The 10th artAmari Residency coincided with the 150 years anniversary from the Cretan Revolution at Arkadi Monastery. The residency was included in the official commemorative events and was therefore decided that there wouldn’t be an open call for non-Greek artists (as normally) but an invitation to Greek artists, with the specific focus on the anniversary.
The high point of the residency was Sunday 16th October were the four artists concluded their projects and invited the audience to participate in the making and discuss about memory meeting contemporary art. The works consisted of two installations by Panagiotis Voulgaris and Dimitra Maltabe, an interactive performance intervention by Lea Petrou and a performance by Angeliki Douveri. (scroll down for details on each project)
4 Generations by Angeliki Douveri
Angeliki Douveri presents a performative, temporary intervention inspired by the portrait of her great-grand-father, which is exhibited in the Monastery along with all the chief commanders that fought inside and outside of the Monastery during the Cretan Revolution of 1866. The temporary trace of his stencil-figure made of water, dries and fades away as the action/itinerary evolves from the entrance of the monastery towards the church. A comment on roots, memory and perception of both personal and collective past.
Interdependence between substance/matter and narration by Dimitra Maltabe
The matter from which a work of art is made is part of its narration. Natural materials, as wood and rocks, carry something from the environment that were found, the memory of its previous state. The presence of Arkadi Monastery in the area through centuries as well as the constant human presence in the wider region leads me in collection of raw materials such as rocks, wood and leaves. Salt is a material of great symbolic and practical importance in many cultures, and of particular interest in my work. Salt in solution retains the memory of its solid state, to which it may revert; its form may change while it remains the same substance. Symbolically and literally salt embodies opposites, it preserves and yet it erodes, it is important for life but at the same time it can be harmful. Salt preserves memory.
150 by Lea Petrou
In 1966, for the centennial of the Cretan Revolution, the Hellenic post published a commemorative stamp depicting the 1866 bombing of Arkadi. Under the official commemorative events of the 150 years anniversary since the Arkadi Holocaust, Lea Petrou presents an interactive performance intervention with 150 specially designed, numbered, blank post cards, one for every year since the Holocaust. Residents of the area of Amari and visitors of the Monastery are invited to interact, by tracing over the enlarged stamp on the front of the 150 blank cards, using pens, pencils and black carbon. The 150 participations capture different view-points of this historical space and time, through personalized line traces.
Fragments from an Immune Land by Panagiotis Voulgaris
Panagiotis Voulgaris creates an ephemeral restoration at an artificial trench in the ground of the historic building of the Arkadi Monastery which is located in parallel with the Arsenal where the explosion took place. For this purpose the site is filled with thorns and wild flowers collected from the nature that surrounds and protects the monastery and specifically from the site “Koukounaries” located on the same axis with the project. An installation by simple and natural means serves as a reminder of the destruction and emphasizes the relationship of the complex with the natural landscape. The artwork is an ephemeral and fragile touch that indicates the sacrifice of these people and attempts to heal the historical wound alongside with creating a connection with the perpetual nature and contributing to the collective memory of the place.
At the same time an expanded grid of ephemeral works unfolds like a map of fragments – finds of the explosion targeting from the monastery to the nature and the surrounding villages and is defined by small and larger interventions as an approach of restoring and healing.
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