Interview: Angeliki Douveri
Luca Curci talks with Angeliki Douveri during FUTURE LANDSCAPES, third appointment of BORDERS Art Fair 2020, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
Angeliki Douveri was born in Athens, Greece, in 1974. She has a strong background in photography but explores different media and techniques. Admittedly she has been increasingly using stitching in the last few years. She has had five personal exhibitions in Greece and has participated in more than sixty group exhibitions and festivals in Europe and the USA, mainly showing photography, video art and installations. Reoccurring concepts in her work are memory, absence and language, the latter increasingly functioning as her personal loudspeaker on social observations.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Angeliki Douveri – Art is the only constant thing in my life. It is my way of coping with things. It comforts me and heals me. It also gives me the voice to communicate with people that I wouldn’t otherwise have. Communication and understanding are vital for me although the latter seems more and more impossible.
LC – Which subject are you working on?
AD – I have increasingly been working with language for years now, using many different media, namely video, photography, stencil and even stone engraving. During this tempestuous and trying year I have been making works of text on fabric such as the one showing in Future Landscapes. I have also made a large work about the first lockdown in Greece last March. I stitched a 4,3 meter long piece of fabric with a text of my thoughts and feelings about the restriction of space that was imposed on us that turned out to demonstrate that it mainly affected my perception of time. Time is so fluid and personal but at the same time collective.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
AD – I don’t work on one specific theme. There is an element of death that reoccurs one way or another. Quite a few friends of mine died in our twenties and this has permanently affected me. I don’t remember how I felt before. There’s also a look into my own roots and the idea we are all connected as humanity not just now, but before and after, from the past and into the future.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
AD – Being an artist is always difficult I would say in most countries, but certainly in ones that there is absolutely no infrastructure for such fields and unfortunately Greece is such a country. We work harder than most people but there is still this idea around that we don’t do much! It gets frustrating sometimes, but on the other hand the freedom to express and make choices without compromise is worth every difficulty. I have learned to use hardship creatively.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
AD – My style, my medium, my concepts have all changed. They evolve along with me and my life. I studied photography and although it has deeply affected the way I perceive the world I don’t often use it as a medium nowadays. In terms of the concepts that concern me I feel I have shifted from more sentimental to more political, in the broader sense.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
AD – The landscape globally, be it social, political, economic or environmental is more fluid than it has been for decades. In this sense I find the theme very timely.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the festival’s theme?
AD – Throughout this year I have been stitching poetry or other text on different kinds of fabric. This piece of embroidered landscape I was given by a friend, with the peacocks and deer by the river, under the trees, seemed too Arcadian in a way, too perfect. I played with the different genres of painting, landscape and still life (nature morte) to indicate the dying of the natural world due to human activity. This way the displacement of the word ‘morte’ (‘dead’) refers to nature that is supposedly alive, but dying quickly.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
AD – I think we ought to find ways to bridge the distance in every way possible and the platform makes a contribution to that.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
AD – I understand it is an event of quite a large scale and I know it requires a lot of work and good coordination. I wonder what sort of visitors you get – collectors, journalists, general public – and especially with Covid-19 epidemic, how many are the visitors and what has been the general atmosphere this time round.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
AD – I wanted to be in Venice at least for the opening so I could meet some of the other artists and the ITSLIQUID team. I believe that is the real meaning of such events. Unfortunately this became impossible but the distant collaboration has gone very smoothly.