Why now? What's the purpose?
By coincidence, I will be in Europe at the opening of the 2015-17 Athens Biennial. The Biennial was announced unfortunately after my return ticket to the US was already booked, and I am looking for help to fund an extension of my trip in order to attend the opening weekend and international symposium. This is an opportunity for me to connect with artists and art activists in Greece, (the country of my birth) in November. Rather than launching a complicated and possibly annoying Kickstarter campaign, I’m sending you these photos from my archive. If you see an image you like, I simply hope you'll buy a print!
Why am I going to Europe anyway?
I'm elated to say that I was chosen to participate in a project at The Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. As some of you may know, my artwork has become ever more immersed with the subject of the house, the experience of inhabitation, and the broader themes of housing and the city. The Wohnungsfrage Academy, in which I will be participating, is a one week intensive, interdisciplinary academy bringing together artists, architects, economists, and urban planners. The goal of this session is to look at the Housing Question multilaterally, to investigate "the relationship between architecture, housing and social reality" and "to stimulate the discourse on social, affordable and self-determined housing." In addition to the Wohnungsfrage exhibition, which features work from prominent artists and cultural activists, there will be seminars, discussions, workshops and site visits to locations throughout Berlin. If you can’t tell, I am kind of excited.
Wait, what about Greece?
After the Academy, I will spend a little time in Berlin investigating art opportunities there, (something that I have wanted to do for years.) After that, I will visit my family in Greece, (something I wish I could do every year, if I could afford it.) The irony connecting these two destinations is present and it is heavy. In fact, the week I received the email from Berlin, the heated meetings between these countries was front page news, and the OXI vote was looming. Witnessing all of this from afar, I felt so disconnected from the intense and uncertain state of my home country. I felt uncomfortable being excited about my opportunity in Germany when I imagined what Greece might be like when next I returned. Sitting in a woodshop in the wilds of Maine, I re-read my acceptance letter and thought "what on earth will it be like to experience Berlin and to then go back to Athens?"
The title of this next Athens Biennial, "ΟΜΟΝΙΑ", not only translates to "concord" (agreement or harmony between people or groups) but is also the name of "Omonia Square," a major center in the city of Athens. The biennial this year will undoubtedly be intense for artists and art activists convening in Greece from all over Europe, especially as images of people fleeing homelands turned into warzones flood global media. Sitting at my computer back in Buffalo, the scale of desperation of world conditions and my small spot on this planet has left me feeling dislocated and out of place. It has been a strange summer to contemplate place and home, housing and homeland, to say the least. I need to join in this gathering—and to be there.
So now you have the context behind this sale, my feelings, and my near future goals. You’ll see the first photographs in your inbox, or here on Facebook, tomorrow around lunchtime. Feel free to forward or share.
Thank you for reading. I am grateful your support.