COLLECTIVE EXPERIENCES #4

Collective Experiences

Weekly Diary #4

 

Text by INTERWEAVE for MAI
Photos by NATALIA TSOUKALA and PANOS KOKKINIAS

Tuesday, April 5th – 2016

 

The first month of As One has come to an end: on Sunday, April 3th, the fourth week of the exhibition was completed while introducing to the public some new entries in the interventional performances and a program rich in workshops, lectures, talks and rare film screenings.

Highlights from the fourth week of the exhibition include Marina Abramovic’s communal event held in the courtyard of the Benaki Museum; Lynsey Peisinger’s presence in two, truly spontaneous events: the one, a workshop with many of the Abramovic Method facilitators sharing their As One experience and the second, the presentation of her own work as a performance artist. Later this week; Suzanne Dikker’s and Matthias Oostrik’s talk on the Mutual Wave Machine, which is part of the exhibition; Thanos Argyropoulos’, MAI director, talk on Economy and Culture; Maria Herranz’s workshop “The right to speak” and her talk on “Travels and stories”; Anna Stavrakopoulou’s and Olga Spyropoulou’s lecture titled as “From Theatre to Performance; and last but not least, Marina Abramovic’s “Art Must be Beautiful, Artist Must be Beautiful” re-performance, presented for the third time in the As One exhibition.

 

Tuesday March 29th: Day 16

The first day of this fourth week was also the day for two more interventional performance artists of As One to make their debut. Sitting in a chair, Thomas Diafas invited people to a metaphorical verbal “dance” of speech, expression and creation in his work “Dance With Me”. For three days in a row, eight hours per day, the artist began each conversation with visitors using the phrase “That is inhumane”.

In the space right next to him, for the whole week, Alexandros Michail performed “The eternal fire which lights them up inside and makes them grow”. Borrowing a line from Dante’s Inferno for his title, the artist sought meaning through a physically exhausting and spiritually demanding activity of carrying bags of sand back and forth in a repetitious way that itself was void of meaning. Highlights of the day, the events held later on: Suzanne Dikker and Matthias Oostrik, the “architects” of the Mutual Wave Machine, gave an stimulating talk on their installation exploring people’s (in)ability to capture and embody human relationships, with the self and the other. The day closes with an engaging workshop held by Lynsey Peisinger, where eight out of the seventy facilitators trained by her to participate in the Abramovic Method, shared their thoughts both on their training period and on their As One experience so far.

Wednesday, March 30th: Day 17

How does economy connect to culture? And in which ways can the one affect the other? The second day of the week, Thanos Argyropoulos, MAI director, talked about his field of expertise with the valuable help of Katerina Anesti, a well-known Greek journalist: “Economy and Culture”.

Thursday, March 31rst: Day 18

While Thomas Diafas experienced the last day of his interventional performance in As One, the first international artist invited to the exhibition made her debut. Maria Herranz, held a workshop titled “The right to speak” - a training for actors, performers and singers exploring the impulse of communication.

Friday, April 1st: Day 19

After having held a truly engaging workshop, Maria Herranz undertook her performance piece, “Medea: Impulse and Ear”, in which the viewer and actress engaged in a symbiotic relationship that results in the actress' impulsive selection of a tract of text from Seneca’s Medea. Chairs were both secured to the floor and freely situated in such a way as to be most conducive to a natural engagement between the actress and the viewer. Later that day, Lynsey Peisinger had a beautiful talk about her work as a performance artist: after a brief introduction of herself, she presented excerpts of her work and shared with the audience feelings and thoughts on her pieces and performance art. Marina Abramovic was also present at the talk and asked some pertinent questions to Peisinger.

Saturday, April 2nd: Day 20

The day started with an exceptional lecture titled “From Theatre to Performance”: held by Anna Stavrakopoulou, Associate Professor of Theater Studies at the School of Drama at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and Olga Spyropoulou, theatrologist, the lecture explored the relationship between theatre and performance.

Sunday, April 3rd: Day 21

The fourth week closed with two interesting events: First, Marina Abramovic’s “Art Must be Beautiful, Artist Must be Beautiful” re-performance, presented for third time in the As One exhibition by several Greek artists. Second, Maria Herranz’s talk “Journeys and Stories”: genuine and engaging, Maria Herranz talked about her journeys both as an artist and as a person. She shared with the public some facts about her childhood, while explaining the reasons that compelled her to make decisions as an artist; she presented some excerpts of her work and talked about collaborations that influenced her; and last but not least, she discussed with the public about choosing Medea for the performance work that she presented in As One.