Air Free 2 - Listen to the audio and read the poems from the artwork.
Authors: Karathanasopoulou, E.
Place of Publication: Greece and GermanyAbstract:
Air Free/Air Free 2 – Audio Installation Exhibited in: THE NEW NEW, 83rd Thessaloniki International Fair’s Pavilion 2 - Thessaloniki, Greece. 8-16 September 2018 FREIRAUM in Berlin, On the State of Freedom in Europe: Exhibition, discussion, concert, performance in Berlin. ZK/U Center for Art and UrbanisticsSiemensstraße 27, 10551 Berlin. 12-17 March 2019.
Freiraum Exhibition: From Berlin to Thessaloniki. LABattoir -Thessaloniki, Greece. 17-24 May 2019.
Created for a collaboration with the Goethe Institut, ArtBOX&Artecitya in the Freiraum project. Co-Funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
As an academic researcher and audio practitioner, one of my main interests is understanding the intimate qualities of mediated sound. The radio voice, this fragment of an otherwise unknown person, contains some of their most intimate qualities. In this project a space is created that simulates the unseen intimacies of the airwaves. Voices meet and converse privately yet freely, through the intimacy of the voice as pure sound.
The voices in this artwork were collected in Thessaloniki-Greece and Carlisle- UK. The anonymous Greek-speaking voices were collected for me in Thessaloniki by Maria Kyrou, Stella Massia & Eleni Papoulidou from the community group Media Lab by LABattoir, after workshops where I taught audio documentary, theory and practice. The aim was for local people to bring me the voices of their community, rather than me selecting these as an outsider who might carry preconceptions.
The English-speaking voices belong to poets from the Speak Easy poetry group in Carlisle: Jane Moss-Luffrum, Phil Hewitson, Susan Cartwright Smith, James Scott Riddick, John Chambers, Ruby Evans, Kim Braschko(& her 2 children Maya and Henry). The poets were sent audio clips of the voices from Greece along with three short poems I wrote in English, deriving from the content of the stories collected in Thessaloniki. The poets were asked to write poems as responses to these voices and my poem. Despite only listening to voices they could not understand and my poems being a very abstract representation of those voices, the poets in Carlisle absolutely captured the essence of those stories and provided very emotive responses.
I edited these voices together in a conversation that reveals how the intricacies, fears, aspirations of distant communities might be much closer than they seem. The voices in this artwork are an intimate aural tapestry of all those things that we have in common.
The work was listened to via headphones, within an intimate, private audio booth.
Poems written by Evi K based on the interviews and stories collected in Greece: 1.
I am a grandmother Eighty-one years old when I was eleven,
There was guerrilla fighting then.
My mother sent me back to the village To get a police permit
Night fell, I was taken In by a friend. The fighters took my friend.
They did not take me cause I was thin, a fake.
I made it back to Neapoli.
I went to school, they gave us cocoa and raisin bread.
Then they took us to the islands, in Mytilene For eight months My dad, they were sad
They filled in the paperwork and they took us back I finished primary school.
My story is this one story.
I have many but I cannot tell any more.
I am twenty years old. I come from Albania. People there do not warm up to me. I cannot quite speak like them. I came to Thessaloniki when I was ten months old. Life here is better than it is there. For me. Here I can open up to people. Cause this is the language I speak.
I am fifty-three years old. I am a musician.
Today With millions of people around Here, now, I am sitting in my bedroom.
Twenty meters away lives my best friend Five meters away, my cousin.
I do not want to get in touch.
It is so sweet to be alone.
I am replete.
I want good friends.
I want a wife.
I have a child.
I am not really lonely.
This is why I want to be alone