Interview: Maria Papadaki – George Rosolymos

Papadaki - RosolymosMaria Papadaki and George Rosolymos, Leakage (video still), 2012

Interview: Maria Papadaki – George Rosolymos

Director Luca Curci interviews with Maria Papadaki and George Rosolymos during Pixels of Identities – Spain.

For Maria Papadaki first and youth memories are in 90s, in a contrasted Greek island, Crete. The family then gave wings. First studies in Sociology were at University of Aegean (Mytilinie) – its music gives you the way to have a good companionship. Second studies was in the process of Cinema – in the years in which Athens was in strong social reactions by people – with lots of stories and laughs at the stairs of the School (Stavrakos). The effort of making good teams and strong memories is vital.

Papadaki - RosolymosImage courtesy of Maria Papadaki and George Rosolymos

George Rosolymos is a greek artist raised in Ioannina a small city in north Greece. The connection with art came very early when he discovered the magic of cinema and the world around it. He studied Political Science at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki but he didn’t want to continue and becoming an ambassador or something like that. At the age of 25, he decided to deal with cinema actively. So he entered the cinema school Stavrakos and studied for three years. The film school gave him the opportunity to meet a lot of young artists full of passion, and later most of them became his associates. “To make people free is the aim of art, therefore art for me is the science of freedom” (Joseph Beuys).

Papadaki - RosolymosMaria Papadaki and George Rosolymos, Leakage (video still), 2012

Luca Curci – When did you start practicing art and why?

Maria Papadaki – Practicing the art of cinema started when my memory started, but was that of a viewer. I started creating when I did my first project during my studies in Athens , a music video, for a song by a local band. Communicating between various tipes of art was always one of my basic needs, especially creating with other people, communicate to create. That’s why the process of cinema brings to me that basic need. On the other hand, expressing personal and social needs by making your stories, with your images, with your eyes, is something that came up in very early age. “Leakage” is my first well organized and methodic process of directing a film.

George Rosolymos – My relationship with art started in my childhood as I was trying to “build” my own world through the images of my imagination, far away from reality. As I was growing, I realized that movies can give me pure and unique pleasure. A new way of communication and expression. So I decided to become a film director!

Papadaki - RosolymosMaria Papadaki and George Rosolymos, Leakage (video still), 2012

L. C. – Can you talk about your artistic work? Which are your inspirations?

M. P. – Leakage was a co-directing work of art and a team cohabitation. It is a film about the “unseen city”. The first inspiration that we had, was a text, a few poetic proposals written by the Association of Architects which was our production organization. We had to discover the city from two perspective views. The three of the research team were from Athens and only I had memories from the city (Heraklion of Crete). For the pre-production we had one month with the map on our hands to spot the places of the past , the present and the future of the unseen city in Greece at the year of 2012. The five spots that we finally decide to nominate as Directors are those which give us the senses in the unseen city. The meaning of history, is something that help us grow in our culture, not a piece in a museum which give us superiority. The role of nature is an inherent need – the dancers are trying to follow the movement of the trees, the musician is playing alone in a open theatre but his sound is everywhere in the atmosphere and makes the mountain move and create the myth. The “built environment” is a cultural inherit, a combination of modern history, the story of social conflicts and the atmosphere of nowadays. The water, as the main theme of the film gives us a feeling of flow , the symbolic “built environment” in an aquarium, the leakage of the rotted social structure. The kids are the eye of the tiger, the “innocents” that will take part in the social contradictions and will have to take their place in it.

Papadaki - RosolymosGeorge Rosolymos, The Game (video still), 2011

G. R. – Well, first of all “Leakage” is a team and collective work based on the active participation and the significant contribution of all the participants. An experimental short movie that deals with today’s unseen city. It was made by the need of presenting an alternative but a real identity of a contemporary city, which tries to survive by masking the truth to its citizens. That’s how Leakage is not a touristic guide, nor a patriotic display, nor a documentary presenting the official history of the place. It’s not a collage of interviews with locals neither an abstract artistic delirium. It is an attempt to realize that every modern city can become an unseen one, ready for exploration and capable to surprise us. The constant interaction and conflict of human, nature and building inspired us to create our film. At the end, the city is lived by its people and this is something that we must never forget.

Papadaki - RosolymosMaria Papadaki, In-to the Sand (video still), 2014

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

M. P. – I have just finished an experimental documentary about Mental Health entitled “In-to the sand” about stigma and mental illness. The need of patients to get out on the sand and breathe the air of the sea. Furthermore, I am in a short film fiction script.

G. R. – After we finished the film I moved in Germany for better opportunities and I’ve been living in Hannover for the last year trying to make new art connections and create new projects. Now, after a year I feel more ready than ever to make the next step. I’ve just started to write a script which has been “living” in my mind from almost two years. It’s a story about a new short film inspired by a person very close to me. We would like also to adapt the concept of “Leakage” to other big cities all over the world with the same cinematic style and with the same point of view. We are open to new suggestions for corporation.

Papadaki - RosolymosGeorge Rosolymos, Echoes (video still), 2010

L. C. – What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

M. P. – I asked once an historian of cinema “why you’ve never been involved in film production?”, he answered me “I love cinema but I don’t feel I have to say something by creating cinema”. I understood that was a strong tip for a me, if I want to follow this path, I have to say something above the images..

G. R. – I will always remember the phrase “Keep the question alive”. It was an advice that a teacher in the film school gave to us. I think that’s the key of the awareness which a director needs. And the other important thing is “no matter what happens during a shooting, the director must be calm and confident and never in panic, even if the situation inside him is a mess.

Papadaki - RosolymosMaria Papadaki, In-to the Sand (video still), 2014

L. C. – What is art for you?

M. P. – Τhe expression of the deep inside thoughts that could never get out with words.

G. R. – The answer is so simple but also so important, “Everything”! For me, art is everything. Even life itself is art. I believe that everyone is an artist more or less. It’s an act of expressing feelings, thoughts, and observations. It gives me a way to express myself and communicate with other people. It makes me feel alive by discovering my deepest emotions. I could never imagine my life without art.

Papadaki - RosolymosGeorge Rosolymos, The Game (video still), 2011

L. C. – What do you think about International ArtExpo organization?

M. P. – Art Expo is very well-organized. The communication between the organization and the artists is very direct and friendly and, most important, the set up of exhibitions respects the art works.

G. R. – Firstly, I would like to thank all the creative team of ArtExpo organization and especially Mr. Luca Curci for the flawless cooperation and for the great opportunity which gave us by choosing and representing our work in such beautiful places all over the world (Istanbul, Venice, Almeria). It is a great honor for me to share my work during all these amazing events.

Papadaki - RosolymosGeorge Rosolymos, Echoes (video still), 2010

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

M. P. – We are thankful that our work was a part of the ArtExpo organization. The opportunity for us as independent artists to show our work on exhibitions abroad was one of the most difficult part. The organization gave us paths to show our thoughts, our concerns, our perspective to the art of cinema. Finally, most important for us is to communicate more easily with other artists abroad.

G. R. – I think that the contribution of International ArtExpo is very important and necessary to every artist, especially the young ones. It is so nice to feel that you belong to an artistic community, an independent group of artists with no language, political or geographical limits. The only thing that really matters is art and communication through it, between all religions and all people. After 15 years, International ArtExpo has organized a lot of events all over the world and I hope it will continue to represent new artists by giving them the opportunity to become active members of this artistic community.

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