Eleni Kamma

ned / eng

An evening with Eleni Kamma (alleen in Engels beschikbaar)
Within the framework of Nieuwe Vide’s program on absurdism, Eleni Kamma will be giving an artist talk and presenting some of her works at Nieuwe Vide in Haarlem. The evening’s programme combines a conversation between Kamma and Nieuwe Vide’s new curator Liesbeth Visee with a screening of some of the artist’s videowork, while in the back of the room there will be some objects on display.

Yar bana bir eğlence. Notes on Parrhesia
The main feature of the evening will be Yar bana bir eğlence. Notes on Parrhesia. In her first cinematographic film, artist Eleni Kamma revisits the tradition of the Karagöz Theatre and its role in the creation of a political voice. Although Karagöz is a local character symbolizing the ‘little man’ within the limits of the Ottoman Empire, he belongs to a larger puppet theatre family. He speaks of what the people want to hear and what the people want to say. Until 1870, despite the “absolute monarchy and a totalitarian regime”, Karagöz “defied the censorship, enjoying an unlimited freedom”.

Through the use of empty phrases, the illogical, the surrealistic, extreme obscenity and repetition, Karagöz theatre was often used as a political weapon to criticise local political and social abuse. By 1923, this multi-voiced empire gave way to a Turkish-speaking republic within which the caricatures of ethnic characters no longer made sense. With the rise of new media, the popularity of Karagöz and Orta Oyunu declined even further.

Yar bana bir eğlence. Notes on Parrhesia reflects upon the term ‘parrhesia’, which implies not only freedom of speech, but also the obligation to speak the truth for the common good, even at personal risk, by questioning how the notion of entertainment relates to personal expression and public participation. This is where the artist links to the Gezi Park protests in 2013, in which humor and creativity were key elements in mocking the political regimes. Filmic fragments from National Cypriot television archive alternate with the voices of Cypriot, Greek and Turkish Karagoz masters discussing the language, the history, the tools, and the political role of the medium.

The film is a visual essay in which pressing contemporary political matters intertwine with history and abstraction, and in which meticulousness of research meets with poetics of associations. How to move forward? Can we learn something from the old masters? At times the gaze is directed back to the viewer. To speak your mind, you must first overcome fear by taking a deep breath.

Eleni Kamma Eleni Kamma (1973, CY/GR) studies at the Chelsea College of Art & Design in London (MA) and the Athens School of Fine Arts (BA). In 2008/2009 she was a Fine Art Researcher at the Jan Van Eyck Academie, Maastricht. In her books, drawings, films and installations, Kamma investigates possibilities for a future architecture that rejects binary oppositional systems of thought and accepts, rather than tolerates “other” positions. Het interest lies in narrative representations of transformation. In 2015, new and commissioned works were shown in the 5th Thessaloniki Biennial (curator Katerina Gregos), her solo exhibition Oh, for some more Amusement!, Netwerk, Aalst, the group exhibitions TERRAPOLIS (co-curated by Iwona Blazwick, Elina Kountouri and NEON), École Française d’Athènes, Athens, SOUNDIMAGECULTURE—INSTALLATIONS, Argos, Centre for Art and Media, Brussels,L’Intru (Invaders), Friday Exit, Vienna and her solo show at Art Seen Projects, Nicosia. Kamma received the Lissone Award in 2007 and the NAK Young Art Prize (Neuer Aachener Kunstverein) in 2012. Kamma is a member of the artist platform Jubilee, Brussels. She lives and works in Brussels and Maastricht.

An evening with Eleni Kamma

Screening, Q&A en kleine expositie


Tijd: 19:30-21:30 (Open: 19.00)

Locatie: Nieuwe Vide, Haarlem

Image: Eleni Kamma, Casting Call: Episode I, 2019. Film still by Vincent Pinckaers