Interview: Anna Fafaliou

Anna Fafaliou Image courtesy Anna Fafaliou. ©Kris Makri

Interview: Anna Fafaliou

Director Luca Curci talks with artist Anna Fafaliou during LIQUID ROOMS – THE LABYRINTH exhibition in Venice.

Anna Fafaliou is a London based conceptual and visual artist. Exploring the relationship between the body, space and object she creates imaginary environments questioning the way people embody the past, present and future. Inspired by the notion of memory, cultural memory, genetic memory & identity she creates large-scale performance installations working in gallery, theater and public space contexts. Having obtained an MA in Theatre Studies, she arrived in London in 2011 where she continued her studies in Film & Visual Media (MA). Along with her work as a performer and creative for various artists across Europe, she further continues her research in Body in Performance studying at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance.

Anna FafaliouImage courtesy Anna Fafaliou. ©Maria Katsika

Luca Curci – Your work has just been exhibited during LIQUID ROOMS – THE LABYRINTH exhibition in Venice: can you talk about your personal experience in Venice with International ArtExpo? How was your experience with the organization, the staff, the venue and all the artists involved?

Anna Fafaliou – Taking part in Liquid Rooms has been an amazing experience. Ca’Zanardi is a great venue and the staff has been really supportive during the preparation of the exhibition. Meeting international artists was one of the things I enjoyed the most as I had the chance to share this amazing experience and get to know them better.

Anna FafaliouImage courtesy Anna Fafaliou. ©Kris Makri

L. C. – Which was the moment you preferred most during the two openings?

A. F. – I think my favorite moment was during the opening at Ca’Zanardi. It was really intense for me, as I had to stay in stillness for many hours; and I was observing the various reactions of people entering my room. Some of them were walking around; others were hesitating to enter the room, looking quite uncertain about what was going on… It really was a wonderful experience.

Anna FafaliouImage courtesy Anna Fafaliou. ©Kris Makri

L. C. – Can you talk about the artwork you presented in Venice? How is it linked with the festival’s theme?

A. F. – I presented a Durational Performance Installation, called Nostos. In my project I want to examine this need to “return home” and the need of belongingness as a main tool for mapping ones roots and constructing their future. This piece is a statement of the contemporary understanding of our presence in relation to our belongings. Living in a consumer society, we tend to justify ourselves through our belongings; thus we associate our emotions and memories with materials and objects.

Anna FafaliouImage courtesy Anna Fafaliou. ©Maria Katsika

The memories that these objects hold most of the times can be distorted, because the bigger the distance from the past the more we tend to idealize it. In this work I wanted to explore our emotional attachment to our past, our roots, our memories through personal belongings. Using autobiographical elements I tried to create a personal map or my personal labyrinth – as the theme of the festival suggested- of my belongings, demonstrating the way I see, feel and understand my belongingness in the present. Using the color white on my objects, I created a ritual of deletion of any embodied attachment with the past.

Anna FafaliouImage courtesy Anna Fafaliou. ©Kris Makri

L. C. – What are you currently working on?

A. F. – I want to keep developing my current project and the relationship between the self and objects. The notion of memory takes a major space in my work as a main tool of understanding one self. At the moment I’m at the studio preparing two exhibitions for Malaga and London.

Anna FafaliouImage courtesy Anna Fafaliou. ©Maria Katsika

L. C. – What is art for you?

A. F. – I think any attempt to define what art is would simply fail and limit its significance in our life. Art is art. It’s an expression, a dream, an admiration of a certain skill. We can’t really define it. We just admire it.

Anna FafaliouImage courtesy Anna Fafaliou. ©Maria Katsika

L. C. – What do you think about International ArtExpo organization? Do you think International ArtExpo organization can represent an opportunity for artists?

A. F. – Overall I consider any organization, which creates a platform and therefore the ability for artists from across the world, from various disciplines, to collaborate, co-exist and flourish, significant for the promotion of the arts in general. Personally I admire individuals who come together with a creative goal in mind and operate as a well-organized team, which eventually gives the opportunity to up and coming artists to showcase their work. Therefore I would characterize the organization as unprecedented –as it gave me the opportunity to meet new spaces and creatives. Additionally I found that it was excellently executed held in two separate versatile spaces, which made the experience as a whole that much more interesting.

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