This is a provisional document, the project is in progress and may be modified.
The whole project has and intends to have a strong human character. We refer to the concept of Humanitas, which defines the ethical value of understanding and assistance to those we recognize as our fellow human beings. We want to focus on the common matter belonging to every human manifestation, among different times and spaces, and to underline the proximity between ways of being that are apparently distant.
The title “Beds” comes, consequently, as a metaphor of an intimate and custom place, regarded as familiar even if far from home. Each artist will be given an imaginary bed in the form of a physical place in which to freely create her/his artwork.
The first edition of Beds will involve the city of Athens (GR) and 5 performance artists: Stanislaw Baldyga (PL), LukasKolm (LT), Sandra Johnston (UK), Antti-Juhani Manninen (FIN), Ximan Wang (CHN/IT).
Each artist is invited to perform in a particular place in the city of Athens, chosen in relation to the deep similarities between the artist’s practice and the assigned place.
Beds is based on three pillars: the chosen place (considered for its own specificities), the alive relationship created by performance art, and solidarity.
Beds in solidarity.
The idea of Beds intends to intersect the “structure” of an artistic event with the human facts that have determined and determine the past and contemporary history of a city, in this case, Athens.
As a natural consequence of the approach adopted, we combine the art project with the choice to create a strong contact between the artists and some of the realities that are facing humanitarian problems in Athens in recent years.
Each artist will spend in Athens a period of one week (expected to be in 2021) during which she/he will be supported in the preparation of her/his performance art piece and invited to hold an artist talk in one of the five participating art spaces currently active in the Athenian art scene.
In addition to what is concerning her/his personal artistic practice, the artist is invited to collaborate or simply get involved with some organizations committed to providing basic necessities, support, and closeness to people in need.
We established our project in collaboration with Performance studio of the Department of Fine Arts, School of Art, University of Western Macedonia (a workshop between artists and students will precede the event), Und.Athens (interview to the artists, management support, communication, and promotion through their Athenian alternative art guide); Athenian art spaces that will host the artist talks: Potential Project, Fokianou Art Space, Automatic Transmission, Yellow Brick, Noucmas; Club Unesco Romania (formally supporting Beds.athens, presentation of the project in the center of Club Unesco Romania in view of a future edition in Bucharest); solidarity organizations with whom we are currently collaborating in Athens: the Khora social kitchens, and the association Pilipala, actives in carrying children’s activities in Skaramangas refugee camp.
We believe that this project, even if small in size, is able to highlight both private and collective debate.
Through the artist’s body performance art brings aliveness, temporality, and instability to the artwork. The live presence of the artist’s body becomes central to the notion of “the real”. We believe that Beds can trigger a process that leads to a more articulated perception of what is considered familiar.