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21 09 2018 to 29/9/2018

Libraries as Gardens: Libraries of Walks

How could a garden and its trees become a library? / exhibition, performances, workshops and talks in the framework of Analogio Festival 2018

Libraries as Gardens: Libraries of Walks / 21-29.09.2018

TAF / the art foundation in collaboration with Analogio Festival 2018 present the group show Libraries of Walks which opens on September 21st at 21.00 and runs until September 29th. Parallel to the exhibition, performances, workshops and talks will be hosted as part of the program Libraries as Gardens taking place in various venues and public spaces of Athens during the Festival.

Buildings are for human being the same way as gardens are for trees. Gardens are places to walk and look, but not to live. How could a garden and its trees become a library? How humans and trees can interact in a garden? How can a garden become productive for the mind?

‘Walking is becoming plants’. According to curator Geert Vermeire, in an etymological path it can be followed back to the planta - the sole of one's foot. Henry David Thoreau, in his essay, "Walking," says that half of one's walk is but a retracing of earlier steps, so that even if we do not know where we are (ultimately) going, at least we might know where we have been.

But we are also "carried away" in two other corporeally-conscious ways: first, by the sights, sounds and smells which we encounter and which walk us toward and through them. The elements in the atmosphere, for example, or the mood (as in the weather or song) frequently bears and guides us. Secondly, we are carried by the places we walk and which hold us.  And "place" relates to plat, meaning broad or flat.

To carry this point a final step further, it should be (foot) noted that Thoreau, too, conjectured that there exists in nature a "subtle magnetism" which carries us, often unconsciously, in the "right" direction, and his speculations may relate in a sense to the recent discovery of magnetic zones in areas of wilderness, attracting us.

Philosophy, in this sense, begins not simply in wondering but also - quite literally - in wandering. Walking facilitates meditation, in part, because it provides mediation between us and the earth; it initiates conversation between the feet and the ground; it introduces our bodies to and into the world, the surrounding medium. Ideas and images start to flow; they form their own form of kinesthesia.

The exhibition features photographs of the ongoing international project ‘A Library of Walks’ as well as documentation and related art works of artistic actions during Libraries as Gardens at the Analogio Festival.

Artists/participants: Kleopatra Chatzigiosi (Greece), Olga Doulkeridou (Greece), Eleftheria Rapti (Greece), Nora Lefa (Bosnia & Herzegovina), Lina Efstathiou (Greece),  Jelena Marković (Serbia), Lezli Rubin-Kunda (Canada/Israel), Stefaan van Biesen (Belgium), Geert Vermeire (Belgium)

Curated by: Geert Vermeire

Presentations, workshops & walks at the gallery of TAF/ the art foundation

Saturday 22 September 2018
12.00-14.00 Project (ION/ IN/ OF) motion
performative video walk by Jelena Marković

During a walk in Athens she will carry a small camera/projector in her hands and project a prepared video in a loop. Her movement is not planned and it will totally depend on whimsical decisions that she will make at the time. The projected video material is collected during her walks in Belgrade, Serbia. Projections from her device/hand will allow to use streets, buildings, trees, trash bins, but also billboards as projection surface, so even though the video goes in loop, the urban scenery on which she projects the material is constantly changing and allows her to present new visual stimulations and different readings of the work. Some of the material in video will include words appearances in urban surroundings. The walk can be followed, observed, photographed by public as an art event in movement. The visual/sound documentation of the walk and projections made during the walk will be part of the exhibition. The work is in situ and connects different cities and contexts. The walk will have direct effect on projections, since some will appear on the surfaces briefly or will connect surfaces in a rhythm of a movement.

15.00-16.00 Plant(e)scape Presentation exploring literary texts, departing from the American writer Henry David Thoreau, in relation to a fundamental role of plants in literature, with Simona Vermeire and Geert Vermeire

Exploring the visionary potential of texts, departing from the American writer Henry David Thoreau, in relation to a fundamental role of plants in literature, within a new ecological awareness and self-sustainability. Our approach is based on the perspective of ecocriticism in a hermeneutical path that refers to the “biosophical” turn (Sloterdijk). Reading plants is a humanistic approach of the plants in the field of Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies in particular, departing from the theoretical principles of Consilience (Wilson, 1998) suggesting an epistemological unification of sciences and humanities. Contextualized within Environmental Humanities, and relating to the plants in the work of Thoreau, the presentation is inspired by the emerging Critical Plant Studies (Vegetal Philosophy / Plant Thinking) focusing primarly on the American author, one of the pioneers in the literature and philosophy for his ecological views and experiences, emphasizing the ‘visionary’ character of his literary work in exegesis, considering that the author has developed fictional and scientific clues for a deeper understanding of the awarness in the plant world.

16.00-17.00 The Kassandra Video of Greek performance of Dimitris Dimitriadis, direction Chrysa Kapsouli

Monday 24 September 2018
15.00-17.00 A library of walks
Sound walk and workshop by Geert Vermeire (in English)

The “Library of Walks” is a real library with wooden shelves. It forms a closed space, aligning with and as an archive of "Reading the landscape", accompanying series of walks. The library becomes a silent spot inside, a space to withdraw in. The shelves are filled with jars that contain traces, notes, objects that share the experiences of walkers. To create the library of walks people are invited to preserve a specific moment of a walk in the jar. It is a library made of glass books, inviting to reflect about the experience of other walkers. The Library of Walks consists as well out of a series of simultaneous and audiorecorded walks made by participants all over the world, leading to a performance and to a sound walk for your own smartphones, which can be experienced during the exhibition via a walk with the artists.

The Library of Walks is a growing collection of walks from all over the world.
The Library of Walks is an ongoing project by the artists Stefaan van Biesen and Geert Vermeire.

Tuesday 25 September 2018
17.00-18.00 A library of walks
Walking performance by Lezli Rubin-Kunda (in English)

Wednesday 26 September 2018
17.00-18.00 A library of walks
Sound walk and workshop by Geert Vermeire (in English)
19.00-20.30 Wings of the Crow Performance Poetry by Ibrahim Spahic, director of the Sarajevo Festival. Panel discussion: Assoc.Prof. Thanos Moutsopoulos -Art critic, Sissy Papathanassiou – Head of the Letters Directorate, Hellenic Ministry of Culture, Panos Charalambous- Visual Artist, Rector Athens School of Fine Arts 

Thursday  27 September 2018
18.00-20.30 Imaginary regard of Ancient Greek Theatre of Dionysus as a matrix of a ‘Fractal’ City 
Workshop - Creation of an imaginary map of the historical center of Athens by Kleopatra Chatzigiosi  

Papposeilinos was a prophet and educator of Dionysus, the Greek god of Theatre. Legend has it that Papposeilinos nurtured the little child secretly from the greatest god of all time, Cronus, comforting his crying with a “thousand stories – song”. Seated in his throne in the middle of the theatre could touch with his 12 long fingers the 12 ancient oak trees rooted in the 12 libraries in the edge of a city, making them be shaken – so that the sough of the leaves was linked with the thousand stories of the libraries ‘books.  Seeking the territorial imprinting of this sound in 12 paths that connect the center of the theatre with the 12 libraries, we are led to approaches that penetrate the natural environment of the city and are founded at the same time in her own imaginary and mythological spatial cocoon. A picture emerges of a city made of distinct interacting networks, each of them working on several different scales. Though competing, these networks relate to Athens’ cultural and geographical fabric have to connect with each other to define a living  “ fractal “ city. We retain a warm memory of that interaction. This largely subconscious memory of a city  which consists of visual, olfactory, acoustical and tactile connections, formed on a visceral level of our bodies. The “ soul “ of a city exists.

Saturday 29 September 2018
20.00-21.00 Finissage - Leafless (V). 'A nomadic prop looking for performers'
Movement performance with Lina Efstathiou and Eleftheria Rapti. Art work and soundscape: Stefaan van Biesen. Direction: Geert Vermeire

The performance invites two performers to explore a still unknown place in a simple act of moving in time and space. Scanning the environment in relation to others. It is a combination of being lost and finding again, letting go and remembering, assuming an intuitive wisdom of the body that knows and senses in a state of temporally being lost. Their movements are based on and create simultaneously an emotional bodily archive that can immediately be tapped into or addressed to. The movements are at the same time a ritual, searching for an inner knowledge. An improvisation and a state of being , with archetypal gestures revealing a timeless human legacy emanating from the library of unconscious memories of the body. The artwork / attribute used by the performers is a nomadic object inviting to sense the environment, beyond words and logical understanding. Tissue made by Annemie Mestdagh. Duration: 22 minutes.

Opening: Friday 21 September 2018, 21.00
Duration: 21-29.09.2108
Address: Normanou 5, 105 55 Athens
Free admission