Written by Eva Giannakopoulou
The videos “at the Beach 2” were shot during my summer holidays in Crete and Athens. Composed of interviews by three LGBTQI parents and a video shot by five-year-old German tourist Sophie Stapels, the work refers to notions of parenthood and childhood, family configurations and relational politics.
The starting point of the work is the question of how and where does an LGBTQI parent spend their holidays with their children. The answers and the questions further risen revolve around the prevailing conceptualizations of motherhood and fatherhood, society’s exclusion and inclusion mechanisms and the family structures -biological or not- of LGBTQI couples in a social and legal context. Considering tourism as a normative factor of summer holidays, I create a frame for rethinking “different parenthood” as a matrix where roles and identities become subjects of open and constant negotiation.
The idea for the second video of the installation, shot in its entirety by a five-year-old child, came about when I started filming a German family on holidays in the beach of Sougia in Crete, while I was there on vacation myself. Having already filmed children for that same work in various tourist destinations, I decided to give my camera over Sophie. In the context of a conceptual research and process of experimentation regarding the ambiguous power structures of the camera as a recording mechanism, and the respective positions of the observed and the observer, I attempt to indicate the shift taking place when a child stops being the “object” of filming and becomes the observer operating a camera.