NEW YORK – ARCAthens hosted AVR3 Synopsis via Zoom on December 19, completing the third AVR (ARCAthens Virtual Residency), which may be viewed on ARCAthens' Instagram: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/arc_athens/ and website: https://arcathens.org.
The event offered a fascinating discussion for art enthusiasts and an opportunity to meet and hear from the wonderful AVR Fellows, two dynamic, talented artists, Elia Alba and Maro Michalakakos and the organization's first virtual Curatorial Fellow Eleni Riga regarding their experience with ARCAthens. Riga and ARCAthens Executive Director Aristides Logothetis moderated the discussion.
Logothetis gave the welcoming remarks noting how the AVR program began in response to the global pandemic and was developed in spring 2020 with the intention to bridge the constraints imposed by the pandemic by offering opportunity and support, inviting artists and curators to challenge their isolation, freely discuss their hopes and fears, and engage in a creative and productive inter-continental dialogue during this period of social distancing and dynamic social activism.
Riga spoke about her work, noting that she had just arrived in Athens from New York and was now in lockdown, so the AVR3 was an especially welcome project for her.
Alba discussed her work as well and noted how her parents immigrating to the United States from the Dominican Republic in the 1950s influenced her work, especially in regard to themes of identity, and “how identities intersect.” She pointed out that she is interested in “in-betweenness as an act of resistance, pushing against the binary ‘you have to be either or.’”
Michalakakos also spoke about her work and her interest in the concept of time as a theme. Velvet is also central to her work and she explained how her work shaving velvet evolved from early attempts using a razor which often damaged the velvet, until her husband, a surgeon, offered her the use of a scalpel, so more precise surgical tools became a part of her process since then.
Michalakakos also noted her fascination with birds, their claws, beaks, and wings which feature in many of her works. She pointed out how they defy time and also gravity by flying which she finds especially fascinating.
The participants showed several compelling slides to highlight their discussion of their work. A Q&A session followed the discussion which offered even further insights. Many in attendance offered their congratulations and thanks to ARCAthens and the Fellows for the dynamic event during these difficult times.
The ARCAthens Virtual Residency Program features artists and curators from the Bronx and Greece in conversation for one month posting daily on Instagram. The nominated curator chooses the participating artists and mediates weekly meetings among them, while the artists work with social media as their medium to create a bridge between the two vibrant communities during the COVID 19 pandemic.
More information about ARCAthens is available online: https://arcathens.org