AKTO College Fine Art and New Media (Greece)

Videoart selection on Academy program
Curated by Katerina Apostolidou
from the 9th of September to the 14th October 2021

Students: Lefkothea Arvanitaki / Maria Arvaniti / Georg Alexander Iffert / Antonis Kalavrezos / Christina Kouniari / Fotini Kympouropoulou / Elena Pachiakou / Lydia Skorda / Stefanos Tsiamoulis / Ifigeneia Vasilopoulou

Visualcontainer presents on the Academy program, the special selection of Greece Students made by Katerina Apostolidou.
These works are made from the first and second-year students of the Fine Art and New Media BA Hons program of AKTO College Fine Art and New Media in Athens.
The videos are produced during the second, third and fourth semester, (from March to April 2020-2021 which means that they all have been made during the period of the pandemic while the course of Visual language run via Teams, the internet platform.

Academy is the ever-new program focused on students’ experimental video production from New Media University and Fine Arts Academy from all over the world.

Video selection curated by Katerina Apostolidou

1 – Lefkothea Arvanitaki – A-poli-a, (Loss), 3:15, sound, 2021

The artificial mantle of normativity, the necropolitics of the public sphere, the sexualization of the female body and the confrontation of various forms of femininity wherever they come from, are practices deeply rooted in the culture of Greek – and not only – society. The video is addressing the social institutions that cultivate feelings of hatred and attack towards anything that identifies as a vulnerable other; The family environment is offering fake protection while being the place where the power of toxic masculinity is incubated against a “subordinate” femininity – resulting in the escalation of violence against women. Through the experience of a daughter who cries out in despair for liberation and indiscriminate placement in the public sphere- physical and social – and the preaching of a priest who arrogantly guides the crowds A-poli-a (the title plays with the words city -polis- and apolia -loss- integrating the notions of exclusion and loss) is suggesting the inalienable right of every individual to self-determination, to unobstructed visibility even under the protective illusion of a terrace that no one visits.

2 – Maria Arvaniti – The Εnd, 2:21, sound, 2021

In a modern city like Athens, the nightlife is a relaxing outing from the daily routine that is dominated by fast pace, stress and psychological pressure. The video deals with the ephemeral search for a sexual partner in the various nightclubs where the lack of time and will to create lasting relationships result in occasional love affairs, only to meet sexual needs. The video ironically highlights the impasse of this phenomenon through the image of a young woman who eventually finds this emotional stability in the affectionate relation she has with her cat. The continuous repetition of the same situation in an accelerating rhythm in the video suggests that the same story is repeated endlessly.

3 – Georg Alexander Iffert – Reflection, 3:31, sound, 2021

I used the idea of an enclosed space to metaphorically capture my relationship to Trikala, a provincial town in Greece where I have lived for the last 15 years. It evokes contradictory feelings to me and a sense of entrapment and immobility while at the same time familiarity and nostalgia. To address these feelings I constructed an imprint/mask of myself which is slowly decomposing trapped in a confined space filled with water. At the same time, I took several interviews with young people in the city who share common feelings with me and with this material I processed and edited the sound of the video adding another layer of meaning, suggesting issues of diversity and inclusion.

4 – Antonis Kalavrezos – Controlling the unavoidable, 2:39, sound, 2021

The notion of control defines the energy of sovereignty, an imposition, a restriction. The Unavoidable presents the idea of ​​a ‘unit’ being under surveillance while taking specific actions that ultimately lead to the same output. Το a catastrophe…. Τo a fall… Τo the inevitable, given the conditions and the nature of the game. The work is about the meaning but also to the inevitable equation of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ decisions, thus creating a framework directly dependent on unwritten but powerful rules. The choice of the game Jenga states this allegory in the best possible way. A scene designed to collapse… A tower is so unstable that it forces you to give up. Indignation. Vanity. Anger. Despite your decisions. No matter how many times you play, you will lose.

5 – Christina Kouniari – Little Angels, 2:42, sound, 2020

My work consists of a video I made using shots I took at my house during the lockdown. It explores the effects of isolation and the fear of contacting other people. By locking the exits of the house I investigate the constant fear during the pandemic of covid 19 of getting in touch with others and getting contaminated, while I use the angel statues and the fridge to show the concern of keeping the people we care about safe and at the same time trying to preserve the relationship we had with them before the pandemic. I also use them to show the struggle of rejoining society after being contaminated.

6 – Fotini Kympouropoulou – The new every day, 6:53, sound, 2020

During the lockdown, emotions started to overwhelm and restrain me. The video was created as an attempt to find the pulse of life again as I felt confined within four walls. Realities and feelings get tangled creating something different from what it was and is. A redefinition of reality in an attempt to understand and accept what was happening around me, a position in space-time, defined by small gestures, movements and expressions, small proofs, allusions of existence. 

7 – Elena Pachiakou – It doesn’t seem to go away…, 4:30, sound,2020

In It doesn’t seem to go away I wanted to address a psychological state which became familiar to many people during the lockdown. To achieve that I combined recordings from my everyday life and I edited the sound from an internet presentation addressed to clinicians about GAD (Generalized anxiety disorder) and its symptoms -which ‘don’t seem to go away. In addition to this, I used experts from a 1930’s cartoon by Max Fleischer Studio titled Bimbo’s Initiation which is addressing a condition characterized by excessive, persistent and unreasonable amounts of anxiety and worry regarding everyday things by demonizing the Other.

8 – Lydia Skorda – Antisolipsistic Energy, 3:54, sound, 2021

In the work, we watch the remnants of the once violent human intervention in the landscape -continued today by the huge impact of the wind generators- in a carcass of a long-abandoned factory by the sea, integrated into the landscape, becoming nature itself. These industrial ruins provoke an intensively charged emotional state and simulate the ruins of an ancient civilization. The video is also about spirituality, a state human beings realize as an inner need when they come in contact with nature. This need is sometimes manipulated by religion which assumes the role of fulfilling its lack caused by the alienation from nature.

9 – Stefanos Tsiamoulis – Bingo, 2:20, sound, 2021

The video addresses the role of chance through a children’s game, a lottery, simulating it with social reality. We are all invited to participate in this game provided we play according to its rules. The player desperately tries to control the random result. Despite the illusion we often have as participants, we find that control and freedom of choice are subject to the unchanging rules of the game. However, in the video, a wonderful feature emerges that springs from within us and motivates us to continue to take part in the daily game of reality: hope. Each player is constantly trying to find an answer by trying different ways of analyzing and categorizing situations aiming for an unpredictable change that will leave space for the power of hope to flourish. Play and interaction with the player is a constant struggle, a repetition in which we recognize the multiple possibilities of life itself.

10 – Ifigeneia Vasilopoulou – How, 1:22, sound, 2020

In the video, the infinite internal struggle each individual goes through the course of life takes form in the repetition of the same question: How? It shows the vain effort to control the burden of life when the weight is more than one n can bear. The failure of this endeavour keeps this question coming up.

Man’s fight with a permanent weight goes back to Atlas’s myth, a giant who was punished to bear Earth for his whole life. He was condemned by Zeus to carry the ‘heavenly dome’ on his shoulders forever, and his name meant he who endures all things. The clothes I’m continuously adding to myself are a metaphor for this eternal agony.