Right after completing “Dourgouti Island Hotel Project” at the homonymous neighborhood - a quiet and at a slow pace place – we were challenged to explore Omonia square, one of the most central squares of Athens. Omonia square was the field of research for Athens Biennale 5 to 6.Accepting the invitation meant enthusiastically inhabiting a room in the historical “Bageion” Hotel, for several months.
To get started - into this new context – we felt the need to introduce our team by focusing on creating an atmosphere of meaningful contact and acquaintance both with Biennale’s visitors and Omonia as a place. This interaction was based on a central question: Does it make sense exploring Omonia (a place often perceived as transit) through research and action? We felt the need to start a conversation with the visitors, not only theoretically, in a sense of action as well. To make this happen, we placed Omonia’s map on the floor and created a 3d grid as an extension of this map. This grid served as a field for people to place their stories, impressions, images, feelings and expectations regarding Omonia – Athens’ zero point. While participating to the “Bageion community”, we met around 600 people from which around 150 co-created the final “mapping installation” of Omonia square.
Additionally, the group held a presentation of performative actions, during the 27th, 28th and 29th November of 2015. Artistic pieces, that had already been presented at the final performance of Dourgouti Island Hotel Project, were re-introduced in Bageion, Omonia.
On Friday the 27th and Sunday the 29th, 5 live-art performances were presented – pieces that were created under the guidance of Katerina Kokkinos Kennedy (Triage Live Art Collective) during a Hotel Obscura/Dourgouti Island Hotel Project workshop. As site-specific performances, the pieces were slightly transformed to fit the needs of the new context. They also happened in repetitive mode, to serve live-art’s more “personal” character: A dense interactive condition between one performer and one member of the audience, creating a temporary place and way of familiarity – a dimension that can’t be easily found in our everyday lives in a big city and especially, in Omonia.
The live-art performers were: Stefania Kalomoiri, Nansy Boukli, Katerina Protonotariou, Katerina Chalkou and Agape Douska (a live-art group that was created during Hotel Obscura/ Dourgouti Island Hotel Project’s workshop)
Into the same context, on Saturday the 28th, an UrbanDig’s Performative presentation took place by Pauline Huguet, Saint Alexander’s Choir&George Sachinis.
Athens Biennale 5 to 6: Synapsis 1 took place during November 19-29/2015.