Byzantine Bath, Meetings, Thessaloniki

Meetings with the Upper Town, the Environment, the Culture, the Community

Byzantine Bath

Thessaloniki is a city that generates desire. And desire creates meetings. The Byzantine Bath of Thessaloniki / “Koule Hamam" is a visible but also invisible meeting point of people (but also of ideas, religions, classes, sexes), on the occasion of caring for their body, a common and sensitive matter for each person.
The Baths, one of the most important cultural assets of Roman times, conveys to this day images of an almost utopian society, a utopia of equality.
Christians, Muslims, Jews, all social classes and professions are cleansed in Loutra. A place where the sexes move freely. A place where the body precedes politics and worship. A place of common pleasure. A place to feed and warm even the poorest people.
When the Byzantine bath was built (between the 11th and 12th centuries), there were mainly Byzantine monasteries in the area. In the Ottoman period, the bath was called "Koule Hamam" from the Tower [koule] that gives the name to the area. In 1931, the journalist Kostas Skaltsas describes it as "the oldest, the most attractive and the rather interesting district of Thessaloniki".
Today the area is called Koule Hamam, it is full of memories (the Bath closed in 1940), and cultural influences.

Sunday 16 October

12.00-3.30 μ.μ . Εικαστική Ομάδα Εν Δυνάμει,“Και μετά, τι…;”

Site-specific installation στον εσωτερικό & στον εξωτερικό χώρο του Βυζαντινού λουτρού καθώς και επί της οδού Θεοτοκοπούλου.

The En Dynamei is a collective of young artists with and without disabilities. Their 19 nests, made with materials they collected themselves, decorate the indoor and outdoor spaces of the bathhouse and a "house" on Theotolopoulou Street throughout the duration of our production. They chose to create nests as a symbol of returning to safety from the outside, as a familiar space, a space of coexistence. The visual work unfolds the urgent need to have a social answer to the question "And then.... what?" for people with disabilities.

12.00-3.30 μ.μ . “The Serpent Ladies Collective-Day One”

Dear Women and Female-identifying in Thessaloniki we welcome you to join us for an exclusively female participatory gathering: an exchange of learning, holistic care, and attunement inside the Koule Hamam archeological site into the context of Eye’s Walk Digital festival. Together we reclaim and reimagine the bath as a site of feminine liberation, equality and celebration honoring our bodies, our ancestors, and our collective voice. Farsi and Arabic translations were provided on Mon Oct 17th. Childcare available.

Monday 17 October

6.00-9.30 μ.μ. Εικαστική Ομάδα Εν Δυνάμει,“Και μετά, τι…;”

- Continuous site-specific installation. See above-

6.00-9.30 μ.μ. “The Serpent Ladies Collective-Day One”

-See above-

Tuesday 18 October

5.00-9.30 μ.μ. Εικαστική Ομάδα Εν Δυνάμει,“Και μετά, τι…;”

- Continuous site-specific installation. See above-

7.00-9.30 p.m. Maria Salouvardou, performance “The Dead Land”, inspired by Eliot's poem "HOLLOW MEN".

Garbage becomes symbol of a lost dream, a ruined land, a perpetual consumption in a world that is becoming more and more wild, more and more barbaric.
In a universe where time does not flow, embroidering trash becomes a Rite, in a Sisyphean repetition, honoring the earth by dressing it in a regal suit made of all that humans have thrown away...
TS Eliot's poem "Hollow Men" is the mantra of the Priestess of the Temple as a plea to the World and asks to be heard before it is too late.Garbage embroidery becomes a Ritual, honoring the earth by dressing her with a royal costume made from all that the people have thrown away...
Μusic, sound design: Anthony Palaskas

Wednesday 19 October

6.00-9.30 p.m. Εικαστική Ομάδα Εν Δυνάμει,“Και μετά, τι…;”

- Continuous site-specific installation. See above-

7.00-9.30 p.m. Katina Bitsicas, Video mapping & performance “In Memoriam”

The artist - who lives in America - "meets" in Bath with her father who died during the Pandemic, and through him with her country of origin Greece, through a "ritual".
The performance, entitled "In Memoriam", has as its theme the Sea which was also her father's resting place. The artist uses objects from the installation she created in lieu of a funeral for her father to celebrate his life (as they were unable to have a traditional funeral due to COVID-19). It is a intermedial performance that refers to memories, death, the sea, identity and origin.

6.30-8.00 μ.μ , «ΓΥ- μναικ-ΕΣ», Περιπατητική πορεία με κείμενα του Αντώνη Σουρούνη.
Σημείο συνάντησης: Αίγλη, Αγ. Νικολάου 3 (πλησίον εκ. Αγ. Δημητρίου).
Ιδέα - Εμψύχωση: Αρετή Κονδυλίδου

Thursday 20 October

6.00-9.30 μ.μ. Εικαστική Ομάδα Εν Δυνάμει,“Και μετά, τι…;”

- Continuous site-specific installation. See above-

7.00-9.30 μ.μ . A public dialogue between the historian Giorgos Antoniou, holder of the Chair of Jewish studies, and the audience.

Α meeting with the Jews of Thessaloniki and the Jewish memory of the city.

Friday 21 October

6.00-9.30 μ.μ. Εικαστική Ομάδα Εν Δυνάμει,“Και μετά, τι…;”

- Continuous site-specific installation. See above-

7.00-9.30 μ.μ. Ermina Apostolaki, sound & in situ performance “Pleno”

Taking as a starting point the special acoustics of the baths, the artist will create the performance entitled "Pleno", which will present stories connected to the multicultural identity of the city of Thessaloniki, experienced in the place of the bath.
Ermina Apostolaki's voice, combined with recorded soundscapes, wants to activate the silent archaeological site of the Byzantine Baths of Thessaloniki, turning it into a living map of sounds for its visitor.

Curation: Filia Milidaki

Photo credits: Yury Karyofyllis, Argiro Kouki, Vilma Mavromatidou, Apostolos Simopoulos, Thanasis Tsiliggoudis // Out of FoCus 2014

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