Video Art Miden is once again getting ready to “flood” Kalamata with contemporary video art, in a 4-day screening event, from July 6 to 9, 2023, activating a different part of the city each day. Audiovisual and artistic experimentation, rhythm, imagination, colour, poetry, video dance, performance, animation, artificial intelligence, personal narratives, contemporary social-political-existential reflections and images from the future meet in a rich international program, which trace the trends of our time on a global level, through the work of established as well as emerging young artists.
Miden‘s curatorial team, choosing from 1,400 works submitted to this year’s open call to the international artistic community, but also presenting special selections prepared by invited festivals and curators from abroad, presents in Kalamata more than 130 works from 30 countries from all over the world, divided into thematic sections and tributes.
The event includes public evening screenings in different open spaces every night (Aristomenous pedestrian street, seaside screenings at the Marina and the eastern beach) as well as morning events at the Archaeological Museum of Messinia, which include presentations and talks by invited artists and curators, audio-visual presentations and tributes.
The events are held in collaboration with the New Film Club of Kalamata – Filmhouse and the organization K.A.NE. (Social Development of Youth), with the support of the Municipality of Kalamata and the Municipal Cultural Organization FARIS, as well as private partners. The morning events are held in co-organization with the Ephorate of Antiquities of Messenia and the Archaeological Museum of Messenia.
This year the festival collaborates with the Portuguese video art & performance festival FONLAD to present a “Best of” selection from 2022’s edition curated by Jose Vieira and Sergio Gomes, and is also hosting talks and screenings by the experimental cinema organization wysiwyg from The Netherlands (with curator Mike Kokken as a guest speaker) and curator Alessandra Arno (Italy), who will present the development of her research on the gendered audiovisual production of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and North African regions, a research which she is conducting with the support of the Italian Council and in which Video Art Miden participates as a cultural partner. In this context, a video art selection under the title “Femininity”, curated by Fereshteh Alamshah, will also be screened, with 11 works by Iranian women artists, which takes on particular significance considering that women’s expression in the country is subjected to restrictions that not only prohibit the exhibition of these works in Iran but they even make it difficult to transfer the videos to other countries via the Internet.
From Greece, well-known artists who deal with video, video-performance or mixed media take part in the screenings, such as Makis Faros, Philippos Tsitsopoulos, Katerina Athanasopoulou, Makis Kyriakopoulos, Smaragda Nitsopoulou, the BDKM team (among the members of the team are Dimitris Batsis and Michalis Kotaidis who had won 1st prize in the video art category at the Florence Biennale in 2021) and many others, while the renown Greek visual artist and director Nikos Giavropoulos will carry out a retrospective presentation of his work, in which he uses elements of the ancient Greek tradition and the history of art to express contemporary issues and concerns, with his characteristic and recognizable style.
The program of this year’s festival includes, in summary:
-two selections dedicated to videodance and videoperformance, which explore the various versions of body, movement and space, curated by Margarita Stavraki.
-a section entitled “Shhhhhh…” dedicated to silence and its particular conceptual narratives, curated by Martha Zoupa.
-two sections dealing with issues of human coexistence with artificial intelligence, algorithmic reality and the different versions of our technological future: “Algorithmic lies”, curated by Nikos Podias and “Future memories”, curated by Gioula & Olga Papadopoulou.
-selections that explore the human condition in various ways, sometimes with humor, sometimes scathingly and sometimes poetically, such as “Happiness is a warm gun”, curated by Olga Papadima, with works that search for the meaning of life and happiness in an aggressively oppressive reality, and the selections “Thinker” and “Chasing my tail” (curated by Olga Papadopoulou), with works that either express doubt or depict the Sisyphean dimension of life, giving us food for thought.
-thematic units that deal with the concept of human freedom from a different perspective: “To the Zoo”, a selection that focuses on the relation between human, nature and the animal kingdom, curated by Maria Bourika, and “Fuck off”, conceptualized and co-curated by Danny Kargas, a unit that focuses on the right to diversity, acceptance and the freedom (and liberation) of the human body. Issues of human rights and freedom are also the main theme in the selection of short films curated by Vassilis Papaefstathiou and the New Film Club of Kalamata-Filmhouse, which will “close” the festival screenings on the last night.
-a more surreal note is given to the program with the selection “Who the hell is Alan Wu” (curated by Gioula & Olga Papadopoulou), with works sharply commenting on reality through symbolic and surreal images that reflect it as if in a distorting mirror, with a (sometimes bitter) humorous tone.
Curatorial team: Maria Bourika, Giorgos Dimitrakopoulos, Danny Kargas, Olga Papadima, Gioula Papadopoulou, Olga Papadopoulou, Nikos Podias, Vassilis Papaefstathiou (Kalamata Filmhouse), Margarita Stavraki, Martha Zoupa
Art directors: Gioula Papadopoulou & Olga Papadopoulou
Days & hours:
Morning zone: Friday 7/7 and Saturday 8/7, Archaeological Museum of Messenia, 11:00-15:00
Thursday 6/7, Bandapart Recording Studio (inside), 20:00-23:00
Friday 7/7, Aristomenous pedestrian street, Old Cityhall (open air screenings), 21:30
Saturday 8/7, Vista Marina (open-air screenings), 21:30
Sunday 9/7, Thalassa (seaside screenings), 21:30
View or download the complete program (in English) here