Screened video and salt bucket installation
In a series of sculptural installations, recorded and live performance the artist connects the metaphor of the salt crystals and the miracle tears of Chios island Mastic trees. They both act as a physical manifestation of emotion undertaking an interpretation of nature, grief, the healing process and place making to create bridges of associations and resonances between social, existential and political narratives.
Salt represents the process of things being broken down into their individual elements, purified and returned integrated to the whole.
Just as there's salt in our tears there is salt in our bodies. The liquids in the body carry a memory of the ocean as they have a chemical makeup similar to seawater. Making our bodies directly connecting to the ocean.
In contrast, salt played a central role in the economies of many regions as much as it sometimes implicated in the outbreak of conflict. It was used in culture and religion from the Middle ages, symbol of the earth, death, life, purification, stability, equality, the material world and often paired with the celestial sphere or associated with the moon due to their shared minerals.
The work utilizes different mediums , various forms/shapes of the material of salt (architectural shaped salt bricks, salt cubes from the dead sea, running and road salt) and the recreated actions inspired by the rituals of mastic cultivation. The multilayered project Als creates allegories and images of contradictions,dualities/ liminal spaces and overlaps of time and space.
A reference to the Nepantla - by Gloria Anzaldua, a concept (used in Chicano-latino anthropology) which literally refers to the space between two figurative literal bodies where two areas meet or separate.
In the performative activation of the space, the artist creates attempts to create multiple forms of reality that are viewed at the same time. There is an essence of in between-ness of overlapping and layered spaces where different cultures, social and geographic locations, events and realities, psychological and sociological political, spiritual and imagined worlds interconnect.
‘Αλς - Als’
An event that circulates throughout the year. Mastic Cultivation. Chios Island. Men take care of the natural fertilization and pruning of the shrubs in winter, while from mid-June, women sweep, level and clean the ground around the trunk, so that the mastic can easily be recovered. From July, an incision is made in the skin of the bark and main branches with an iron tool. Once the mastic has solidified, women select the larger ‘tears’ first, wash them and place them in wooden boxes in a cool place. Older members of the community are responsible for transmitting the techniques for incision and harvesting the mastiha to younger generations. The culture of mastic represents a comprehensive social event, around which networks of alliances and mutual help have been established. The communal practices are also an occasion for perpetuating collective memory through the narration of old tales and stories. The laborious care throughout the year by men and women of all ages who participate on equal terms in the various stages
Overhead Moon projection
The installation ‘Αλς - Als’ consists of:
A floor of 100KG of road salt. 50KG Saltbricks.
Ceiling Projection: Mastic tree - Chios 2021 Special credits: Eftychia Sarri
Floor projection: Body and salt bricks - Berlin 2022 Special credits: Anabelle Paran
Overhead Projection: Moon projection made out of: salt crystals, Salt cubes from the Dead Sea, and a sieve basket.
Salt brick sculptures.
Small screen: 3 video compositions Large screen: The “Gathering” film Credits: Anabelle Paran, Zane Prater, Sophie Peters, Eloise Gillow.
The audience was free to interact with the installation space on the second day of the exhibition.
1st Performance :
The work evolves with a performative activation of the space. The space shifts and overlaps through live camera, projection, live sound and live visuals. Performed by Nasia Papavasiliou and the Guest artists Katarzyna Debska https://www.katarzynadebska.com (v-jaying and performance) and the live sound of Jerzy Maczynski. https://jerzymaczynski.com
Special credits: Chios island videos: Eftychia Sarri Grunewald Forest videos: Jerzy Maczynski, Katarzyna Debska Kreuzberg: Anabelle Paran
2nd Performance: Performed by the artist. De-activation of the space. The Last Phase of the work.