Written by Tzeni Argyriou
Face to Phase is a performed art exhibition; a proposed system for a time-based event, during which all usual actors participating in the creation of an exhibition – artists, viewers, curators, technical assistants & the space itself-are equally engaged and active.
It is a project co-authored by choreographer Tzeni Argyriou and visual artist Vasilis Gerodimos. Coming from different artistic fields, the authors intend to bring at the forefront the blending of the two. Borrowing elements from both visual and performative arts, Face to Phase uses duration as its main tool to dramatize the whole process of making an art exhibition, from beginning to end. It creates the circumstances for the parallel existence of backstage and front-stage. It interrupts the solitude of each action, by the mere co-habitation of the space by other solitudes, other simultaneous actions. It invites us to observe an empty, lonely space being gradually activated and deactivated, through a carefully orchestrated time-lapse.
Face to Phase approaches the definition of “performative exhibition”, emphasizing on the viewer’s experience and on continuous movement. The artists become visible, as a physical part of their work, while they are “on stage” setting up their artwork. The viewers can observe the whole installation process, so the time during which they engage with them expands, creating a form of participation that is gradual, unconscious and essentially real. Thus, they become both observers and a part of the overall project, and their experience is displaced from an aesthetic engagement with the finalized artwork to a more profound understanding of the “story behind it”. They go through the material struggles and accidents, the agony of open-endedness, the exhilaration of the opening, the emptiness of the dismantling, without the discomforting obligation of “participation”. They have the time to grow an interest in the situation, to realize in complicity with co-viewers what is their position and their interest in the surrounding system. An experience that ultimately transforms viewers into active spectators.
Face to Phase is an open system, adjustable to different exhibitory contexts and contents, each time showcasing the local artistic scene and integrating its unique characteristics.