Eternal Return #1
ETERNAL RETURN #1
live art performance
2nd Thessaloniki Performance Festival of the 3rd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art
Thessaloniki - Greece
21 September 2011
Duration: 2 hours
"Eternal Return #1" was also presented at the Arsenale of Venice in 2012 and was awarded with the "Special Prize" by Leo Galleries at the 6th Arte Laguna Prize.
Artist's body, white dress, 100 transparent tea cups of glass and their plates, red tea, aroma, white space, audience.
Description of action
I stand in the middle of the space and in the center of a pile of tea cups filled with red tea. When the audience members enter the space, I take a cup in each hand and raise up both hands. I hold the cups in this position until I cannot hold them anymore and therefore my hands start shake and let them fall down onto the floor. I repeat the same action until I use all the cups, which are situated around me. At some moments, people in the room come close to me, smile at me, and take the cups from my hands to drink the tea. The performance finds an ending when all the cups are broken on the floor. Then I exit the space.
The project “Eternal Return” is a series of live performances where repetitive action is the fundamental element and where time is experienced as being not linear but cyclical. “Eternal Return” explores repetition while challenging the limits of the body. What if a repeated physical pattern is recurring and returning again and again? Is there an endeavor or a futility in this repeated action? The body revolves for an eternal return and therefore creates an infinite time and space. It constructs a repetitive routine that appears as a ritual through a cyclical form upon which the repetitive occurrence becomes unpredictable. There is an intention to examine the possibilities of chance and repetitive action in relation to the response of the physical and mental body that becomes erratic due to the physical tension caused by the endless recurrence. Therefore the idea of fragility appears both in the cause of the action and the body itself. The application of the existential definition of the constant return to a passing incident occurs through an experiential manner that evolves to a transformative experience.
“Eternal return” is inspired by Nietzsche’s notion of the eternal recurrence, – that manifests in life in a self-similar mode through an infinite number of times and through a cyclical infinite time and infinite space.
Photography: Eleftheria Kalpenidou
Camera & Video: Thanasis Chondros
Assistants: Katerina Papalambrianou, Marianna Christofidou and Eirini Papageorgiou
Dress making: Froso Mavrou
"Society is defined as a system of exchanges, where reciprocity is the foundation behavior. Reciprocity was the kenel of the action of Christina Georgiou, who offered cups of tea. If the attendees accept her gift, she will continue to offer. If not, she will not last, her hands will start to tremble, the tea will be poured, the cup will break, the relationship will be vanished. But our text is so dry, it has not even a drop of tea, not even a trace from the intensity of the action."
~Thanasis Chondros & Alexandra Katsiani 22.09.2011