Introduction - Statement by the artist Elli Chrysidou
The global crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, has imposed a new reality, a new -uncanny- condition in our daily lives. We are forced to stay at home, in confinement, each one of us challenged to come up with the tools to manage this unprecedented experience. Several questions arise, that we are called to answer, on how we perceive and experience our individuality in relation to the collective; our personal space in relation to public space; our confinement in relation to freedom; our isolation in relation to action, our anxiety towards the present in relation to our thoughts on tomorrow.
How To aims to explore the current state of affairs, empower the community, and manage the new reality collectively through art. It invites us to discover ourselves through our space, our time, our dreams, our thoughts, our habits - and to project them onto the Other. To locate our space within our city. To strengthen our position, our existence, in tomorrow’s reality, determined by a freely chosen way of life.
How To: workshop-platform-community
How To is a workshop-platform towards the creation of an online community, joined by the common experience of our current de facto long-term self-confinement. Bringing a radical change in our everyday routines, this is a multi-layered opportunity for one to discover one’s own creativity and a meaningful relationship with others. Social media can not replace human relationships; however their use can certainly become more meaningful, so as to function as a space for real social interaction.
How To provides content users-receivers-creators with the possibility to share experiences, offer social and emotional support and, most importantly, develop a means for co-developing social space as integral part of our lives, offering a new and perhaps more meaningful perspective to the future of society.
How To consists of groups of popular social media users (facebook and video conferencing), whose members meet virtually and interact with each other by sharing images, texts and sounds. The period of confinement is transformed into a period of socialising and into a space of creation and expression. During their day-to-day involvement, participants are asked to reflect upon their relationship with their personal space through a kind of diary-compiling process, identify the most important aspects of their confinement, and use this time creatively, and generate ideas that could potentially improve their daily lives.
Participation - process
How To is open for participation to as many people as possible, of all ages and backgrounds - social, economic, educational. The participants will be divided into groups of 30. Each workshop cycle will take place for 10 days. The open call for applications will be released shortly.
Throughout the ten-day workshop period, group members receive inspiration material and a set of instructions for creating images, texts and sounds on specific topics related to the following questions:
1) Which space in your home could stand in for a location in your hometown? Take a photo of the space in your home and match it to a photo from the selected location in the city.
2) How do you communicate today and how do you define your relationship with others? Record a sound of your home that represents the current situation and juxtapose it to a sound from the public space.
3) What are your feelings today? How do you express them through movement? Take a video of a movement that shows how you feel. Connect it to another video that you’ll find online.
4) What are your goals for the day after? Express your thoughts with a few words. Connect them to a text - literary, scientific, journalistic.
Elli Chrysidou, in collaboration with Common Lab’s creative team and guest experts, reacts to the participants’ posts giving feedback with her own artistic interventions, which respond to the submitted material. Participants can use different media - computers or mobile devices (tablets and smartphones). During the workshop, simple and specific technical specifications are given for the creation of images, sounds and texts using simple applications and common access technologies that do not require specialised knowledge.
How To’s long-term goal is an artwork / documentary, based on the material produced during the workshop. All participants will become co-creators of a collective art film that will visually capture their experience, and may become a model of participatory creativity and an expression of faith and vehicle of hope for all of us.
How To (2020)
Artist: Elli Chrysidou
Curators: Sotirios Bahtsetzis, Lydia Chatziiakovou, Christos Savvidis
Stavros Boufidis (psychiatrist)
Thanasis Kafetzis (cinematorapher)
George Klountzos-Chrysidis (musician)
Kalliope Kati (anthropogeographer)