OPEN CALL 2021
Hippodamia in Context
Victoria Square Project (VSP) in collaboration with Counterpoints Arts and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Public Humanities Initiative (SNFPHI) at Columbia University, launches the first call of Station One AIR, a year-long residency program for emerging artists to reimagine Greek identity. The selected artists, four from Greece and four from countries with significant migrant and refugee communities in Victoria Square, will work in teams of four, for three months, under the mentorship of Columbia University faculty, collaborating artists and curators, and VSP’s team to engage in a series of “contextualizations” of Johannes Pfuhl’s sculpture in Victoria Square, Athens.
HIPPODAMIA IN CONTEXT
Station One 2021 Residency for emerging artists focuses on Johannes Pfuhl’s neoclassical sculpture of Hippodamia in Victoria Square. The European and nationalist ideals represented by the sculpture stand in stark contrast to the everyday realities of the neighborhood’s Greek, immigrant, and refugee inhabitants, making it a timely object through which to engage current debates about Greek history and identity. Through the residency four artists from Greece and four artists from countries with communities in the neighborhood will work in teams to engage in a series of visual, auditory, and discursive “contextualizations” of Hippodamia. These artistic interventions will foster collaboration among emerging artists, create a locus for intercultural exchange and community building, and develop a broadly applicable methodology for using contentious monuments and public art to facilitate consideration and conversation across diverse communities about history, identity, and belonging.
Once an upper-middle-class neighborhood, Victoria Square is now one of the most diverse areas of Athens, home to long-time residents as well as immigrants and refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria. In 1937 a neoclassical sculpture by Johaness Pfuhl depicting the centaur Eurytion abducting Hippodamia was installed in the square. Today the scene depicted by the sculpture and the 19th century Bavarian Philhellenism behind its creation stand in stark contrast to the everyday realities of the square’s inhabitants. For many Greeks living in the area, Hippodamia (as the sculpture is known) is a painful reminder of the nation’s failure to become adequately “European” in the eyes of the West. For many immigrants and refugees, the sculpture is yet another sign of the Greek state’s and society’s reluctance to expand their understandings of national identity and to accommodate those who do not easily fit existing images of “Greekness.” Hippodamia confronts those who live around it with contentious narratives of national history and identity in much the same way that statues of historical figures in the U.S., the U.K., and South Africa have recently become charged topics of debate. How might these broader conversations about the politics of public art and commemoration be harnessed to consider Hippodamia in Victoria Square and what it means to be Greek today
VICTORIA SQUARE PROJECT FRAMEWORK
Station One AIR is part of “Who is the contemporary Athenian?”, Victoria Square Project’s three-year curatorial program that seeks to identify the elements that define an inclusive Athenian society today beyond labels like “first or second generation immigrant,” “refugee,” “asylum seeker,” “Greek” etc. It draws on VSP’s long presence and activity in one of the capital city’s most diverse neighborhoods, which has been experiencing rapid change for several decades. This curatorial program explores the common ground that emerges when identities come to be viewed as ever-evolving and dynamic and seeks to strengthen community through cross-cultural exchange and artistic production. In investigating emerging local identities and creating new platforms for dialogue in a diverse Athenian neighborhood, this program inevitably poses questions about belonging, crisis, and democracy. These questions seem particularly timely as the country prepares to celebrate the bicentenary of the Greek Revolution and reflects on what it means to be Greek in 2021.
The residency program consists of two cycles. Four artists will be selected to work together for three months (two months on the ground and one month digitally), under the mentorship of artists, curators, academics, and community members. Each cycle will bring together two artists from Athens and two artists from countries with communities in the neighborhood. The artists are expected to work together on a common project and engage the local community.
Send us your cv and portfolio (max 10 MB) along with a motivation letter (max 500 words) and a project proposal to implement during your stay (max 500 words), at until March 5th. The residents will be selected by a multidisciplinary committee to be announced in April.
FEES & PRODUCTION
All residents will have access to Victoria Square Project’s infrastructure and receive support from its team throughout their project’s realization as well as an honorary fee of 1400 euros. Additionally, residents not living in Athens will have their travel covered by the program and will be provided with independent housing. Each team will be given a budget of 1000 euros for the implementation of their project.
Each residency cycle will last three months and feature a group of four artists. At the end of each cycle, the artists-in-residence will present their contextualization of the Hippodamia sculpture as an installation in Victoria Square or as an exhibition in the premises of VSP or online as a virtual exhibition.
Open Call Launch: February 5, 2021
Application deadline: March 5, 2021
Notification: April 16, 2021
First Cycle: end of May - July 2021
Second Cycle: September - December 2021
(The exact travel dates will be confirmed soon)
Station One Residency 2021 is implemented in collaboration with Columbia University Stavros Niarchos Foundation Public Humanities Initiative, Counterpoints Arts in the frame of the European Program Across Borders.
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Public Humanities Initiative (SNFPHI) at Columbia University. SNFPHI supports projects that bring the ideas and insights of the humanities to life for the Greek public and collaborates with other Columbia programs that aim to connect the field of Hellenic Studies with a broad public audience. Mark Mazower (Director) and Dimitris Antoniou (Associate Director) are responsible for the Initiative’s overall direction and planning. Since its inception, SNFPHI has emerged as a locus for the exchange of novel ideas across academic disciplines, between non-academic and academic communities, and between Greek and American publics. Through SNFPHI activities, educators, artists, human rights activists, museum curators, and music composers in Greece are collaborating with Columbia faculty and students in a broad array of community-level projects. In addition to supporting public humanities projects in Greece, SNFPHI is organizing a rich program of public events, collaborating with other Columbia programs and initiatives to design syllabi and toolkits for public humanities, and offering grants to Columbia students and recent graduates to promote the diachronic study of Hellenism.
Counterpoints Arts is a leading British organisation in the field of arts, migration and cultural change. Its mission is to support and produce the arts by and about migrants and refugees, seeking to ensure that their contributions are recognized and welcomed within British arts, history and culture. Central to the organization’s mission is the belief that arts can inspire social change and enhance inclusion and cultural integration of refugees and migrants. Counterpoints Arts work across all art forms and collaborate with a range of people and partners, including artists, arts/cultural and educational organizations and civil society activists. VSP has been collaborating with Counterpoints Arts in the context of a three year project titled “Across Borders,” which takes place in Athens (Greece), Berlin (Germany), and Kent (UK). The project consists of a series of arts and pop culture projects that challenge representations of refugees in mainstream media and complicates their depiction in arts and popular culture.
WITH THE SUPPORT OF
Outset Contemporary Art Fund, Kulturstiftung Allianz