The Breeder presents “Study Room: The state of things”, coordinated by Vangelis Vlahos, the show includes works by Natasa Biza, Constantinos Hadzinikolaou and Yota Ioannidou.
“Study Room: The state of things” can be seen as an observatory of different mechanisms for understanding reality with uncertain political and historical limits. It can be seen as a study space of small fragmented narratives without profound connections between them. The relocation of a factory from Greece to Czech Republic, the planting program at the archaeological site of the Athenian Agora in the 50s or the course of a man who carries a mattress on his back in the streets of Athens can be seen as attempts of a personal understanding of a reality that relates – not always with a direct or profound way- dynamically to the present.
Yota Ioannidou, through her research, juxtaposes seemingly unconnected moments in history in an attempt to trigger paradoxical correlations that give new meanings to the references to the present. Her practice takes the form of storytelling and lecture performance and usually includes in situ projects, archival research, photographical documentation, texts, talks and interviews. In Stratagem (2009) Ioannidou investigates the relocation of factories along with their effects in the urban and social fabric. The research documents the activities of a multinational company in Greece and the Czech Republic, in particular of Palco in Athens and Pleas in Havličkův Brod. The project consists of maps, photographs, videos, talks and interviews that were gathered during her visits in the former and present facilities of the factory.
Natasa Biza, through the processing of archival material and the creation of new documentation, investigates and tests the limits of institutional practices of recording and archiving. The starting point of her project A Plan for Planting (2014) is the tree planting of the ancient Athenian Agora that took place in the mid-20th century organized by the American School of Classical Studies and was aiming at the «restoration» of the ancient flora of the site. Biza mainly focuses on the «anonymous» non indigenous plants that can be found today in the archaeological site and tries to «fill in» their names in the formal narrative. Her work in progress The Letter E for Agatha (2015 – ) presents the course of a research to identify a series of photographs found in the archives of the American School of Classical Studies that are supposed to depict Agatha Christie during her visit to the Ancient Agora of Athens in the 1950s.
Constantinos Hadzinikolaou creates films, shot in super8, that usually don’t last more than three minutes each and are soundless. He constructs imagery without a specific narrative or a set time, using realistic elements drawn from everyday life. The artist considers these films documentaries. In Human Mattress (2005) Hadzinikolaou follows a man that he randomly found on the street carrying a single mattress on his back. The camera follows the course of the mattress on a central street in Athens from a certain distance. The film finishes when the man enters a private space.