[and] ever, 2017
A floor based, site specific, interactive installation, cardboard, bricks, charcoal, ink, OHP projector, transparencies, dimensions variable.
The viewer is invited to participate in a process of deconstructing a calendar form, floor based installation, depicting the map of the island of Gyaros, a place of exile for leftist political dissidents in Greece from 1948 until 1974. The calendar consists of 984 numbered cardboard pieces in two different sizes, each representing one day of the total displacement of an exiled woman, all together structuring the shape of the island in a relief format. This work refers to the displacement time of Ermioni Athanasiou, from the day of her arrest until the date the red cross sent a letter to her husband, promising that all necessary actions for providing his wife with food and medicine have been taken place. Ermioni was released a few days after the arrival of that letter.
The recorded time refers to the sum of other exiles’ displacement time and is deconstructed on autonomous pieces. The view of the island is slowly revealed by removing the 984 numbered pieces of cardboard while finger marks are imprinted on the charcoal surface in return. Selected findings from the artists’ research are included in the installation, in the form of an interactive archive for the visitors to research, using the OHP projector provided. An architectural model of the prison building co-exists with reproduced photographs and drawings depicting women on exile, taken and / or drawn by female political dissidents or contemporary architects.
Contrived, organized and curated by Katerina Athanasiou, texts by Steve Pantazis, Melina Cultural Center, Thission, Athens.
Many thanks to the Museum of Political Exiles – Ai Stratis and Charilaos Sismanis for supporting this project’s research and permitting the use of reproducted findings from the museum’s archive. Also I would like to deeply thank the architects Myrsini Glezou, Nefeli Kalantzi and Myrto Koutsovoulou for lending me their wonderful Gyaros island prison model together with some of their designs made for their thesis titled “GYAROS: PLACE AND PLACE LOCAL LIFE, Historical and Symbolic Route Network in Gyaros Exile Camp” to be exhibited as my projects’ findings. [The subject of their thesis was to highlight the place of Gyaros and to illustrate how we perceived this historical period of Greece in relation to how we get it taught, how it was transferred to us through people’s personal experiences. National Technical University of Athens, Department of Architecture, supervisors: Stavridis Stavros, Karadimas Kostas, Gyparakis Giorgos, presentation date: July 2011]. Finally I would like to thank Christina Psoma for supporting and enriching my research while sharing historical and personal experiences from exile.
Photo detail from the Museum of Political Exiles – Ai Stratis archive, reproduction photos by Lea Petrou.
Installation documentation, photos by Lea Petrou.