Elena Loizidou, Temporary Academy of Arts, Vangelis Vlahos
Waste/d / No event for Thursday, Nov 7, 2019

»Waste/d / No event for Thursday, Nov 7, 2019« is a discursive event and screening with and by the Temporary Academy of Arts  (Elpida Karaba, Despina Zefkili, Yota Ioannidou, Vangelis Vlahos). It is part of  Waste/d, an ongoing art and pedagogy research project on social and artistic potential in times of extended crisis.

During this online gathering, art theorist and curator Elpida Karaba introduces us to the Temporary Academy of Arts, which she established in 2014. PAT (short for Προσωρινή Ακαδημία Τεχνών / ΠΑΤ), is a multidisciplinary project that explores the expanded field of art making, curating and education through collective, research-based, and experimental practices.

Artist and PAT member Vangelis Vlahos presents his most recent video works, »Objects to relate to a trial (the door)« (2020) and »This event has now ended (arrest Nov. 15, 2016)« (2021), which will also be screened during the session. The first video project is about Aggeliki Spyropoulou, a university student sentenced to 28 years in prison for her involvement in a 2015 attempt to blow up part of Korydallos Prison in Athens and free the imprisoned members of the urban guerrilla group Conspiracy of Cells of Fire. The project appropriates a found video, recorded by security cameras in late 2014. The short video shows Aggeliki visiting the offices of a chemical company to purchase a large quantity of nitromethane, a fuel used frequently in motorsports and by model hobbyists, but which can also be combined with other chemicals to make bombs. The second project, »This event has now ended (arrest Nov. 15, 2016)«, is based on a found 42-second video, shot by a mobile phone, which records an arrest in Exarchia neighborhood in Athens, during violent incidents between police and anti-authoritarians on the occasion of US President Barack Obama’s visit to Athens on November 15, 2016.

In both cases, the found videos have been converted to text, following the structure of a cinematic decoupage that is often used in the preparation of the shooting of a film. Each text analyzes the narrative action of the corresponding found video, including also information about the shooting angle, the position of the camera, the size of the shot and the sound. The texts that came out of this process become the central element of two new videos. In each video, the respective text runs vertically over a still image, depicting, on the first case, the interior of a squat in Exarchia that had been evacuated by police in 2019, and on the second case a close-up of Aggeliki Spyropoulou’s head, as she appears disguised in the photo of a fake ID found by the police.

After the screenings, political theorist Elena Loizidou contributes her timely reflections on »Politics, Art, Mutual Aid« issues she deals with in her most recent work. Drawing from Peter Kropotkin’s 1902 book »Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution« (2009), she traces connections with the artistic practice of Vangelis Vlahos and the rise of mutual aid initiatives during the pandemic, which challenge the foundations of disciplinary and bio-political power and provide us with hope that perhaps another world is possible.

Vangelis Vlahos, "This event has now ended (arrest Nov. 15, 2016)", 2021. Video still. Courtesy of the artist.

»Waste/d / No event for Thursday, Nov 7, 2019«

An event with the Temporary Academy of Arts (Elpida Karaba, Despina Zefkili, Yota Ioannidou, Vangelis Vlahos) and political theorist Elena Loizidou, Reader in Law and Political Theory at the School of Law, Birkbeck College

& screening of two video works by Vangelis Vlahos, This event has now ended (arrest Nov. 15, 2016) (2021) and Objects to relate to a trial (the door) (2020).

Tuesday, April 6 2021 at 18:00 Leipzig / 19:00 Athens, online

Video recording of the presentations is available here

Related bibliography:

  • Elena Loizidou, “A Parallel Art of Living”, in P. Hesselberth and J.de Bloois (Eds.), Towards a Politics of Withdrawal (London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2020)
  • Elena Loizidou, “Dance, Anarchism and Mutual Aid”, in K. Paramana, A. Gonzales (Eds.), Dance and Political Economy (London: Bloomsbury Press, forthcoming 2021) 
  • Elena Loizidou, “From Exchange to Freedom, No Guarantees”, in K. Paramana, A. Gonzales (Eds.), Dance and Political Economy (London: Bloomsbury Press, forthcoming 2021)