29.6.2023 Livadi of the Ephemeral VI (&mailart)


Photography Center of Thessaloniki is organizing again this year, as every 2 years, in the village of Livadi (Municipality of Thermi of the Prefecture of Thessaloniki) a four-day residency / workshop of artists, in which participants create works of art, using materials collected from the surrounding area. In collaboration with colectiva artistika 'Koukos'

Permanent theme: 'Ephemeral in Art'

With the co-operation of Local Community of Livadi and the Cultural Association of Livadi.

The program has been finalized (almost!).
From Thursday 29/6 until Saturday 1/7 artists can come to the venue and work their work.

They should bring with them the special materials they will use. There will be available tools and consumables such as wire, rope, etc.

On Friday 30/6, most of the activities and events have been gathered so that visitors can participate or attend them all with one visit.

Early in the afternoon we will all work together on a large-sized group project in the adjacent forest. Details and required materials will be announced soon.

Then there will be the recombination of the works that were hidden in the field on the initiative of Lea Kavvadia and Vasiliki Argyropoulou. These works derive from the action of the 'MOMus-Experimental Arts Centre' for the 100th anniversary of the birth of the influential artist Joseph Beyus and are symbolically linked to the planting of 7000 Oaks by Beyus in Kassel.

At 8.30 pm, the documentary "Return to Earth" by Chrysa Tzelepi and Akis Kersanidis, starring the ceramist Hector Mavridis, will be screened at the school of the village. A discussion will follow.

In the same place there will be a daily exhibition of Vasilis Karkatselis entitled:'From the Ephemeral to the Post'.

At 10pm there will be a feast at the village cafe with live music with Giannis (bouzouki / voice), Kostas (guitar/voice) and Alexandros (lute/ baglamas).

On Saturday 1/7, 5pm, there will be art games in nature with the participation of the children of the village. Animated by Eleanna Barba and Stefania Patrikiou, visual artists
At 9pm there will be a feast in the village square on the occasion of the feast with the fires for St. John of Klidonas.

On Sunday 2/7, 12 noon there will be a tour of the works created in the field, in the presence of the artists.

In the meantime it will run mailart with the participation of artists from all over the world. Theme: 'Ephemeral in Art'. https://www.facebook.com/events/809128027302251

The works will be presented during Virgin Mary week (11-16/8) at the village school. At the end of August we will all gather together, post them in the field (along with the existing works) and let them be absorbed by nature.

All submitted work will be exhibited. They will not be returned to the participants. After the exhibition they will be exposed to the nature, together with other' artists' work, in the frame of 'Livadi of the Ephemeral VI'.

Photography and ephemeral art
Since 2013 -and every 2 years- artists from all over Europe are hosted at the highland village Livadi (a few kilometers out of Thessaloniki/ Greece) where they participate in a 5days symposium-workshop dedicated to ephemeral art. They create their artistic work in a private, fenced place next to the forest, using mostly materials they find at the surrounding area as well as their own materials they bring with them. Dirt, stones, water, organics, like pieces of wood or leaves, but industrial products as well, like metal, wires, cement, wooden constructions, fabrics, photos. These works have the character of ephemeral, as they gradually are being absorbed by nature. The transformation of the works is being captured photographically in all stages and consequently as different works - or as pieces of their rescued parts - they can be classified in the creation of the artists of the next events, years after!

Ephemeral art is characterized as the art which, from the beginning of the concept and creation doesn't have the preservation of the work in the long run as a priority - e.g. something that the artist wishes for his artistic work for sale. The ephemeral character of a work, especially when it is enrolled in nature with materials of the direct environment, partly defines both the life style of the artist and the way he practices his art and some elements of the form of the work its self as well. The artist enters into an existential dilemma, as he has to overcome his narcissism and to accept the fact that his work will be absorbed by nature and won't be the vehicle to his "immortality".

The ephemeral art is immortalized by photography, which gives another kind of life to the ephemeral work, as it is communicated through time to its public and to history. The ephemeral artistic work is build -we see it/it exists- for some time and soon, for various reasons it is disappeared , deteriorated and this is an indivisible part of an existence circle which has been pre-calculated during its creation. Photography is -by need- an indivisible and quantifiable part during the procedure of production, a necessary and supplementary means in order to realize the absolute circle of creation-corrosion, it is the side tool of transmission of the art of ephemeral.

Because of the character of the ephemeral which characterizes the works of artists of ephemeral e.g. Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Julian Beaver and Andy Goldsworthy, photography takes decisive role in immortalizing its temporary presence, dynamics, beauty, or concerns that the compositions/installations exude. As Goldsworthy himself said: "Each work is developed, survives, is decomposed, part of a circle which photography can show us extensively, underlining actually and featuring the moment when the work has the most vividness ..."

We can realize how important and necessary is to see the (authentic) ephemeral art for as long as it exists and at the place it has been created, from the moment we will conceive that the work will not be there and as it is, forever. Through photography all these short presence pieces /works can be documented and shared with the next generations, not only as history but as a question as well, concerning the mission of art, its means, the issues and the questions which art poses to contemporary artists and its self as well.
Thanassis Raptis – Photographer


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