2021 | Hippodamia In Context

#about

“Hippodamia In Context”, is Victoria Square Project’s residency program for emerging artists that took place, in two consecutive cycles, in 2021. The residency program explored the common ground that emerges when identities come to be viewed as ever-evolving and dynamic and to strengthen community through cross-cultural exchange and artistic production. 

 

The artists-in-residence worked in small teams, for three months, under the mentorship of Columbia University faculty, collaborating artists and curators, and Victoria Square Project’s team to engage in a series of “contextualizations” of Johannes Pfuhl’s sculpture in Victoria Square, Athens. Through their projects, resident artists engaged the Square as a potential locus for intercultural exchange and community building and explored methodologies for using contentious monuments and public art to facilitate consideration and conversation across diverse communities about history, identity, and belonging.

 

Gülşah Aykaç, Thomas Diafas, Konstanza Kapsali and Maria Louizou, resident artists of the first cycle, presented their work on September 10-12, 2021. The second group of resident artists, Collectif MASI, Georges Salameh, Melissanthi Spei, presented their artworks on November 26 and December 1-3, 2021. Both groups explored facets of the Athenian contemporary art scene, reflected on the nature of public art in the capital city, and collaborated with Victoria Square neighbors to develop elements of their works. 

 

Curators: Dimitris Antoniou, Niovi Zarampouka-Chatzimanou

Production Coordinator: Dorothea Kritikou

Residency Coordination: Manon Ceyssel, Dafni Crema, Aggelos Kostamparis

Communication Coordinator: Ioanna Ntali

Community Outreach: Dafni Crema, Marina Naki

Administration: Iro Ziozia

Production assistants: Rinio Balkou-Papadopoulou, Naomi Christophe, Effie Rama, Sotiria Stathatou

Documentation: Naomi Christophe, Ioannis Kampanis, Alexandra Masmanidou

 

Hippodamia in Context is a collaboration between Victoria Square Project and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Public Humanities Initiative (SNFPHI) at Columbia University, being the first edition of Station One AIR. Focusing on socially engaged artistic practices, Station One AIR for emerging artists wishes to promote the dialogue amongst the Greek artistic scene on a wide range of community engaged practices, aiming at creating a platform of exchange, experimentation, collaboration and collectivity, under VSP’s curatorial research question “Who is the Contemporary Athenian?”. The residency issupported by Counterpoints Arts and Outset Contemporary Art Fund Greece. Victoria Square Project’s Major Donor is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), in cooperation with Kulturstiftung Allianz.

 
 
Ιωάννης Καμπάνης-VSP
Ιωάννης Καμπάνης-VSP

photo credit: Alexandra Masmanidi

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Artwork by Gülşah Aykaç
Artwork by Gülşah Aykaç

photo credit: Alexandra Masmanidi

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Discussion about Station One AIR II
Discussion about Station One AIR II

photo credit: Alexandra Masmanidi

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Ιωάννης Καμπάνης-VSP
Ιωάννης Καμπάνης-VSP

photo credit: Alexandra Masmanidi

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#works

 

#artists

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GÜLŞAH AYKAÇ

Gülşah Aykaç is a spatial researcher, architect and lecturer. She joined collaborative public exhibitions as a part of activist artists initiative AsiKeçi (RebelGoat) between 2014-2019. She holds a Ph.D. in architecture from Middle East Technical University (2020) in the field of politics of space; formerly studied architecture at Istanbul Technical University. She got research awards and scholarships including Fulbright Visiting Researcher Scholarships during her doctoral studies. Her dissertation focused on socio-spatial narratives of urban transformation of a particular place in Ankara. She is currently working on new ways of visual, textual, and collective representations of places as spaces.

THOMAS DIAFAS

Thomas Diafas is a multidisciplinary artist and educator. His work revolves around a combination of the poetic discourse and the performing arts. At the same time, he leads workshops for children and adults that examine the concept of identity and diversity. He is also the founder of the Thessaloniki Queer Arts Festival which from 2019 until today presents the work of artists, educators and activists from around the world.

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COLLECTIF MASI

The Collectif MASI was founded in Paris in 2018 by Madlen Anipsitaki, architect and Simon Riedler, sociologist. The duo focuses on urban scenography and social art projects. It chooses as material for its works a given space and the potentialities it offers, especially the links that can exist and be built within it.
MASI’s research shapes the project “A thread network in the urban fabric”. Its goal is to reveal and improve troubled neighborhoods by the involvement of local actors. After a pilot in Paris in 2018, in the 1000 employees company Arep, the project is realized in 9 cities of 7 Latin American countries. Curated by PAN, this work is exhibited at the Espace Voltaire and the Cité internationale des Arts in Paris, where MASI directed the performance “Thread network” by the dancer Thea Bautista.
In 2019-2020, in residency with the Ateliers Médicis, MASI experiments during the lockdown the transition from the private to the public spaces.
Recently, MASI won the ARTWORKS award from SNF (Athens), funding its artistic archiving. The thread networks are reviewed and connected: what happened, but also what could have happened, giving birth to new creations. In 2021, for the National School of Architecture Paris-Malaquais, MASI conducted the workshop-performance “1 km as the crow flies”, that was recognized as a “magnificent act of resistance to the pandemic” by Francis Alÿs.

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KONSTANZA KAPSALI
 

Konstanza Kapsali is currently a PhD candidate at the LUCA School of Arts. She has a background in Archaeology (BA, MA) and Documentary film (MA). Her practice explores the intersections between the two. Her first short film “Girls In Flower” was awarded the NIGHT AWARD at the 18th Signos da Noite Film Festival in Lisbon. At the moment she participates in the “Narrative Archaeology” research project at Elevsis 2023 and the “Finds Stories: Addressing Mobility through Object and People Biographies” of the University of Bristol.

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MARIA LOUIZOU

Maria Louizou is a Greek sculptor born and based in Athens. She creates large-scale sculptures which offer the audience space for interaction and expression. She holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in sculpture from the Athens School of Fine Arts (A.S.F.A). She studied theory of music (classical and electronic) in the Athens Conservatoire. She was recently awarded the “ARTWORKS 2020” prize by the Stavros Niarchos foundation. Her research “The Body in Contemporary Sculpture, Greek Tradition, and Polyphonic Composition” won a grant by the Greek Ministry of Culture in 2020.
Her work has been shown in New York at Robert Wilson’s 2019 annual benefit “Tabula Rasa” as well as in Beijing, where she was awarded the prize “China Taiyuan International Youth Metal Sculpture” (2018). Her work was displayed at the “Theorimata 2018” exhibition in the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens (EMST). Her first solo show “22oC” was realized in 2019 at the Sinestetica gallery in Rome. Her upcoming solo show "Six Breaths per Minute" will be presented at Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center between June 17 and July 31, 2021.

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MELISSANTHI SPEI

Melissanthi Spei is an Athenian Fashion Artist. Her heritage, coming from Greece, in combination with her creativity, inspires her to develop contemporary and sculptural garments. Part of her identity as a designer is to use industrial materials for something historical and old through the exploration of traditional arts and crafts and their projection to contemporary aesthetics.


Spei has graduated from MA Fashion Artefact at London College of Fashion in 2013. She has been nominated as one of the winners at OpenMyMed Prize 2020-2021 at La Maison Mode Méditerranée à Marseille, a winner at ‘Find Your Inner North - Modern National Costume’ by Nordic Design Society in 2019, an Avant-Garde finalist at World of Wearable Art 2018 Awards, Accessories finalist for ITS International Talent Support 2013, International Research Award finalist for the Ancient & Modern Prize 2014 and represented Greece during the EU presidency exhibition at Malta Fashion Week in 2017.


Spei has also participated at the Innovative Costume of the 21st Century exhibition at A.A. Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum, Moscow in 2019, at Venice Biennale 2018, Arnhem Mode Biennale 2013 ‘Fetishism in Fashion’ & FETISHISM: Obsessions in Fashion & Design’ at Trapholt Museum in 2016 both curated by prestigious Lidewij Edelkoort. Her work revolves around folklore culture.

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GEORGE SALAMEH

Greek-Lebanese visual artist and filmmaker. Born in Beirut, 1973.
Studied Film at Paris VIII St. Denis.
 
Lived in Lebanon, Cyprus, Greece, France, Egypt and Sicily. 
Since 1998, has created video & photographic installations, directed documentaries, experimental and essay films.