Written by Filopappou Group
A distinctive feature of the action Solus Locus that took place in the island of Ithaca during the summer of 2003 was the fact that the participants camped –in line with the Group’s previous exhibitions– on the site during a week. Another feature was the formation of the rules of a “game”. Through the game, the participants sought to establish the specific rules that would determine the production of a collective work or would govern its failure. This then became a catalyst for the identification of the terms that govern the workings of any artistic collectivity. The reenactment of Gericaults’ Raft of the Medusa by members of the group substituting the protagonists of the painting marks a shift towards a more communal spirit. According to the myth that follows the painting, if anyone on the ship that is barely visible in the horizon locates the raft and collects its passengers, then the painting (supposedly made of tar and therefore condemned to fade out in time) will be saved by some future development in the field of restoration. If on the other hand the castaways are not saved, then along with the people on the raft, the painting itself is also doomed. The very fact that some of its members succeeded to board the raft, even if symbolically so, prolonged the group’s condition of existence. Today, its existence is still pending between powerful individualities on the one hand and an enduring belief in the necessity of a more collective approach on the other hand. The very name “Filopappou Group” has not been the fruit of a conscious decision. The existence of the group bears a paradox, as until the action in Ithaca it had never been one; others gave the Group its name for practical reasons. This helped the group to maintain a more firm and permanent members’ base in contrast to the past when the words “member” and “group” were not even included in its vocabulary.