I always found the name false which they gave us: Emigrants.

That means those who leave their country. But we

Did not leave, of our own free will

Choosing another land. Nor did we enter

Into a land, to stay there, if possible for ever.

Merely, we fled. We are driven out, banned.

Not a home, but an exile, shall the land be that took us in.

Restlessly we wait thus, as near as we can to the frontier

Awaiting the day of return, every smallest alteration

Observing beyond the boundary, zealously asking

Every arrival, forgetting nothing and giving up nothing

And also not forgiving anything which happened, forgiving nothing

Ah, the silence of the Sound does not deceive us! We hear the shrieks

From their camp even here. Yes, we ourselves

Are almost like rumours of crimes, which escaped

Over the frontier. Every one of us

Who with torn shoes walks through the crowd

Bears witness to the shame which now defiles our land.

But none of us

Will stay here. The final word

Is yet unspoken.

Bertolt Brecht
1898-1956 

 

Banksy’s discusses Dismaland.

Posted: October 18, 2015 in Videos & Images

“It’s a flawed concept”

Banksy discusses Dismaland with a Sunday newspaper…

Why does the world need Dismaland? What inspired you to create it – and how did you find the site?

It’s an experiment in offering something less resolved than the average theme park. For some reason it’s been labelled as ‘twisted’ but I’ve never called it that. We just built a family attraction that acknowledges inequality and impending catastrophe. I would argue it’s theme parks which ignore these things that are the twisted ones.

The location was easy to find – I came here every summer for the first 17 years of my life.

This preoccupation with Disney, have you been subjected to too many re-runs of Cinderella recently? What effect do you think Disney has on young minds? 

I don’t have an issue with Disney. I’m not a hipster, so I don’t think something is evil or vacuous simply because its popular. The Dismal Land branding isn’t about Disney at all – its just a framework that says – OK, we accept that making art puts us in the light entertainment industry, and we’ll attempt to engage at that level – but for the left.

Some Disney is very good, the Let it Go sequence in Frozen is brilliant – the ‘journey’ between the beginning and end of that three minute song is pure cinematic gold.

What were your criteria for the artists you included? How did you find them? Have you met and spoken to these artists? 

I approached all the artists myself by email. Only two of them turned me down.

You’ve described a lot of the work as ‘post-modem’ can you explain what you mean by that?

I came up with the term and now I’m desperately trying to work out what it means. Post-modem is art that has high click potential, that invites being shared between people. This usually requires the art to have at least two parts; ‘embroidery – but into car bonnets’ or ‘a mushroom cloud – that’s also a tree house’. I think the internet puts greater demands on art. You could call it ‘gimmicky’ if you like, but I think that misses the point. We have a new medium for sharing visuals that rewards novelty, insight and humour, but also recognises technical skill in a way modern art has ignored for fifty years.

Also I am interested that this show is on such a grand scale – now your work appears in museums and special Banksy theme parks are you still a Street Artist? 

This is not a street art show. It’s modelled on those failed Christmas parks that pop up every December – where they stick some antlers on an Alsatian dog and spray fake snow on a skip. It’s ambitious, but it’s also crap. I think there’s something very poetic and British about all that.

On the list of people whose work you have included in Dismaland is Damien Hirst – if you see yourself as outside the art establishment, why have you included Hirst who is the epitome of the YBA monied art crowd in your show? 

I didn’t want to include Damien Hirst, the show doesn’t need his validation or any of the baggage that might come with his name. But when you’re organising an art show at the seaside and you know there’s a sculpture of a beachball hovering on a jet of air above fifty sharpened steak knives – well, you have to include it. That piece is so poetic and technically intriguing. This show is packed with a lot of exciting new artists it would be profoundly depressing if the stand-out artist was Damien Hirst. But you can’t argue with the piece. It’s bigger than what you think of him, or what you think of the art world, or even what he thinks of himself. It’s a perfectly realised piece of work.

Can you expand a bit on what you think we should be telling the next generation about the state of the world… if you were a dad what would you tell your kids about the refugees in the Med? Or the surveillance state – or for that matter, Jeremy Corbyn?

In the remote control boat pond at Dismaland it randomly switches the boat you operate – so you have no control over whether your destiny is to be an asylum seeker or a western super-power.

I feel like my generation was the first to deal with the mass media beaming the world’s problems to us in real time. I remember the baked beans cooling in my mouth as Newsround showed pictures of flies crawling over the faces of African babies. Mostly we’ve chosen to deal with this by cocooning ourselves, that we can live with the guilt. But why should children be immune from the idea that to maintain our standard of living other children have to die trapped in the hulls of boats in the bottom of the Mediterranean? The grown-ups might have convinced themselves small incremental change and buying organic tomatoes is enough, but passing that mindset onto the next generation doesn’t feel like good parenting.

Is Dismaland something you will repeat? Could it become a permanent attraction? Given the huge demand, would you extend the run?

I can’t extend the run because of technical calculations. We have tall structures which have been built and certified for one weather period. It gets windy there and we’re not insured for one minute past the last day of September.

What has been the best thing about opening your Bemusement park, and the worst? I know you expected people to be shocked, but they don’t seem to be… has the reaction been different to what you expected? 

There have been teething problems. I didn’t realise that for the first week we had ‘real’ security searching people before they got to the ‘ironic’ security, which obviously blunted the satire a bit. But I’ve learnt you should never underestimate what children are prepared to take on board and respond to. It’s fascinating to see that by not ignoring some more serious issues people find it emboldening rather than depressing.

However the first day I wandered round with the public I have to admit there was no-one more disappointed than me. I think the whole concept might be flawed. By repackaging an art show as an amusement park everybody’s expectations are raised substantially. The branding writes a cheque that the event doesn’t cash. I was there looking at Ben Long’s sculpture of a horse constructed from scaffolding, a piece that if it was shown in the V&A alongside other sculptures would be remarkable, but the lady next to me asked her husband ‘Does it do anything?’ I suddenly realised the whole premise was wrong, I’d pushed it too far and it had gone from being a pretty good art show to a very sub-standard amusement park. I mean, who stands in the Tate looking at a Henry Moore asking – does it do anything?

Why has Jonathan Jones at the Guardian so got it in for you? I’d have thought they would be your natural constituency… how do you respond to his charge that your art is facile and one dimensional?

A lot of critics don’t like this kind of art because it doesn’t require their validation or interpretation. There’s nothing for them to do here.

Fundamentally I disagree with the charge that art is bad if it’s too easy to understand. There’s a place for directness in other art forms – music is full of it, you’d have a hard time telling people they should only listen to Opera and anything else isn’t ‘real’ music. I think there’s space for art to be loud, crass and obvious. If it looks like the rantings of an angry adolescent what’s wrong with that? What was wrong with punk? As far as I’m concerned there are too many things we need to discuss in the actual world before I start making abstract art.

Tell us a bit about the process of making Dismaland, when did you first get the idea? How long have you been down there making things? 

It’s been six months for a handful of us. And it’s hard to stay focussed – we spent three weeks carving the foam wheels for Cinderella’s carriage and nobody notices them at all. It took another month getting the remote control boats to float after I overloaded them with people.

Has there been any blowback from Disney?

I think we’re covered by the new laws on parody that were introduced to the UK in October. Twelve months ago it might have been different.

What do you mean by “I am an Imbecile” balloons – is that patronising to your visitors? Do you look down on mass popular culture?

You’d have to ask David Shrigley what those balloons mean – he made them. All I know is I smiled at the thought of a seven year old clutching one on the train as they made their way home.

If you were prime minister what would be the first things you would do?

Abolish inheritance.

What would you like your epitaph to be?

I don’t care about posterity, that’s what i’d like to be remembered for.

source: http://dismaland.co.uk/interview/

Wendy Houstoun. Stupid Women.

Posted: September 27, 2015 in Videos & Images

Yesterday I watched Wendy Houstoun’s piece Stupid Women and it was absolutely everything: humorous , energetic, satirical, powerful, chaotic, thought-provoking and provocative. All at once.

Many people support that dance performances should mainly focus on something specific, which sometimes leads to pieces of  dance with endless and repetitive abstract movement and a huge (once more) abstract/deep statement.

On the other hand pieces like Stupid Women deal with various topics, unravelling unforcedly individual images that offer plenty food for thought. Criticising the dance world as well as commenting on the ‘real’ sociopolitical world.

Using clever props, well thought texts and music they created a very unique performance that had anything you would ever want to see on stage (even a football net!).

Wendy Houstoun stupid women (photos by Chris Nash)_0I haven’t seen a piece so captivating in every sense for a very very long time. I personally believe that art/dance etc should give something that you can take with you in terms of though
ts, emotions etc. It should somehow link to who you are right there right now and offer some messages either directly or indirectly.

Yesterday I felt that everything was unforcedly given to us. The images created were full of history and meaning-only if your were ready to accept that. But even otherwise the uncomfort that was brought into the room was kind of pleasant !!!

I enjoyed that anarchic chaos more than anything. It almost felt like one of my craziest dreams was coming true!

I can’t even describe with worlds the feeling that I left the theatre with. Almost like I was complete…

image1

Today A(r)CT had the opportunity to perform in The Broadway Theatre and be part of the Emerging Choreographers Platform 2015! 

Such a great day watching some really moving and inspiring dance pieces by young choreographers!

IMG_2857

Thank you to Liza Vallance and studio3Arts [http://www.studio3arts.org.uk/] for their support.

11751427_1610592732551704_5327608085188769460_n

Watching this kid in Leicester Square last week, drawing with some trash, water and fallen leaves made me smile.

And it made me think how much we can learn from children. How much we know about the world when we are this age. How true, honest, creative and imaginative we are.

So, why do we lose these characteristics as we grow older? Is there a way we can keep this child inside us alive forever?

Next time you are going to feel like dancing or singing, do it! Or if it happens to find yourself with a paper and a pen.. try drawing something instead of writing your “to do” list! Make up a story and become a character! Remember how you were seeing the world when you were young… and then try to see the world like this again. 

Try! It works (sometimes!) 11041138_1610592725885038_5417033097799140265_n

Summer Streets 2

Posted: July 26, 2015 in Our Actions
Tags:

Another day in Regents Street as part of Summer Streets.IMG_2738

Almost, dancing in the rain!!!

Thank you to City Academy for this great opportunity and for organising such an amazing event! Looking forward to more!

IMG_2739

Today A(r)CT had the chance to perform at Regents Street as part of Summer Streets!!![ http://www.regentstreetonline.com/summerstreets/]IMG_2671

It was great to see Regents Street with no traffic, full of life, full of music, dance and other free events.

Maybe an opportunity to visit this street for something else rather than shopping!

Join us next Sunday 26th July at 3.30pm and 4.55pm!

Don’t miss out next Sunday is the last one!

IMG_2669

unnamed

IMG_246226th June 2015: a great day at XTRAX/GDIF International Marketplace at Greenwich Dance, part of Greenwich and Docklands International Festival.

IMG_2454So proud to be part of such a big event amongst some of the most prestigious dance companies and outdoors live arts,  groups, such as Emergency Exit Arts, Conflux, StopGap Dane Company, Motionhouse, 2Faced Dance Company and many more.

IMG_2450

It is great to see the field of outdoors arts expanding and gaining more power.  Art does not only belong to theatres and galleries, it belongs outside with the people.For the people. 

Also, great to meet with so many inspiring people and hear about some very exciting ideas and projects.

IMG_2447Now A(r)CT is ready to continue its journey…

    Stay tuned! 

Many thanks to Rosie Spawls and Gabi Serani for their help on the event!

_MG_3913 A(r)CT presented ”When you only have 20 minutes” (‘Οταν έχεις μόνο 20 λεπτά’) yesterday at the 2nd Scratch Festival in Athens (Texnoxoros CARTEL).

‘Time is money’ but what is worth more?  A piece about the power money and time have on us.. on our everyday life.. on the way we think and act.

And how they end up leading and conquering us… A constant battle between the will and need…time and money… a struggle for nothing.

Until we realise…what is actually worth it. Until we decide to rebel and say NO.

I feel the urge more than ever to make art that  gives a message, art that is truly related to the contemporary world. And I am glad that people appreciate this.

I always believed art CAN actually change the world. NOW it’s the time…
11651016_897374460318021_740791055_n 2

Millions of thanks to the beautiful performers Danae Pazirgianidi and Erifili Drakopoulou for their hard work and creative input, as well as to the greatest ever dance teacher who is always supporting every step I do.

11650945_897374466984687_199515506_n 2

Επειδή όπως λεμε, ο χρόνος ειναι χρήμα…

Αλλά τελικά τι αξίξει πιο πολύ;

Ο χρόνος ή το χρήμα;

Μία διαμάχη μεταξύ δύο μεγάλων εννοιών. Δύο εννοιών που εχουν δημιουργηθεί από τον ίδιο τον άνθρωπο και σήμερα δαμάζουν την ανθρωπότητα.

Μία εξερεύνηση της αλληλένδητης σχέσης του χρόνου και του χρήματος και της επιρροής τους στην καθημερινότητά μας.  Μέχρι να συνειδητοποιήσουμε..τι πραγματικά αξίζει. Μέχρι να αποφασίσουμε να αντιδράσουμε και να επαναστατήσουμε.

Πάντα πίστευα ότι η τέχνη έχει τη δύναμη να αλλάξει τον κόσμο.. Τώρα ίσως είναι η ώρα.

Ευχαριστώ πολύ τη Δανάη Παζιργιαννίδη και την Ερυφίλη Δρακοπούλου για την σκληρή δουλειά τους και τη δημιουργικότητά τους καθώς και τη μοναδική κ. Βάσω Κουκάκη που βρίσκεται πάντα δίπλα μου σε κάθε βήμα.

 

IMG_2170 Last week I had the great opportunity to work with Steve Lambert on Capitalism works for me TRUE/ FALSE. A totally life-changing, inspiring , unique experience, through which I finally witnessed what ART is really capable of! 

A live proof that art can inspire, can call for action, can open a conversation, can ask questions, can (to an extent) give answers, it can definitely make people react.. and hopefully make them ACT.

(We definitely need more art like this.)

Having discussed with more than 50 people the past few days gave me so much knowledge in many different aspects. It made me realise how important is especially nowadays to THINK!  To think and question everything you see or hear. And I say especially nowadays because we are susceptible to messages, adverts, news more than ever. And even worse we are cultivated with the idea that there isIMG_2173 NO need of Knowing… Surely there is something wrong and dishonest about this strategy…

Talking with people about the big subject of capitalism sometimes filled me with disappointment, anger or sadness, but some other times people’s words really gave me courage, inspiration, excitement,the power to continue…and loads of other emotions that cannot be described by typing on a keyboard. Some things can only be said, discussed and felt face to face. 

But where is the space for that? Do we have time to pause and discuss with a stranger about Capitalism???

and if not… maybe it’s capitalism itself that doesn’t allow us to do so.

IMG_2188Comments and thoughts made by people I had the chance to talk to:

‘We are made to think that capitalism works.’

IMG_2196

‘It’s time for change and we need change. But how do you make people understand and work towards it?  There is not much time left.’

‘We need to think the “me” as the whole world. We are all together in this. Then you can vote: Does Capitalism works for ‘me’?’

IMG_2190

   ‘And what is the solution? …Maybe is inside us?

Maybe… The first step is to question… Then I am sure.. all together, we can find a fairer solution for everyone.

But let’s just not accept once more to obey to money…

Now, it’s your time to vote..

IMG_2189