Interview with curator Filia Milidaki, by Martha Ostiouni [allwrite.gr]
Last year the festival theme was “Home”. This year’s theme is “Europass”, Europe, our wider home as we would say. How are the festival’s themes decided?
This year's theme of Eye’s Walk Digital Festival is "Europass" and it concerns Europe today. Your observation is very perceptible as this issue first emerged at the closing party of last year’s festival. During a discussion with the filmmaker Arjang Omrani, regarding what is home for each and every one, I noticed we felt quite "ashamed" saying we were "Europeans". And this awareness was the spark to make Europe our next thematic issue. Especially since many people claimed that when the festival will take place Europe may have been dissolved. So, we decide the festival themes through our interaction with our present time [political, social, personal] but we always seek raw material in dreams too.
What expectations do you have from this year's theme and the event in general?
“Europass” project is now an integrated art installation in public space and this is a different motion for Eye's Walk. Video art works talk about Europe today and, at the same time, consist of the ultimate goal for our viewers. However, viewers will reach them through a set of 'limits', difficulties and sudden bans created by Eye’s walk team in the public urban area of Ermoupolis. Since the very beginning, viewers are part of the project as they will be moving, with a lot of constraints, in a space they are accustomed to as an area of freedom, such as a pedestrian street. This will happen on July 9th. While from July 5th,artists and visitors will approach “Europass” through graffiti in the city and video installation using QR Codes on smart phones.
We expect to create a live art installation with strong participation of residents, visitors and tourists. We expect, through video art, to interact with young audiences whose natural space is public space. And we wish to transform public space into a natural space, where art writes and rewrites the stories of humanity over and over again.
What is the response of Syros’ People over the years?
Syros of today with its history and its inhabitants, is the living source of the festival. We constantly collaborate with them; blend our setting with their homes and their shops, create art installation where they live and work. These people are the soul of public space and the raw material of our festival. The world of Syros is a great audience for us. We also have many visitors from Athens and the nearby islands, as well as Eye's Walk’s funs from abroad who follow Eye’s walk through social media.
This year's Eye's Walk Festival participates at Aisxylia 2016 in Elefsina with an original video art installation. A presentation away from Syros, how did this occur?
We are all looking forward to this unique and demanding production of Eye's walk in Aisxylia, with projections on anchored ships in the bay of Elefsina. In Syros setting is the urban space, in Elefsina the sea, frames that can unite or separate people.
Tell us about the experiences you have gained through the Curatorial Exchange 2016 of NEON's Organization!
Personally and as a team, we felt so lucky to be selected for the NEON Curatorial Exchange 2016, carried through the cooperation of White Chapel Gallery and NEON Organization. There are so few similar opportunities in Greece. London art scene is very different.
Essentially it differs because it moves and vibrates. There is money, the State's contribution remains constant, there is increased funding from private organizations and individuals, but no longer by businesses. Most importantly, we saw all pieces of the art world (museums, large or small galleries, artists, networking players) interact. Art in London looks like a sea where boats of all kinds, large and small are sailing with all the tension and interplay it creates. And of course there is a thirst for young artists. Program Manager Nayia Giakoumatki, curator at the White Chapel gallery was the most wonderful guide in this journey.
What are the future plans of your team?
Eye's Walk Digital festival aims to experiment with and develop art installation in public space within and outside Greece. In this context collaborations will make our journey safer. Regarding the immediate future, “Europass” project has just been launched...!
Photos: Lila Kikarea, Aggeliki Kokolopoulou, Maria Rigania.