Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Statement by the curator

The action ‘’the imperishable water and the question of development’’ is an attempt at a kaleidoscopic observation of the designated wetlands on Rhodes island. The aim is to make visible the poetics of a landscape linked to water by means of artistic interventions in consideration of philosophical and environmental reflections. In other words, it is an organized tour to areas where the presence of water has always been evident and which has created since centuries the relevant condition of being ‘’with constant blossoming’’. That special element can be traced by ‘’copies of the invisible’’.

A group of 15 ‘’travellers’’ who bear the equipment of their background, that is science and art, shall be asked to discover the immutable aspects of a landscape marked by constant flows and at the same time to question the ‘’fluidity of destiny’’. The latter concerns as well the use of land insofar it is subjected constantly to a variety of occasional development planning.

The field work shall be a novel interpretation of the bonds between man and landscape which have been internalized over time and externalized in real time. By comprehending more fully the time and space co-ordinates, the knowledge gained by the field work shall be transformed into artistic actions and vice versa form the basis for further going questions. They shall be discussed during the workshop as well as shall be taken up during the follow-up period.

The numerous ecosystems of the Aegean islands are marked by a considerable diversity. This has taken on several forms of life, some of which being endemic species. In these relative isolated environments came into existence some high-level civilizations.

Rhodes at the South Eastern end of the Aegean has taken on a strong cultural identity after centuries of man’s interaction with a special landscape. For this island is marked by a rich water-carrier horizon made evident on the surface by countless water bodies, springs, rivers, creeks, lagoons and marshes. And wherever a wetland can be found, a small oasis exists of great value as it supports life to a considerable extent. Yet today they are susceptible to climate change and to an unwise financial management of development.

The ongoing environmental research of the wetlands on Rhodes has been documented. It has contributed to a greater public awareness and to the acknowledgement of the urgent need for protection and preservation measures of this environment. Naturally it calls for the implementation of the Environmental directive, itself a measure for the tasks ahead.

The Environmental and Cultural workshop in Rhodes is an encounter between science and art during the last days of spring, that is shortly before the intense sun of summer welcomes throngs of foreign visitors. It is all about an unconventional walk to trail the ‘’hours’’ of the water element often only visible in secret sites of the island. The word wetland refers to a water land having aquatic growth and muddy soil. They were sites of chthonic worship in the ancient times and intrinsically linked to the running equally at times stagnant element. It brought about a variety of relationships between man and nature. They have stayed till today ‘’talkative’’ like water itself. From the river-banks or lake-shores emerged ideas, mythical personifications and ceremonies. All along these lands were attributed to be that of the eternal youth and considered to be the birthplace of both magic and poetry. The life-giving and refreshing power of the water element is codified in the Greek language. The Greek word for water νερό (nero) is derived from the ancient neutral adjective νηρόν (neron) which again originates from the ancient νεαρός (nearos) meaning recent, fresh. The word has acquired its modern meaning from the synecdoche νεαρόν/νηρόν ύδωρ (nearon/neron hydor) where the adjective has replaced the noun.

Out of the footsteps of the fellow-travellers while walking along a river or lake side, or when tracing rivers back to their springs or their estuaries, there will come to light the composition of a dramaturgy. This special way of producing a performance is scheduled to be presented to an audience at the final conference on June 4th.

Moreover all site specific interventions shall gather materials for the workshop. One key outcome will be an artistic documentary as part of preparations for the Eco Film Festival 2012.

The tempo of the dramaturgy will be composed out of the movements from site to site as well as by the shifting of the axis of interest from the geological past to the endemic flora and fauna in the present. Interest shall surely shift to the archaeological findings and the planning system for future land use when including considerations of anthropography and reflections of the architecture to be found on Rhodes. Enriched by drawings and paintings, conversations and interactions, this wandering about on the island with the fellow travellers will become a discourse about the importance of water for human civilization.

All this will be brought together underneath the Sacred Rock of the Acropolis of Lindos where the team will coil up every evening. The choreography made out of expressions, movements and natural sounds will make up the body of knowledge to be performed by the travellers. They will do so inside a visual and musical context and be based on their experiences of how they found ways to communicate especially with the wetlands.

Springing out of poetry, in particular the poem by Katerina Anghelaki Rooke, the action dedicated to the wetlands of Rhodes will engage all compositional means to reveal the ‘’subterranean water supplies’’ upon which depends the island’s culture.

Finally the group shall submit a Memorandum of Understanding aiming at the preservation of the invaluable waterways which retain the‘’eternal blue’’ since thousands of years ago.

Curator Haroula Hadijnicolaou

Athens 10.3.2011





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