOLRD?
How necessary is it to speak exclusively in terms of concrete geography and distinctions? Especially, if we want to define a destiny that claims real freedom or at least an attempt at it. From where do we start, if we want to open up a possibility for discursive change to occur? Whose experiences are being narrated here by whom and why?” How can we go even further, beyond the cultural dependence between the “center” and the “peripheries”?
Through various meetings with local cultural professional of the island of Hydra, visits in exhibitions and historical as well as private archives., lectures by Greek art or international art professionals, group readings, film projections, discussions as well as practical- sensitive exercises – like walking and swimming and peripatetic seminars, students will be invited to approach and understand- in praxis- a new location, the historical island of Hydra. The idea is not only to understand the history and the contemporaneity of Greece, but also the limitations and parameters of our own physical beings and coexistence. Creating new commons, based on empathy and resonance, and through the shaping of a collective or individual minor practical projects, will be a bliss.
The methodology of the class will be based on the book The Troubadour of Knowledge by Michel Serres as well as to the methodology of the Aristotelian peripatetic academy.
*Marina Fokidis is a an independent contemporary art curator based in Athens. She is Funding Director of Kunsthalle Athena and Editor in Chief of South Magazine, and director of the Documenta team in Athens.
The seminar took place on the island Hydra in Greece, from June 16th to 22nd, as co-operation with the Athens School of Fine Arts.
8 students from the Class Experimental film and Media Art by Prof Nina Fischer travelled to Greece
Yoonjoo Lee, Claudia Malecka, Marina Höxter, Hara Shin, Anna Petzer, Dariia Kuzmych, Lisa Hoffmann and Florian Goldmann
Excerpt of the schedule: we visited the opening of a Kiki Smith exhibition at the Deste Art Foundation, a former sheep slaughterhouse of Hydra, where had a talk with her the next day; we met the director of the Hydra School Projects, Dimitris Antonitsis at the exhibition he curated in the current Marine School at the Old Harbour; we visited the Historical Museum and State Archives; and invited international guests to Hydra, like Pip Day, a visiting Director/Curator of the SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art in Montreal and discussed the policies of research.
In the afternoons, we met in the old Captains House, and read and discussed the Book „Troubadour of Knowledge“, of the french philosopher Michel Serres together. In his book he talks about the experience, of leaving the safe coast, and swim literally to new shores, to leave security behind, and jump into the unknown, to struggle to survive, to explore, to dive and to surface possibly as a different person on a new place, which is also a practise that encourages, and finally shapes the artist, that keeps experiencing changing environments, location, time and temperature wise. A travel in the ‘in between’.
In our temporary exhibition, we show the 1st sketches and artistic reflections of spending time on Hydra, this island with a pirate history, which became a film location in the 50s, for Sophia Loren in „The Boy and the Dolphin“, and an artist island with Leonhard Cohen in the 70s, and there fore a desired vacation destination today, where the Yachts of the International Jet Set, like the one, that Jeff Koons designed for the director of the Art Foundation come and go, where sad donkeys and mules transport our consumer goods, every water bottle you drink, all fridges, all washing machines, all construction material for new Airbnbs, where trash is not recycled, because of political reasons, where many tourists only come, because it is a greek island, and don’t know more about it, where many workers only live here in the summer season, where locals are looking for new ideas to attract people to stay also in the winter on the island, when it is getting calm, where the heat under the sun can make you doze and mindwander in the early afternoon, but sometimes turn you mad, and a jump into the turquoise water, the can be the only way to cool down, and read the Troubadour of Knowledge by Michel Serres, and think, and create some thoughts for a new work, a film, an artwork, a concept to protect the mules, to turn salt water into drinkable water, to turn Diesel engines of Catamarans into wind driven engines, to recycle waste, to save water or energy, to survive on an island or in a space in between islands or between different concepts of life, to shape the future.