ΓΥΝΑΙΚΕΣ
2020




                          
                   

Γυναίκες (meaning women in Greek) is a site-specific installation. The work developed from the recently discovered material of my mother’s archive. The archive includes publications, mostly between 1973-75, of the Greek press (newspaper and magazine clippings), zines and magazines by feminist organizations and groups in Greece, and some from Italy and France, as well as notes and sketches. The reasons that drove me to work with this material were mainly sentimental but also because its rediscovery coincided with the #metoo movement, in US at that time, and thus with the return of feminist’s issues to the public debate.

The archive, although it has a purely political and social orientation, was read in emotional terms which were mainly determined by the close relationship with my mother. The photos of the public figures found  in the archive, are placed in photo frames in order  to decorate the living room of a house. They abandon their public character and become close relatives and friends. This change of roles is not directly understood as their relocation from the public to the private sphere, is very personal. Regardless of the different roles and references that shape them, the subjects depicted, contain, right from the start, another meaning for me. One which, perhaps, can only be described in the sense of punctum that Barthes attributes to photography in general, and especially to the “Winter garden photograph”. (R.Barthes, Camera Lucida, 1993, Vintage).

My reading of the archive deprives the subjects of their original political, historical and sociological implications, by seeking a more intimate approach. It completely discharges them from any mission, no matter how important that is, and looks at them through the sensitive prism of the closeness to my mother. It could be suggested that this imposes an atemporal and apolitical dimension to the subjects, causing amnesia and detachment, yet it could also mean release, even redemption, whether they deserve it or not, from the established public image reinforced by the media and the social norms.


            
                             
           

                         




Γυναίκες was part of Lipiu group exhibition, curated by Christina Petkopoulou, A-DASH space, Athens, October 2020. 



Read related Interview by Despina Zefkili, Athinorama (only in Greek).