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Mystery 139 Alienation


Contributors:

Photographer: Vangelis Gkinis
Exhibition Curator: Vaggelis Tatsis
Specialist Advisor: Tasos Travasaros, psychotherapist
Project Coordination: Contemporary Art Directorate 2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture, Zoe Moutsokou, Anastasia Tsopelaki
A production of the 2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture

Information:

Dates: 11 May to 18 June 2023
Opening hours: Wednesday – Thursday – Friday 18.00 – 22.00 | Saturday & Sunday: 11.00 – 14.00 and 18.00 – 22.00
Opening: Thursday 11 May, 20.00

A travelogue through the eyes of photographer Vangelis Gkinis curated by Vaggelis Tatsis, an audiovisual research through which the artist studies the world of work with a focus on the working class in Greece.

Starting from Elefsina, the city where he lives and works, Vangelis Gkinis travelled for six months across the country, covering a total of 4,755 kilometres and visiting 13 cities in Greece to talk to and photograph 28 workers from different industries, their workplaces and their personal belongings. The journey began, for historical and symbolic reasons, from Syros and Neorio, where in 1879 the first labour union in Greece, the Brotherhood Association of Carpenters of the Syros Shipyard, was founded. Megalopolis, Tripoli, Patras and Volos followed. Then, Velestino, Larissa, Thessaloniki, Larymna, while the research was completed – of course – West Attica, the photographer’s place of origin and the main place of concentration of industrial activity in Greece.

Gkinis chooses to place his portraits on country roads, foggy landscapes, desolate fields, highlighting the difficulties faced daily by the modern worker of the 21st century, the conditions that cause physical and psychological exhaustion. He even ensures to visually cut the worker off from the large industrial complexes, the offices, his workplaces – places of forced action and not creative work, according to him – thus suggesting the sense of alienation of the worker from the object of his work, which results in his alienation from his fellow human beings and, ultimately, from himself.

For Gkinis, the presentation of Mystery 139 Alienation in Elefsina does not constitute the completion of this audiovisual research. It would never be completed as the world of work and the difficulties it faces are still relevant. On the other hand, through his work, the photographer aspires to remind us of the constant relevance of the issue he deals with, to highlight it, to contribute to the public debate, to discuss it and to reflect on it.

Further Info

Labor
The thematic axis of the artistic programme titled Labor explores the past and the present of work, the common European challenges of precariousness and the model of a contemporary sustainable economy, focusing on the pioneering linking of art with fields such as industry, science, technology and social innovation. Thus, it addresses another important feature of European cultural heritage, industry, which has been the basis of Europe’s development in the last few centuries. The thematic axis creates synergies between artists and businesses in various sectors as well as between artists and scientists, through three themes/notions: “The Future Starts Here”, “Culture My Profession/Culture My Hobby”, “Capacity Building and Applied Innovation Centre”.
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Mystery 112: Maria Papadimitriou Dual Theatre, Or On Friendship

Mystery 112: Dual Theatre, Or On Friendship, a work by the distinguished artist Maria Papadimitriou, which includes a series of open fiction art workshops for – and with – the residents of Elefsina, will be presented from 22 January to 29 February.


Mystery 137 Transition Towards Professional Solidarity

A series of discussions, workshops and events will be organised from 6 to 10 March by 2023 Eleusis, in collaboration with the Culture for Change network, regarding the future and the development of collective initiatives by professionals in the cultural sector.


Mystery 176 Cinema Days

2023 Eleusis organizes screenings of documentary works related to its artistic program, the city, as well as contemporary reflections on key and timeless issues. Always with a hidden ambition to transform Eleusis into a landmark of a unique cinematic experience.


Mystery 20 Performing Arts Initiator – Narrative Archaeology

2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture organises for the first time on 29 and 30 March, at the Elefsina Old Oil Mill Factory, the conference “Narrative Archaeology | Performance in archaeological sites and excavation of human experience.” This two-day meeting takes place in the framework of the composite art activity Mystery 20 Performing Arts Initiator – Narrative Archaeology, with the aim of promoting an interdisciplinary dialogue between Arts and Archaeology.

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