• Syntrofi -on privilege- [performative lunches] 2019

    Participatory lunch performance produced with the School of Love for the “EXERCICES IN AWERNESS” programme, “Women and Children First” festival, Vooruit, Ghent | January – February 2019.
    Syntrofi [σύντροφοι] is a greek compound word - coming from feed [trofi] + together [syn] - which means: “companions, comrades, lovers…”
    Syntrofi takes on a perspective of a vulnerable observer, who looks into art and education institutions from within the position of the marginal and the excluded. Around the lunch table audience and performers will become Syntrofi. Personal stories on privilege will be served, chewed on, and digested through conversations and engaged togetherness that acknowledge the complexity of contradicting desires.
    This project was first initiated in 2017 by Elli Vassalou and developed within the School of Love [SOL]. In this iteration, Syntrofi will be co-created and performed by Yared Yilma, Elli Vassalou, Hazal Arda, Weronika Zalewska, Adva Zakai, Martina Petrovic, Marcus Bergner and Sawsan Maher.
  • Parallel Perceptions [video walking performance, workshop] 2017-18

    in collaboration with choreographer and visual artist Maya Dalinsky

    “Parallel Perceptions” is a collaborative format which explores various aspects of video walking and its applications in specific socio-political environments. Video walks allow the videographer to share her/his perception with another person by layering times and spaces: a video is recorded in a single shot, then given to another person who watches and re-animates in situ the videographer's movement on a handheld device. "Parallel Perceptions" guides participants through “affordance theory” and somatic-based exercises to awaken individual and group perception, and to build a shared toolkit of compositional approaches to space.

    Mayas interest is in the medium’s potential for “digital uncanny”: a disorienting perception of self that results when digital technologies layer times, spaces and perspectives. She approaches the format from a movement background and roots her practice in notions of embodiment, co-presence, cycling feedback, and proprioceptive expression. Elli, coming from architecture and socially-engaged art is  interested in the social aspect of the medium. How do we construct spatial narratives, how do they relate to our gender, size, history, age and how do these narratives, when shared, transform individual ones? Can the collective kinesthetic practice of video walking subvert the sociopolitical and architectural conditions of a space? Is that polyphony, experienced non-verbally, able to shift our identities, build counter maps, oppose pre-established dominant narratives and lead to place-making?
    workshops and lectures:

    Participative Video Festival, Ghent, May 2018, De Koer, participation in the panel: Technologies, methods & epistemologies

    Publieke_Salon_Public, Brussels, April 2018, workshop for a community participative design project at Saint Josse.
    La zone du Dehors, Brussels, March 2018, Erg school of Arts, Putsch Gallery, workshop and video walk action.
    Urban Emptiness festival, Nicosia, December 2017, bi-communal workshop and video walk action.
    La marche comme pratique de recherche, Brussels, December 2017, workshop with the students of Arba-Esa
  • School Of LOVE

    www.schooloflove.info SOL is a platform for collective practices that stem from reflections on the notion of Love as a public concern and a political mode of being that should be taught in schools. It was initiated in 2016 by students and teachers from the Autonomous Design department at KASK school of Arts (Ghent, BE), but consists of artists and researchers from different fields. SOL is practiced through regular weekly meetings, events, workshops and performances that engage with the exploration of Love and School as charged with potential for change in society. SOL aims to contribute to the perception of school as more than just a safe incubator that prepares the inexperienced to an existing reality outside of it. We approach school as a place for experiment, reflection and collectivity, that can change society instead of adapting to it. We insist on learning how to deal with the unknown, rather than in learning how to know.
  • Syntrofi [σύντροφοι] performative lunches – research\social design 2017

    Syntrofi [σύντροφοι] performative lunches

    Master visual arts - Autonomous design

    Syntrofi: Greek compound word coming from feed [trofi] + together [syn] and means companions,comrades,lovers...

    Syntrofi is a series of performative Lunches in which stories of exclusion within art schools are served, processed and digested. Taking on a perspective of the vulnerable observer who is being both an artist in and a researcher of the educational institution, Syntrofi examines the (missed) potential of school environments to facilitate practices of commoning and inclusion. The project draws its material from collective processes, classrooms and kitchens, students, teachers, maintenance personnel and administrators, as well as from those who, for one reason or another, ended up outside art school's walls. Throughout the performances, we share our stories, not as individuals but as cases that bring up interesting dilemmas and reflections about the world and art education today.
    Assemblism is an urgent response to the need for new social infrastructures . The Syntrofi project crosses through artistic and social design practices, where the observer is the part taker, the public is the performer, the artistic is the political and individual cases become a collective concern. In the Syntrofi table, public is invited to chew upon stories served by the performers and is welcome to have a conversation on each of them. The public is also asked to share their own stories, experiences and thoughts and research concerns about schools in nowadays societies.
    Initiative, Concept: Elli Vassalou
    Realization, Performance: Hazal Arda, Bilal Kamilla Arnout, Ritam Hazarika, Elli Vassalou
    mentors: Adva Zakai, An Van Dienderen
    Supported by: SOL, KASK, HOGENT, BUDA art center, 123 Logements
    MAP expo, KASK, Gent February 2017.
    M55 Art residence, Athens, Greece, March 2017. KASK,  Zwarte Zaal - graduation expo, Gent June 2017.
    Nominated for the Horlait-Daspens price.
    Published on Metropolis M Magazine, August 2017
  • The city as a dream of presence [Geopeotics urban laboratory] 2016

    The City as a Dream of Presence; an urban performance laboratory November 2016
    facilitators: Elli Vassalou (architect, multimedia artist, performer) Anna Tzakou (performer, theatre deviser)
    Exhibition [OUT] TOP\AS: Performance & Public / Outdoor Space
    Benaki Museum - Peiraios 138
    If the city's experience fades away from its norms What would there be to notice, to affect and be affected by, to care and dream of? Would it signify the discovering of a new or hidden place that it has been sending us insightful messages of who we are and how we stand in this world?
    In this laboratory we use the body as a mean of activating space. Through movement (or stillness) we explore the urban space as a kinaesthetic and audiovisual environment.  We experiment with the senses and their objects such as form, shape, perspective and time in order to expand the mind to new mythologies of the urban space. The workshop addressed dancers, performers, artists, architects and anyone wishing to explore the city with her body and sight.
    The workshop took space in and around the areas of the Benaki Museum [Kerameikos- Metaxoyrgeio].
    photos by: Elli Vassalou, Christina Thomopoulou, Eleni Mastrogeorgopoulou
  • the Narrative Thread [collective action] October 2016

    residency at Zsenne Art Lab, Brussels, October 2016
    OUTSIDERS project, initiative by Eve Bonneau video of the project presentation here
    The Narrative Thread** video installation, public participatory action by Elli Vassalou
    video action: following the path of an unknown person that in an unknown time stacked outside of Zsenne gallery the sticker "no one is illegal", I follow the stickers through the city, making visible the narration of this previous action. In the same time, with my blue yarn, I  frame and connect items and relations I see [through this trajectory] in the public space, related in a way with the notion of the stranger\foreigner, legal illegal and more.
    I create a "film" that the body is the celluloid and the blue yarn is the camera that zooms in details, creating the story.
    live action 2: after watching the instruction video - installation, the people can follow the path and also take pieces [threads] of the blue yarn and add up their narrations and interests in the "story".
    Different people took the same path in public space, connecting their bodies through time and movement. the yarn plays the role of the storyteller, but the story is be open for interpretation of the people that  follow the trajectory. The Narrative thread makes the exploration of the public space a polyphonic collective experience, that activates one body at a time but connects the bodies through different times in space.
    ** thread: a long, thin strand of cotton, nylon, or other fibers used in sewing or weaving.
    Narrative thread: A narrative thread, or plot thread (or more ambiguously, a storyline), refers to particular elements and techniques of writing to center the story in the action or experience of characters rather than to relate a matter in a dry "all knowing" sort of narration. [wiki]
  • Performing Objects – End To End [Experimental research project] 2016

    Initiated by: Marjolijn Dijkman and Kristof Van Gestel www.enoughroomforspace.org For the project End To End the experimental group Performing Objects is inspired by Lean Management, a form of factory management developed by Toyota in Japan. They learned about Lean Management during a workshop in the Central Recycle Plant in Antwerp, BE. For the group this management method emphasizes the importance of the individual in the production line. Lean Management facilitates a possible interaction between man and thing - in contradiction to capitalistic production lines where only (the mass production of) the object counts. In Lean Management it is very important to organize evaluation moments with participation of the workers, clear visualization of problems that occur, relations between several segments of the production line and the people that work in it, etc. For the continuation of the project as part of the exhibition 'Private Tag' at the Raversyde site, some members of the group will develop an installation as an artistic interpretation of an assembly line where systems of interaction between man and things will be investigated. Objects will be transformed and manipulated during performative acts, outlined in a score that leaves space to free interpretation, reflecting both on factory work and on the creative process of the artist. During the performance the group-members are constantly searching for a harmony between efficiency, planning, improvisation and reflection. Through the techniques of Lean Management, they try to give structure to their performance in which they have to collaborate and handle objects and vice versa. 18 September - 13 November 2016 Performing Objects – End To End Exhibition, Private Tag, Vrijstaat-O, Atlantikwall Raversyde, Ostend, BE Performing Objects are for this project represented by: Leontien Allemeersch, Bart Van Dijck, Kristof Van Gestel, Lauren Grusenmeyer, Bie Michels, Anouchka Oler, Anne Marie Sampaio, Dries Segers, Dimitri Vangrunderbeek, Simon Van Schuylenbergh, Elli Vassalou, Danny Vercauteren. There will be a live performance by Performing Objects every saturday between 13:00 and 17:00. Every session starts with a brainstorm and ends with an evaluation.
  • safe passage – safe stay [photography] 2015-2016

    documentary Photography [December 2015, March 2016, ongoing] In situ documentation at the island of Lesvos. Reuse and transformations of the most common sea migration objects [life vests and rubber boats] by the safe passage movement. In this series, objects suitable for sea travel transform to objects of building a better living in the refugee camps of the island. Qualities of the objects such as water resistance become extremely useful in the hands of refugees, volunteers and locals, especially for the winter time. Also the way these things are being built is an open source, organic design, where everyone can improve or change the objects using a variety of local natural materials [such as stone and clay], migrating materials and humanitarian aid ones [such as thermal blankets and the big amount of palettes arriving with donations]. more photos here https://www.flickr.com/photos/evassalou/albums/72157663936553164 part of the research https://objectbios.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/research-presentation-kask/
  • S P A C E T R I P [performance] April 2016

    Hanna Kolbel [cello, dramaturgy] , Elli Vassalou [camera improvisation and video, performance, choreography, graphic design]
  • Object Biographies: relocation, reuse, transformation [research, web archive] 2016

    Object Biographies: relocation, reuse, transformation
    an artistic research focusing on the mediterranean coasts
    An artistic research focusing on the flow, reuse and transformations of objects that end up to the Mediterranean coasts. Our case study is currently Lesvos, an island directly linked to heavy migration flows. Life vests, boats, piles of clothing are some of the materials that travel together with people. Once these objects reach the island, they get transformed into items of unexpected use. Using various sources such as social and mass media, personal and collective archives and in situ observations, we archive such cases in a blog entitled “Object biographies: relocation, reuse, transformation”. Our research is open to contributions that either consider Lesvos or other shores of the Mediterranean.
    Sharing any material on this blog does not mean accordance with, promotion or advertisment of the objects/artworks/ideas presented. Likewise, opinions expressed by sources shared in blog posts do not express the administrators’ opinions.
    Artists : Sofia Grigoriadou (Greece) and Elli Vassalou (Greece – Belgium)
    This project is part of the Mediterranean Bodies Project.