• topophilia [Research in body-landscape Performance Practice] 2013

    a psycho-geography performance
    Athens, December 2013
    by Anna Tzakou
    ‘the landscape is... life’s enduring monument’ (Ingold, 2000:54).
    ‘Topophilia: the manifestation of the human love of place…the human being’s affective ties with the material environment’ (Tuan, Yi-Fu, 1974: 92)
    A performance examining the city of Athens through the concept of ‘topophilia’. Willing to create a score of ‘geo-consciousness’ with the urban landscape, this performance conducted the last stage of a body-landscape interrelation inquiry. As Athens had been an explosive and warlike landscape for the past five years, the performance was sought to (re)discover where love (and compassion) (-philia) for home (topos-) lies. Using nonrepresentational theories (NRT) as its contextual background and with the aspiration of creating one, Topophilia examined living myths, conflicting memories and occurring emotions. Through the structure of a participatory walk into the city’s landscape, where the doer intermeddled with the watcher and the individual with the collective, the body became a meta-narrative experience of its identity or even more of the way it perceives its place. This work is part of a PhD research in a body-landscape performance practice, re- examining issues of identity in contemporary Greece. It applies practices of theatre and dance (Grotowski’s Paratheatre, Anna Halprin and American post modern dance lineage) and affiliates notions of Buddhism, anthropology and cultural geography.
    Anna Tzakou is a theatre practitioner, performer, deviser and researcher. She is an Onassis and Fulbright Foundation scholar and currently she is a PhD candidate in Performance Practice at the University of Exeter.
    research/ concept/practice: Anna Tzakou
    composition / performance: Anna Tzakou, Marios Chatziprokopiou
    architectural, topographic research: Elli Vassalou
    creative curation/ Video documentation: Artemis Anastasiadi, Elli Vassalou
    poster design: Marianna Bakoula