Greek India Project and The Stocking

YIA YIA Cane – 2017

Greek India Project – A proposal

Exchanges / ανταλλαγές / değişim / एक्सचेंजों / ایکسچینج 

The premise of Exchanges / ανταλλαγές / değişim / एक्सचेंजों / ایکسچینج is to host a dialogue with artists from Greece, Turkey, India, Pakistan in an empty store in the flea market area of Athens, Greece. The four countries represented share a similar experience in their histories; the forced transfers of populations with the intention to create homogenous countries based on religion. The exchanges of populations in 1923 between Greece and Turkey and Partition in 1947 forming India/ Pakistan have left lasting memories in both countries. It has been often said that the exchange in 1923 served as the template for Partition. The two sets, Greece/ Turkey and India/Pakistan are traditionally known as adversaries in spite of sharing common everyday foods, textiles, ancient sites and traditions.

Artists from Greece/ Turkey/ India and Pakistan will be invited to send their favourite poem in the form of an audio recording or paper text. The poems will be put into my collection of antique  Quran bags and Greek costume bags which will have speakers inside. They will be installed floating against the  back drop of my large collaged works and collection of textiles and costumes dating back to the Ottoman empire. Also included are paintings referring to  the occupation of Greece in World War 11 interwoven with Nazi mail bags and historical costumes and  which were worn before the war, but not afterwards..

The selection of a store space near the flea market, Monastiraki area, highlights the ideas of exchange and barter. Although now the flea market shops in this area are full of the same mass-produced touristic items, many made in China, in the past the market was full of discarded old textiles and costumes, which are very rare to find now. The collection includes pieces from my great Grandfather’s textile shop in Tripoli, Greece in the late 1800’s, hand made laces from my family; dating back to 1900 along with costumes I bought from the Monastiraki in the 1960-70’s. (Note – I wore many of the costumes on a daily basis as a young woman) Shared threads of images and design can be seen in the textiles from East to West;  including a group of embroidered Quran bags- gifted to me by AA Bronson after our trip to India.

Exchanges / ανταλλαγές / değişim / एक्सचेंजों / ایکسچینج acts as an intervention in the area, creating a space for the dialogue of artists within a collage of fabrics and textiles from east and west referring to the lost silk road. The installation will act as a healing process, with memories of the past revealed in an active living space. Books & poems  (selected by the artists) will be available in a small sitting area for people to read them. A series of events will be planned- a poetry reading, panel and an afternoon tea with sweets from the four countries served.

Greek Bed of Roses , printed roses on canvas and antique Greek Costume, 9ft by 12ft. 2016


The Stocking .  An invitation to a private performance/ The Breeder 

The Breeder is pleased to present Chez Anne by Chrysanne Stathacos, a private performance and salon intervention in the artist’s old Athenian home on Lycabettus Hill. Stathacos will speak of histories both recent and past.She has been conducting home archeology to explore themes of intimacy, identity, and the connection between the artist, family and history within an unchanged space that still embodies the history of the early part of the 20th century. The artist’s collection of vintage costumes and handmade laces that are over 100 years old have been installed within her large scale wall-based works which act as interventions to create new dialogues revealing memories of the past including the occupation of Greece during the World War II. A highlight of the salon is a 74-year old hand knit stocking with a note from the artist’s grandmother (who immigrated to Canada in 1920’s):

This stocking was knitted by your great-grandmother during the German Occupation of Greece- At that time as you know nobody had a way to find
food let alone buy stockings so your great grandmother used to knit stockings for Aunt Lela who was a visiting nurse at the northern part of Greece.

The newly placed works and found everyday objects reveal modes of perception and identification in an active living space which seems stuck in another era and among other things includes a working well. The collection includes pieces from Stathaco’s great grandfather’s textile shop in Tripoli, Greece in the late 1800’s, hand-made laces from her family dating back to 1900, along with costumes she bought from Monastiraki in the 1960-70’s and wore as a young woman. Stathacos’s stories act as a healing proccess, with the revealed memories of the past mirroring today’s events.

Of Greek descent, artist Chrysanne Stathacos weaves together ritual actions, technology, history, feminism, spirituality and the environment in hybrid works and projects that demonstrate a commitment to social art practice. Her focus is the interconnectedness of all human beings.

Art Forum – Kpisis Management by Andrew Durbin –  mention of  performance Chez Anne