EMPACT - 1st & 2nd Collaborative Interdisciplinary Projects

The Vorres Museum | July – September 2023

Athens, Greece

The Vorres Museum organized two out of fourteen Collaborative Interdisciplinary Artistic Projects as part of the “EMPACT – Empathy and Sustainability: The Art of Thinking like a Mountain” Project, co-funded by the EU Creative Europe Programme (Grant Agreement No: 101055903 – EMPACT – CREA-CULT-2021-COOP-2). The objective was to cultivate intellectual exchange between the arts, sciences, and various fields by linking artistic practice with empathy and environmental sustainability.

1st Collaborative Interdisciplinary Project

The first collaborative interdisciplinary project took place from July to September 2023. It involved an artist/archaeologist collaboration between Dimitris Alithinos, an Honorary Doctor of the Department of Fine Arts of A.P.Th., and Stavros Vlizos, an Archaeologist and Associate Professor at the Ionian University. This collaborative art emphasized the interdisciplinary aspect of the project and addressed the necessity for creative dialogue between artists and experts focused on sustainability.

Held at the Vorres Museum in 2023, the project featured a significant event on September 18. Dimitris Alithinos conducted his 230th Concealment ritual on the museum grounds in Paiania, Attica, symbolically hiding one of his works within the earth, embodying a «Concealment of memory» for the future. The concept originated in 1981 from Alithinos’ concerns about the potential annihilation of humanity, a theme still relevant today, driving the ongoing work-in-progress called «Katakrypsis,» which has evolved over the years.

The collaboration unfolded within a structured framework, encompassing a series of online preparatory meetings between the artists and the expert to exchange knowledge and perspectives. Additionally, a workshop at the Vorres Museum commenced from the project’s inception in June, running through September 2023, engaging both the artist and the expert. This workshop was open to the public and culminated in the creation of a collaborative artwork. Recognizing the project’s intended impact on audiences, the artist and expert shared their research and knowledge with the participating public during the workshop.

A discussion during this collaboration shed light on the unique aspect of concealing artworks within a museum setting. Dimitris Alithinos reflected on the humbling experience of working in a museum, surrounded by the imprints and history of past painters. He emphasized the importance of remaining humble and learning from the timeless artifacts present in a museum.

2nd Collaborative Interdisciplinary Project

The second collaborative interdisciplinary project took place from July to October 2023. It featured the collaboration between two individuals: Pantelis Chandris, an Associate Professor at the Athens School of Fine Arts and an Artist, and Pavlina Kirkou, a Philosopher-Historian.

This collaborative art emphasized the interdisciplinary aspect of the project and addressed the necessity for creative dialogue between artists and experts focused on sustainability.

The theme of this project was centered around «Solar System/Resilience of Perception for the Wonder of Nature» and «The Role of Shadow in the Synesthesia of Environmental Space Perception.» The creation of the artwork titled ‘Orbital Objects‘ involved an exploration of painting, focusing on understanding the role of shadow in the works of artists like Giorgio Morandi, Francis Bacon, and Edvard Munch.

The artist delved into the concept of expressing presence through the absence of the object being referred to. They envisioned a ‘peculiar planetary garden‘ where sculptures and paintings functioned as rotating objects orbiting around a central sculpture: a white, frozen, and motionless flame reminiscent of eternal yet silent flames seen in monuments and statues. Additionally, the creation included references to flames forming a connecting web to other works, symbolizing ‘pyres’ conveying messages inspired by ancient beacons.

The artist’s themes explored pairs and oppositions, such as Shadow and Light, Pictorial Representation and Sculptural Form, Fragmentation and Reassembly, White-Black, and Soft-Hard, showcasing a rich tapestry of artistic exploration and expression.

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Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.