All we need is…

Bingolla 7.2. – 3.3.2017 Evi Damianakin & Sara Riesenmeyn All we need is…

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All we need is… finds its starting point in the observation that a public discourse which favours indifference and fear, remains present in some of our contemporary societies. Gradually people and communities start to find normal, as part of everyday life, terrible events regarding the human condition. The uncritical acceptance of everything that we hear, as a reaction to whatever the mass media serves, slowly and sneakily finds its way in our minds.

We detect this behaviour in the ways that we respond to news about economic and political crises, social benefits desolation, terrorism, immigration and wars in the Middle East. With this project we would like to raise questions upon the role of words. We believe that words as the main material of thought can be a tool to those that control the mass media. We are interested in opening a discussion upon the meaning and ideas of words that we perceive as crucial for the human condition like politics, fear, love, hate, racism, empathy, etc. Without wishing to define “normality” our proposal is a reflection around these questions and seeks to inspire ways of resisting as we can.

Our initial inspiration comes from the play of Eugene Ionesco “Rhinoceros” which recites the gradual transformation of a society into rhinoceroses. The play is described on Wikipedia as “a satire of human behaviour and the passible character of man confronted with the rise of an ideology”. At the time of its publication in post-war Europe, the link was quickly made with Nazism. Ionesco suggests that the system, whatever it may be, can gradually lead to the justification of the unacceptable, symbolized in the play by the transformation into rhinoceroses. In the play Rhinoceros, transformation is both corporeal and linguistic. We find, in fact, that whoever thinks he is “in the right side”, will think that the other is necessarily “in the false”. From there, the door is open to intolerance, non-respect, rejection, and even hatred of the other what can lead to violence.

We appreciate that we need to always be aware of the words’ power and consider that in many cases there is manipulation in the way that the words are used in order to influence our perceptions. Under such influence, words tend to fade. By habit, indifference, or simply because of the overflow, it is sometimes difficult to hear, to be touched by words that speak of the human condition.

The exhibition at Bingo presents the first version of an ongoing project with an installation, a film and some interactive elements.

Bio

Evi Damianaki (Thessaloniki/Greece) studied visual art as well as economic science. She has participated in a number of exhibitions and collaborations in Greece and Europe and her work has been presented in conferences and publications. Sara Riesenmey (Geneva/Switzerland) with studies in art, art education and theology, has in her history exhibitions in Switzerland, China and Europe and a strong involvement in new approaches of transforming educational systems. They work collectively since 2011. Sara and Evi came to work together due to their common vision that art is, apart from an experience of senses, an articulation of thought that should open ways to new thinking processes and thus of living, more consciously and hence joyfully.

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