CURRENT Athens is an online platform for the non-hierarchical promotion of contemporary art.
Shots for an unrealized dream sequence. A. captures the beach in a bottle and confronts the commodification of her smile.
ATOPOS cvc invites you to the opening of The Office of Hydrocommons, an interdisciplinary and interartistic program focusing on climate and social change in relation to water and the body, to be held at its premises on World Water Day, Wednesday, March 22, 2023, at 18:00. The program is actualized following an invitation and commission by the ATOPOS cvc artistic director Vassilis Zidianakis to the independent curator Eleni Riga in the context of #OccupyAtopos.
In an era of environmental and social crisis, the “modern water” has become an abstract notion; an easily recognizable chemical formula (H₂O); a commodity. In this crucial moment when water is in the frontline of climate change and at risk of being privatized, we are called to re-define what water is. It is worth thinking that it is not only a necessary natural substance, a common good, or a human right, but also a powerful metaphor that allows us to envision a different future – more fluid, inclusive, and resilient.
Taking different forms and manifestations, the Office of Hydrocommons is the fruit of the guest curator’s ongoing research into ecofeminism: a theoretical and political movement, an amalgam of feminism and ecology. Departing from the “wet heart,” the well in the center of the ATOPOS cvc premises, the program attempts to explore different aspects of climate change in relation to water, and the impact that affects bodies of women, queer, trans, and indigenous people. Informed by the properties of water’s liquidity, the program unfolds in different manifestations: an exhibition, an international artist residency, a series of weekly public events, and the Research Office. “Hydroresearchers” from different fields, such as the arts, marine biology, agronomy, urbanism, sports, and activism, are invited to participate in the program.
Wet Heart Exhibition
From the positionality of the Mediterranean South, the artists participating in the exhibition Wet Heart investigate problems such as water scarcity, the deterioration of the natural environment due to industrial, touristic, and military activities, and the pollution of waters due to plastics and microplastics; at the same time, they reflect on their impact onto vulnerable human and non-human lives. Ileana Arnaoutou and Ismene King create the site-specific sculpture A Conservation of Water-Writings fueled by encounters around the well, and they attempt to restructure the story of the Metaxourgeio’s hidden waters. The audiovisual work To Fall With Grace byDespina Charitonidi, developed in collaboration with the synchronized swimming team Naiads, tackles the unseen processes of human interventions in water-related environments, as well as their consequences on human and non-human lives. In the performance for the camera SeaMonster II, Eleni Mylonasstages her own body among the plastic waste she has collected from the shores of Aegina. She negotiates the future of the planet, the humans’ relationship with nature, and the interdependence of “bodies of water.” Maria Nikiforaki presents the audiovisual works Hydrodance: Devil’s Well and Hydrodance: Elephant Cave, two original underwater choreographies with free divers at the Devil’s Well in Attica and the Elephant Cave in Crete, and researches the loss of sea biodiversity due to anthropogenic activities.
Artist Residency Program
International artists live, work, and create at ATOPOS cvc enriching the Office of Hydrocommons with new perspectives. Swiss visual artist Maëlle Gross, American-Spanish artist and designer Lily Consuelo Saporta Tagiuri, and German theater artist, poet, and activist Kasia Wojcikparticipate in the program. Gross explores issues of motherhood, ecology and mythology using the cave as a symbol. Saporta Tagiuri conducts field research and workshops on native edible plants and water scarcity in collaboration with the Greek botanist, agronomist, and food technologist Manos Bazanis. In collaboration with the Avtonomi Akadimia, Wojcik researches issues around migration and the commons.
In an effort to investigate different aspects and politics of water, the Office of Hydrocommons invites artists, scientists, athletes, and activists to co-develop a weekly program of public events – including performances, screenings, discussions, walks, and workshops. The events’ schedule will be announced on a monthly basis.
The Research Office is both a fluid model of curatorial research, production and presentation of interdisciplinary and interdisciplinary projects, and a physical office, a flexible space from which all “hydroresearchers” can work, consult books and audio-visual resources, and discuss with other researchers.
March 22 – July 1, 2023
March 22, 2023, 18:00
Visiting Hours of the Exhibition and the Research Office:
Dates and Times of Events
Events will be held on a weekly basis. Their exact scheduling will be announced every month. Free admission.
Exhibition participants: Ileana Arnaoutou and Ismene King, Despina Charitonidi, Eleni Mylonas, Maria Nikiforaki
Artists-in-Residence: Maëlle Gross, Lily Consuelo Saporta Tagiuri, Kasia Wojcik
Event participants: George Alexopoulos, Manos Bazanis, Olga Evangelidou, Catriona Gallagher, Maëlle Gross, Hariklia Hari, Rika Krithara, James Lane, Naiads, Giorgis Noukakis, Nefeli Papaioannou, Irene Ragusini, Lily Consuelo Saporta Tagiuri, Joulia Strauss, Margarita Tsomou, Kasia Wojcik
Concept, Research, Organization, Curation: Eleni Riga
Artistic Direction ATOPOS cvc: Vassilis Zidianakis
Production Coordination: Konstantinos Kotsis, Katerina Sarri,
Research Office and Events Assistance, Facilitation: Steffie Stouri
Communication Strategy: Ioanna Ntali
Visual Identity, Graphic Design: Stathis Mitropoulos
Furniture Design: Jose Ballerzosa
Audiovisual Equipment: Art Power
Printing: Pletsas Kardari Printing Office
Photo Documentation: Alexandra Masmanidi
Copy Editing, Proofreading: EG (Geli Mademli, Eleanna Papathanasiadi)
The Office of Hydrocommons takes place in the framework of the program #OccupyAtopos, and is realized with the financial support of the G. & A. Mamidakis Foundation as part of the Research Residency Program 2022, the Region of Crete, the Municipality of Chania, the Municipality of Apokoronas, Fonds Darstellende Künste, Pro Helvetia, and Goethe-Institut.
More information: atopos.gr