visual communication practice
Description of idea
Describe your idea and concept of your work in relation to the
The festival’s title is THE DEBT and my work’s title is PARTY’S OVER –STARTS OVER.
I started working on this project when the economic crisis erupted in 2008, with the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, and named it Party’s over. The disquiet was accompanied by some kind of hope that governments would start taking new measures and adopting a new economic policy due to the belief that it was no longer possible to sustain a situation where “resource allocation is determined by financial markets, thereby exacerbating inequalities and exercising a destructive pressure on natural resources” while “international rating agencies fail to pay the price for their share of responsibility, whereas they should be replaced by other -not so deeply corrupted- entitites”.
The situation in Greece has already been pitiable for many years, even before the full blow of the financial crisis, mainly because of the colossal corruption that permeated society.
Three years later, with the economic crisis taking a dramatic toll particularly on Greece, my work was completed under the title Starts over. Inequalities are growing exponentially. In the meantime, the international rating agencies, which “played a vile role in the country’s downturn”,“are still operating without any limitation of their uncontrollable power, unilaterally issuing orders and endangering the very democracy of Europe”. Also, «no one ever foresees these great economic crises. And when they erupt, they always tell us that things will get better. In other words, we understand nothing, we don’t know. This is what strikes me the most: this silence getting deeper and deeper…”. «Α series of staged, large-scale pictures, shot with conventional film, from the same perspective and always in the same space. Each work consists of two parts on the same surface: the upper part features the picture in its entirety, while a text -mainly excerpts from the Greek and French daily press- is placed below it. Set at a neutral, internal space, in front of a white wall, the old wooden table on the first level is the dominating object – it functions as a stage and an altar, a peculiar tabernacle and a ritualistic deposition. Human forms, when present, and objects, enclosed and self-sufficient as if they were postmodern “still life”, are installed and claim their space in this spartan scenery, serving an allegorical role with regard to present-day events. Images alternate in a sequence: a carefully folded Greek flag (All ways are closed); a glass of water (Let this chalice pass from me); a headless body (Finance headless monster); a knife nailed on a bone (Meanwhile, Greece travels and travels); a plate of grapes (The Grapes of Wrath); a loaf of bread – a reference to the current adversities faced by the arts since governments are cutting cultural funding (Man shall not live on bread alone); the remains of a human brain (1330 grams of gray matter that sum up human history, its passions and doubts); the mottled plumage of a peacock – a reminder of the deceptive glamour of vanity… Then suddenly, the stage goes dark, all light disappears – Mourning: when you forbid light to enter.
The images become open questions and contemporary riddles;
What kind of communication approach do you use?
Rather an moderated approach with the use of my site http://www.lydiadambassina.com
What are in your opinion concrete benefits to the society because of
«We have read newspapers and isolated phrases and extracts which unexpectedly had a different, personal meaning to us. We have also seen images and observed and magnified details, because they spontaneously reminded us of something else. Here, however, the image is created and along with the excavated text it forms a coherent body which is addressed to all and each and every one of us, to remind us what we are going through today – to highlight what the really important news is. Current events are not dealt neither with the conventional lightness of the media nor with the superficial view that the morrow can easily change the flow of ephemeral events or weaken our memory. Current events acquire qualities of ontological philosophy and showcase existential questions.»
What did you personally learn from creating your submitted
My goal was to based me on the reading of the daily press mainly French and Greek. Of course names such as Amartya Sen, Alain Touraine, Alex Preston, Giorgio Ruffolo etc. appear often in this type of research.
Why is your work, GOOD communication
«Is it about the “party in the time of plague” and the voices from the festive table joining the ones of the memorial ceremony?
Or is it “Τhe Masque of the Red Death”, with Prospero and the thousand nobles making a futile attempt to stave off death?
The classics of literature have already dealt with the story of such a value‑devouring feast. Lydia Dambassina does not attempt to rewrite it, nor does she consume herself in teachings and allegories. Besides, the ambiguous phrase “(Party) Starts over”, which encircles the narration, anticipates the future, revises the meaning of “the party”, which empties, darkens and in the end eradicates the table, is rather a call addressed to us, asking us to think on novel structures of solidarity and co-existence, instead of being caught up in a vicious circle.»
Where and how do you intent do implement your
I exposed this work to the Thessaloniki Contemporary Art Museum in 2012 and I would like to show this work also in a different way, and for this reason I submit to Memefest festival, among others.
Did your intervention had an effect on other Media. If yes, describe
the effect? (Has other media reported on it- how? Were you able to change
other media with your work-
When the New York Times came to Athens they saw an installation that I had made for the Kunsthalle Athens, and they mentioned this work in the http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/15/arts/in-athens-art-blossoms-amid-debt-crisis.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all?src%3Dtp&smid=fb-share
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Party's over- Starts over
Party"s over -Starts over
Concept author year(s) of birth
Concept author(s) contribution
only me Lydia Dambassina
visual communication practice
My work is multidisciplinary: sculptures, installations, staged photographs with texts quoted from french and greek newspapers. I practice in Greece and France.