My video, "Mothers", shows the participants of a pottery workshop, all of them women, working in a small village outside Patras, my hometown. One of them is my mother, who has come to art late in her life. I witnessed and recorded the process in its last stages, when their artifacts were about to take their final form, shaped by the unpredictable effects of the fire.
The soundtrack has been composed using field recordings which I collected myself during demonstrations in Athens in 2014. Fragments of recognizable rallying cries are heard throughout the video. In the last section one can hear through the speakers a catchy Middle Eastern tune, which is actually a satirical song about Greece and the E.U. and the inferiority complex we feel whenever we, Greek people, face west. It was written in 1985, the year I was born.
The video was originally made to be exhibited during the NASTY WOMEN Exhibition at the Knockdown Center, NY, in early 2017, a show/visual protest against Trump's threats to roll back women's rights and individual rights, days before his inauguration. All sales profits were donated to Planned Parenthood, as a move of political expression and the exhibition succeeded to form a new movement of protest art among women, with sister-exhibitions continuing to pop-up all over the world.
I want to express my gratitude to Tota Kontoyorga, who was kind enough to let me shoot in her workshop and who zealously provided me with all the help I needed. To Ionas Sklavounos I owe many thanks for graciously letting me use the field recordings, since I originally recorded them as part of the soundtrack for one of his short films: the credit for the inspired choice to document that pivotal moment in Greek history belongs to him.
‘‘Mothers’’, being a hybrid between a more straight forward short film and a video art piece, has alternative versions, in order to accommodate different venues and screening formats. The shorter versions feature excerpts from a live recording of a beautiful composition by George Hatzimichelakis – a one movement double bass solo sonata called INVENTION II (Cinnabar). The soloist is the Greek virtuoso Vassilis Papavassiliou.