THE IDEA OF THIS PROJECT STEMMED FROM DISCOVERING AND OBSERVING SITES IN THE CITY OF ATHENS AND IDENTIFYING TRACES OF EACH LOCATION’S SOUL. WE THOUGHT THEY WOULD BE PERFECT AS VENUES TO HOST PERFORMANCES OF ARTISTS WE MET IN TIME. SOME OF THE PLACES WE HAVE SEEN SEEM TO BE MADE OF THE SAME MATTER AS THESE SPECIFIC PERSONS. THIS PROJECT IS BASED ON THE DESIRE AND CURIOSITY TO SEE THOSE LOCATIONS COME ALIVE WITH THEIR WORK.
Past works by the invited artists
The whole project has and intends to have a strong human character. We refer to the concept of Humanitas, which defines the ethical value of understanding and assistance to those we recognize as our fellow human beings. We want to focus on the common matter belonging to every human manifestation, among different times and spaces, and to underline the proximity between ways of being that are apparently distant.
The title “Beds” comes, consequently, as a metaphor of an intimate and custom place, regarded as familiar even if far from home. Each artist will be given an imaginary bed in the form of a physical place in which to create their artwork.
Bed.athens consists of five performance art events by five artists: Sandra Johnston (UK), LukasKolm (LT), Antti-Juhani Manninen (FIN), and Ximan Wang (CHN/IT), Maklin Kowal (GR).
Each artist is invited to perform in a particular place in the city of Athens, chosen in relation to the deep similarities between the artist’s practice and the assigned place.
Beds is based on three pillars: the chosen place (considered for its own specificities), the alive relationship created by performance art, and solidarity.
Artists will spend in Athens the period from September 27 to October 5, 2021 during which they will be supported in the preparation of the performance art piece and invited to hold an artist talk in one of the five participating art spaces currently active in the Athenian art scene. These are: Automatic Transmission, Fokianou Art Space, Yellow Brick, Noucmas, Potential Project.
In addition to what is concerning her/his personal artistic practice, the artist is invited to collaborate or simply get involved with some organizations committed to providing basic necessities, support and closeness to people in need in Athens.
We are in touch with some of the Athenian social kitchens, volunteering association in Skaramanga refugee camp, and Pilipala, an organization currently active in carrying activities for children in need in Athens.
We established our project in collaboration with Performance studio of the Department of Fine Arts, School of Art, University of Western Macedonia (a workshop between artists and students will precede the event), the Academy of Fine Art of Rome (a workshop between artists and students will follow the event), Und.Athens (inclusion of the project in their Athenian alternative art guide, interview to the artists, management support, communication, and promotion); Athenian art spaces that will host the artist talks: Potential Project, Fokianou Art Space, Automatic Transmission, Yellow Brick, Noucmas; Club Unesco Romania (formally supporting Beds.athens, presentation of the project in the center of Club Unesco Romania in view of a future edition in Bucharest); solidarity organizations with whom we are currently collaborating in Athens.
We believe that this project, even if small in size, is able to highlight both private and collective debate.
Through the artist’s body Performance art brings aliveness, temporality, and instability to the artwork. The live presence of the artist’s body becomes central to the notion of “the real”. We believe that Beds can trigger a process that leads to a more articulated perception of what is considered familiar.