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New York

Itinerant Performance Art Festival, New House Center of Contemporary Art, 5 May 2012, Staten Island, New York

[ 1 033 507]
Performed and Designed: Ioanna Neofytou, Spiros Klitoras Charalampopoulos
Copy of an ancient sculpture, plaster, charcoal, hammers.

The subject of this performance was the new economical situation in Greece; the country with the worst crisis in Europe, the biggest debts, the largest budget deficit and the largest economical decline. Greece is a battlefield; a country in a general political, economical and social crisis. This uncontrolled situation creates the inability to adjust, insecurity, fear and despair in every day life. The performance focused on every expressions of failure; how the crisis affects the lower social classes and the marginalized humans. Using statistics, like the percentages of debt, unemployment, suicides, drug addicts, immigrants, etc, we record the “numbers of failure”. The performance was a violent process of revealing a destroyed sculpture. The ancient sculpture is the symbol of Greek's past and nowadays national illusion. The destroyed national pride, that in fact can't help the new financial difficulties was provoked. The glorious past is not a guaranty for the future and no history-tail is enough to feed the unemployed. Economy is an international war.

Few words about our previous work:

interactive performance based on texts of Matei Visniec
Performed and designed by Odysseas Konstantinou, Ioanna Neofutou and Klitoras
“12 wagon festival", theater “The train in Roof”, 5-15 of Mai 2011
15 min, above and inside the train

This performance came out, after the big hunger-strike that 300 immigrants made in Greece last year. They occupied the law school of Athens and asked for recognition and there right to remain in the country. Thousands of people every year sacrifice a lot, for a journey to the west world that consider as there only salvation of war, misery and disaster of there country. Greece is a country close to the borders of Europe and many immigrants use it as transit country for there last destination. Traveling illegally from land and sea, all the ways of transport are used to transfer them to the promised land. Always considering that this issues are not easy to answer and the problem of immigration raises lots of different reactions, we tried to open that subject to the public.
Our performance was held in a train station, in a run-down neighborhood, close to the city center of Athens. They performance started very late in the night in a meeting point close to the station and a person was taking the audience to the train. The speaking language was unfamiliar to the Greek audience. A performer was on the top of the train and an other one was outside it, the audience could hear sounds and instructions for the person that was with them but he couldn't understand where they were coming from.
In a moment people started entering in the small wagon of the train from the windows climbing on top of them and moving in the dark wagon. The performer that was before in the train was trying to explain them why is not allowed to enter in the train without legal papers.
Our goal was to reverse the social roles and create the feeling of alliance to the audience. In a small wagon, of 6 people capacity, we cram as much people as we could with us, making them accomplices to an illegal journey somewhere in Europe. The theater audience, had to deal with the lose of the sense of familiar. The performance refuted the place and the private space as the performers moved through, above and under the audience, repealing the security and the sense that “this is my space”. Using the text of Matei Visniec, we aimed to make the audience feel uncomfortable, and consider about the creation of nations, immigration and the social effects that this issues have. Our aim was not just to raise awareness, but also ridicule the way in which we choose to define ourselves and consequently our nation and others. Actions during the happening were autonomous and described snapshots from the experiences of different people on the borders of nations and thoughts.

Ioanna Neofytou website:

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