e c n a m r o f r e p r o f g n i n Trai
Training for performance In his recent series of work entitled “Training for performance”, PASHIAS attempts to establish an active connection between the art of performance and the field of athleticism, by focusing on the human body as an agent of energy, skill, aesthetic qualities and potentiality, as used in the activity of sports.Through an examination of what it means to ‘compete’ and to ‘complete’ a specific aim, the body comes in contact with an other entity - the audience - or with the parameters of its own self. By drawing upon references from the time of antiquity to our present sociocultural context, PASHIAS creates an interdisciplinary sport, where the body ‘in action’ is presented as a political body that confirms, tests and disrupts the functioning of a social ensemble.
Through the creation of 10 live performances, including 2 long-durational performances, the series “Training for performance” unfolds through the meeting of artists, athletes, organizations, museums, academies and alternative cultural spaces from countries all over the world, such as Sweden, Greece, Cyprus, France and Spain. Its investigative process intersects with other mediums of creation, through the production of photographic artworks and the formulation of an educational methodology, taking place as a series of workshops. Reaching its own conclusion, the serie’s latest live performance has been documented as the longest applause in duration, to have taken place as part of an artistic action, attempting to contemplate upon the significance of ‘effort’, ‘victory’ and in the end - of ‘mutuality’.
PASHIAS The practice of Greek Cypriot visual artist PASHIAS is grounded in the field of performance art, installation and photography, by establishing the artist’s body as the basic material for creation. His work aims at the exploration of a situation or ‘environment’, based upon the relationship of a unit towards an ensemble, in a similar manner that every social setting perceives a person, through the establishment of presence, exchange and co-existence.
PASHIAS has participated in solo and group exhibitions, as well as international festivals in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Russia, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Sweden, Bulgaria and Turkey. More specifically, he has collaborated with cultural organizations, such as the Marina Abramovic Institute, Estonia Contemporary Art Museum, Besancon Institut Supérieur des Beaux Arts, Mediterranean Biennale of Contemporary Art and Toulouse International Art Festival. In 2013, PASHIAS co-founded the epitelesis - Performance Art Foundation as an international project for the support of cultural activities, has been engaged in curating exhibitions and series of events on the relationship of live action to other artistic practices, and has been working as an educator/lecturer through various academic programs.
Knock on wood
Training for performance #1 Live performance / Part of event “ASFA BBQ: Bodies that resist” / Athens School of Fine Arts / Athens - GR / June - 2015 / Duration: 40’ Material / artist’s body, white robe, 9 coloured karate belts (in order of ranking ascendance from white to black), 8 A4 coloured paper sheets (in similar coulour ascendance), black plastic folder, audience members
Training for performance #2 Live performance / Part of event “Netting the Work” curated by Eva Giannakopoulou & Rilène Markopoulou / Beton7 Gallery / Athens - GR / June - 2015 / Duration: 30’ Material / artist’s body, black elastic string, bull horns, black spray can, archery arrow, archery chest guard, white bucket, 3 blue balloons, water, blue paint
Training for performance #3
Live performance / Part of poetry festival “Samedi poésie Dimanche aussi” curated by Geneviève Peigné & Jean-François Seron / Église Saint-Hilaire / Bazoches - FR / July - 2015 / Duration: 40’ Material / artist’s body, soccer ball, scissors, 5 sock pairs, audience members
Training for performance #4 Live performance / Part of the exhibition “Vandalism” curated by Nikos Giavropoulos / Cheapart Gallery / Athens - GR / November - 2015 / Duration: 35’ Material / artist’s body, basketball, red hoop, net, white graffiti spray can
Training for performance #5 Live performance / Part of the seminar “Morgondagens konstpublik” curated by Per Hüttner for “Vision Forum” / Verkstad konsthall / Norrköping - SE / November - 2015 / Duration: 25’ Material / artist’s body, metallic whistle, 2 decks of cards (52 cards, 51 cards painted yellow, 1 card painted red), white t-shirt, audience members
Training for performance #6 Long-durational performance / Part of exhibition “As One” curated by Marina Abramovic, Serge Le Borgne & Paula Garcia, organized by NEON & Marina Abramovic Institute / Benaki Museum / Athens - GR / March - 2016 / Duration: 960’ Material / artist’s body, fishing line, circular hooks
Training for performance #7 Live performance / Part of season-closing event curated by Patrick Tarres for “AFIAC” / Maison du Pays / Serviès - FR / May - 2016 / Duration: 45’ Material: artist’s body, turquoise gym ball, black marker, white A4 paper, white tape, audience members
I got the power
Training for performance #8 Live performance / Part of exhibition “Mythology & Fairytales” curated by Jesper Dalmose & Lennox Raphael for festival “Berlin Soup” / Back to Athens / Athens - GR / June - 2016 / Duration: 45’ Material / artist’s body, white table, 2 white chairs, red balloon, air pump, plastic tube, audience members
Training for performance #9 Live performance / Part of event “PLUS-MOTION” organised by Sensorium Space / Point Centre for Contemporary Art / Nicosia - CY / September - 2016 / Duration: 30’ Material / artist’s body, black marker, 6 Nike gym bags, audience members
Dale a tu cuerpo
Training for performance #10 Long-durational performance / Part of event “SWAB Performance” curated by Carolina Diez-Cascon for international fair “SWAB”/ Pavellon Italiano / Barcelona - ES / October - 2016 / Duration: 240’ Material / artist’s body, muscle body suit, red clay, scissors, water, 2 metallic buckets
Training for performance , Finale Live performance / Part of festival “Excentricités VIII: Corps désirants / Corps délirants” curated by Julien Cadoret & Louise Vanardois / Institut Supérieur des Beaux Arts de Besançon / Besançon - FR / April - 2017 / Duration: 90’ Material / artist’s body, white ‘victory’ podium, audience members
#1 The audience walks into a field and encounters the artist in a white robe sitting at its middle, with crossed legs and his arms resting over. After a period of time, the artist stands up, revealing a black folder on which he has been sitting. Walking behind it, he picks up a white A4 paper sheet with his right arm from inside the folder, that he then holds at its top with his extended arm. The artist walks up to one of the audience members and positions the piece of paper horizontally, to be held tightly by the viewer from its side edges with extended arms. Looking at the middle of the paper, the artist suddenly hits it with his right fist, in order to tear it in two, leaving the pieces of paper in the viewer’s hands. If the piece of paper is not torn from the first try, the artist similarly repeats this movement. He then bows in from of the viewer and returns to the middle of the field, where he unties the robe and uses the white belt in order to tie it around a part of his face. Next, he picks up a piece of yellow A4 paper from the folder, repeats the same series of interaction with the audience, and eventually returns at the field’s middle in order to reveal a yellow belt from inside the robe, that he then ties onto his face. This process is repeated another six times, with similarly coloured pieces of paper and belts, in orange, green, blue, purple, red and brown colour. For the final round, the artist picks up the black plastic folder, which he then places in the hands of a viewer, attempting to tear in two with his fist. After failing to do so, the artist takes the plastic folder and tears it with his hands, leaving its pieces at the ground. The last black belt is then tied onto the artist’s eyes, as it is the only facial part still uncovered. When completely blindfolded, he attempts to exit the field by dragging his feet onto the red soil, forming a pattern of lines that lead out of it. Once he has reached the field’s concrete surrounding, he takes all hanging parts of the nine belts and divides it into two parts at his back. He then attempts to tie these two large bundles together at his waist and takes a final bow.
#2 The audience enters the space in order to encounter a set of bull horns fixed at the middle of a white wall. The artist walks in, holding a white bucket and a spray can, which he starts shaking with his right arm. He places the bucket on the floor and sprays two black curves on the wall, in the shape of an eye’s outline. Placing the can on the floor, the artist opens up the bucket, takes out a blue balloon, blows it up and hangs it at the middle of the eye outline. By looking into the eye, he then slowly walks backwards in a straight line, reaching the other parallel wall with his back, where his head is now located right in front of the bull horns. Then, he reaches into his closed mouth in order to reveal a black elastic string that he pulls out and leaves onto the floor. Taking the horns off the wall, the artist sits on the floor and ties the string onto the horns’ edges, forming a bow. He stands up, takes an arrow off his back, and uses the bow in order to aim at the balloon. Walking towards the eye, he slowly releases the arrow sliding at the horns’ middle, in order to burst the balloon. The same process is repeated, with a second balloon taken out of the bucket, which is already filled with water. After several attempts at bursting the balloon, the artist has only managed to make a small hole on the balloon, from which water is springing. The artist places his right eye in front of the springing water, allowing for all of the water to be slowly poured onto his face. Once completed, the artist repeats this process with a third balloon, which he successfully bursts from the first attempt, which has been filled with blue paint, leaving a blue mark in the middle of the wall’s eye and then flooding the floor. After placing the horns on the floor, the artist touches the blue paint on the wall and leaves a mark on his right eye. He then engages in direct eye contact with each member of the audience, before exiting the space.
#3 The artist exits his accommodation wearing a black hoodie over his head and holding a soccer ball under his right arm. He walks barefoot in the streets of the village Bazoches, reaching the yard of its church, where the audience is already located. Sitting onto ground, he places the ball next to him, and pulls under his sleeveless jumper a white sock with two black stripes at its top. Wearing the sock onto his right foot, he takes out a pair of scissors and cuts its top, in order to pull the sock up to his thigh. He continues this process with 5 sock pairs, pulling each sock up to the stripes of the previous one, in order to cover his whole right leg with stripes, wearing the last sock as it is. By placing his covered leg on top of the ball, he initiates a series of passes towards audience members. The viewers engage in a game of passing back the ball to the artist, running after the ball according to its location within the yard. Once this process has been completed, the artist sits down and uses the scissors to cut into the ball, tearing it into two pieces. He then takes off his hoodie, revealing his completely shaved head, and puts on the piece of ball fabric. By lying onto the floor face down, the artist situates his head at the feet of audience members. According to the audience’s reaction, the artist uses his hands to crawl towards the audience’s feet - if they are moving backwards, whilst others step on his head or choose to do nothing. After a period of time, the artist intensely continues to move around the ground face down, depending on the viewer’s position, before a member of the audience takes the ball fabric off his head, allowing him to exit the yard.
The artist stands at the gallery’s entrance holding a basketball under his left arm, extending his right arm to shake hands and welcome each of the exhibition visitors. After a certain period of time, he begins to dribble the ball and makes his way through audience members, in order to reach the gallery’s central space, where a red hoop and net are attached to a white wall. The dribbling process escalates in front of the viewers, allowing for the ball to reach its maximum height when it bounces. A circular field is formed in front of the hoop, as viewers move around the space according to the bouncing ball’s position. The artist engages in conversation with the viewers, encouraging them to shoot the ball into the hoop, in order to initiate a ‘game’ process of shooting trials. Once the first viewer successfully throws the ball into the hoop, the artist catches the ball and stands under the hoop, positioning his head into the net in the audience’s direction. He extends his right arm that is holding the ball, and waits for a viewer to make the first shoot by targeting his head. The audience members engage in this process, in which a ‘missed’ shoot leaves the artist standing still under the hoop and a successful throw makes him slide down the wall and hit the floor - only to stand back up again into the hoop. After a number of almost continuous successful throws, the artist hits and floor one last time, stands up and picks up the ball and a can of white graffiti spray placed nearby. He kneels on the floor, positions the basketball onto the fingertips of his right arm and initiates an escalating process of shaking the spray can - to abruptly start spraying onto the ball. Once he has covered all of the ball and his right hand with white paint, the artist stands up and positions the wet ball in front of his face. Then, he walks in front of all audience members holding the ball in between his and each of their faces, and returns under the basketball net. By raising his arm, he allows for the ball to fall into the hoop and hit his head. In continuation, he unhooks one by one all of the net’s strings, whilst attempting to balance the ball on his head without it escaping the hoop. Once the net has been completely unhooked, the artist pulls it down his shoulders and waist, allowing for it to fall onto the floor through his legs. He then begins to walk out of the space, allowing for the ball to fall and roll into the audience, as he exits.
#5 The artist is standing next to the gallery’s entrance, wearing a whistle around his neck and holding a deck of cards face down. Each time a visitor arrives, he spreads out the cards, encourages him/her to pick one up and not to reveal it. After this process has been completed with at least 26 audience members, the artist walks towards the center, picks up one more deck of cards and positions the whistle in his mouth. He turns towards the viewers, with the 26 remaining cards (red cover) in his palm, and the new deck (blue cover) in his other hand, and abruptly blows his whistle ones, raising both arms in the air, in order to announce the performance’s initiation. The artist slowly lowers his arms and places the blue deck in his t-shirt’s pocket. By using the whistle as means of communication, he approaches a member of the audience and reveals the top card of his deck, encouraging the viewer to reveal his/her card as well. If the face value of the visitor’s card is higher than the artist’s, the visitor is guided to the left-hand side of the space, whilst if the visitor’s face value is lower then he is positioned to the right, instructed to do so through hand gesture and the whistle’s sound. This process is repeated with all audience members, being divided into a ‘loosing’ and a ‘winning’ team. The artist returns at the center and announces a break of action with an abrupt whistle sound and the hand gesture of vertically positioning his right hand at the middle of his horizontally positioned left arm. He removes the whistle, turns around and takes out a bottle from his short’s back pocket, in order to drink some of its content. Leaving the bottle behind, he turns towards the ‘loosing’ team with his back to the ‘wining’ team, and positions his left hand over his t-shirt pocket. With his right hand, he takes out the first card, revealing its face value to be covered in a solid yellow colour, addressing one of the audience members through direct eye contact, and then dropping it on the floor. This process is repeated by looking at each member of the ‘loosing’ team one by one, each time revealing a yellow card in a circular movement, slowly escalating into a rapid gesture pattern. The final card’s face value is revealed to be of a solid red colour. By holding the red card with his extended right arm, he attempts to remove his dark blue shirt and leaves it on the floor. The artist slowly positions the red card on his forehead to remain there without him holding it, and addresses all audience members from both teams. He then pulls his white t-shirt over his head and positions it on top of the red card. By placing the whistle into his already covered mouth, he abruptly extends out both arms and attempts to blow in order to announce an ‘ending’. Instead of sound, red liquid slowly comes out and spreads onto the white t-shirt. The artist insists on his attempt to produce sound, and fails to do so, as the red liquid continues to come out through his mouth and whistle. In his last attempt, he spits out the whistle and allows for the observation of the stained t-shirt and the hole is has created. By recovering his breath, the artist blindly attempts to exit the space, whilst still having his head covered.
#6 The audience encounters the artist within a large empty space of 7 by 11 meters, enclosed by walls on three sides and left open on the front side. On this side, from the edge of one wall to another, there are four strings of fishing line tied tightly on hooks, vertically parallel to each other. The almost invincible barrier of fishing lines separates the artist from the audience, and delineates the arena of action. With his bare stomach area, the artist approaches the parallel fishing lines that are positioned exactly onto his abdominal area, marking their position into four equal intervals. For a duration of 18 hours, the artist attempts to come in contact with this barrier by slowly walking or running towards, by remaining closely attached to it through contact with a body part, or by forcing his entire body weight onto it in order to reach a diagonal position of balance. In between intervals of action, the artist remains still and allows for the audience’s observation of the red markings inscribed onto his abdominal area. The artist only seizes his action and exits the arena, after all audience members have left the exhibition’s space.
#7 The audience enters a space to face the artist’s back, while he stands still looking up at an inflated gym ball, placed at the top of a staircase on the opposite side of the gallery. Once the audience has gathered around the artist, he slowly walks towards the staircase without removing his gaze from the ball. Grabbing the ball with both arms extended over the staircase, he drops the ball onto the floor amongst audience members. Allowing for the ball to stop moving, he descends the staircase and makes his way towards it. He moves the ball near the wall, sitting on top of it with bend knees. Attached to the wall with strips of white tape, there are 9 pieces of horizontally placed A4 paper, in rows of 3. The artist leans backwards, placing his left hand onto his stomach and holding a black marker with his right hand, removed from his pocket. He then rises up to draw a black line on the central piece of paper, and leans back horizontally. This 90-degrees movement is repeated until he draws 4 horizontal lines and a final vertical one at their middle, on all 9 pieces of paper, following an escalating rhythm of repetition. Once all pieces of paper have been marked, he crawls towards the opposite wall without detaching himself from the ball, in order to repeat the same process on a mirrored set of paper. He then moves the ball at center of the space and, whilst sitting on it, he takes off his shirt. By moving behind the ball, the artist kneels on the floor, places the back of his neck onto it and slowly ascends by attaching both arms on the ball. Whilst still holding the ball with one arm, he uses the black marker to draw the same diagram of 4 horizontal lines and a vertical one, onto his bare abdominal area. Remaining in this position with both arms raised, he carries the ball and engages in direct eye contact with each member of the audience, whilst slowly turning clockwise on the same position and the discomfort of holding the ball upwards becomes more evident. Once he completes the circle, the artist approaches a member of the audience and offers him to hold the ball, allowing himself a moment of relief. He removes a piece of paper from the ball and attaches it at the abdominal area of the audience member. The artist kneels in order for the ball to be placed again on his shoulders, and repeats this process of ‘awarding’ audience members that share his carrying weight. At the end of this activity, he places the ball into the hands of an audience member and then stands amongst the public, showing no sign of action. After a brief period of inactivity, the audience is encouraged to either take or give the ball to each other, whilst the artist has the sole role of ‘awarding’ the paper pieces. Once this flow of action is established, the artist leaves behind the last paper piece on the wall and exits the space, allowing for the process to continue without his presence.
#8 The audience enters a space in order to encounter a white table with two white chairs set on each side, whilst the artist arrives to take a seat, holding a hand-operated air pump. After a brief period of stillness, the artist places his elbow on the table and holds up his right hand, extending an invitation to audience members for an arm-wrestling trial. Any person interested in joining this trial, takes a seat at the table opposite the artist, and clasps his palm, applying force in order to push the artist’s hand onto the table. The artist uses his left arm in order to pump air into a balloon that is placed over his right bicep, in between his skin and long sleeve t-shirt. Air flows into the balloon, enlarging his bicep muscle, whilst plastic tubing runs through his clothing and connects the air pump with the balloon. As a response to the force applied by audience members, and according to the level of fatigue experienced from consecutive trials, the artist enlarges the bicep balloon until it almost covers his face, as observed from the table’s front side. When the balloon suddenly bursts, the artist unclasps his palm from the last participating audience member, removes his t-shirt in order to reveal the bicep’s mechanism, placing all used material onto the table and exits the exhibition’s space.
The audience enters a space in order to encounter an installation of six Nike gym bags nailed onto the wall, at the height of a person’s shoulders, three on each side in ascending order. The artist arrives and takes a position at the installation’s center, with his back facing the audience. After a brief period of stillness, the artist reaches into his pocket and takes out a black marker. Extending his right arm, the artist turns around and walks towards audience members. He then encounters all members individually, staring at a person’s body parts top to bottom. Once his gaze inspection is complete, the artist kneels in front of a person’s feet and either marks a black ‘tick’ onto the floor, or does nothing and moves on to the next person. According to an ‘unknown’ value system set up by the artist, all audience members have been inspected and a set of black check marks covers the gallery’s floor space. The artist then returns at the wall installation, inspects himself with his gaze, and draws a check mark at his own feet. By unzipping each gym bag, he reveals their elongated bag handles, and places all of them over his shoulders, three on each side. Once connected to the wall installation, the artist attempts to step forward, and finally allows for his body weight to fall onto the bag handles, raising both arms towards the audience. In an effort to release himself, the handles rub along the artist’s arms, as he declines towards the floor. When the handles have reached his palms, the artist has reached the lowest body position he can assume, before touching the floor. With his chest directly facing down, the artist finally releases his hands and abruptly hits the floor, before standing up and exiting the exhibition’s space.
The audience encounters the artist wearing a full body suit that delineates its muscle anatomy and holding a metallic bucket in each hand, one filled with water and one containing packages of red clay. Whilst slowly walking for a duration of 20 minutes amongst the art fair’s booths, the artist finally reaches an empty space and suddenly drops both buckets onto the floor, in order to initiate the performance’s following action. Using a pair of scissors, the artist reveals each rectangular piece of red clay by cutting through its package, and places a number of clay pieces on each muscle group, in between his skin and suit. Reaching for the audience’s assistance in unzipping the suit, he initially concentrates onto ‘building’ his quadriceps by molding the clay with water into an expanded version of this muscle group. For a duration of 4 hours, he completes both quadriceps, and continues this process onto his abdominal area, on both biceps and then each chest muscle, facing an increasing difficulty of balancing all expanded muscle groups together. In between intervals of action, the artist lays on the floor or stands up still in order to allow for the audience’s observation of the body’s expanded anatomy. Once this ‘bodybuilding’ process has been completed, the artist attempts to unzip the suit himself, whilst balancing the clay parts that fall through the elastic suit or remain attached to his body. Finally, the body suit drops completely onto the floor, the artist walks naked through audience members and exits the fair.
Finale The artist arrives at the entrance of the gallery’s front garden, pushing along a ‘victory’ podium through audience members. The podium appears to be a heavy object, for which an increasing level of strength is required, in order to place it at the gallery’s central space. Once all audience members follow the artist into the gallery, the artist stands on the floor behind the podium’s lowest level. The artist steps onto the ‘third’ position and the public proceeds to applaud, stepping down once the applause fades out. He then stands on the floor behind the podium’s ‘second’ position following the same process, allowing for the public’s applause, that appears to be more enthusiastic than the previous time. Taking time to stand behind the highest level, the artist climbs onto the ‘first’ position, having as his sole intention to only step down once all audience members stop clapping. The applause varies in levels of tension and enthusiasm, as the performance’s duration can only be decided by the public, that changes in number as the performance continues. In reciprocation, the artist bows and engages in direct eye contact with the audience, in an attempt to accept their applauding effort. After one hour and a half, when the last audience member clapping decides to stop doing so, the artist jumps onto the floor and exits the space.
(Performance photography from series “Training for performance”) Part of exhibition “1095 ArtDays” curated by Fotini Kapiris / ArtWall Gallery / Athens - GR / September - 2015
(Performance photography from series “Training for performance”) Part of exhibition “1460 ArtDays” curated by Fotini Kapiris / ArtWall Gallery / Athens - GR / July - 2016
(Performance photography from series “Training for performance”) Part of exhibition “Symposium” curated by Laurent Devèze & Julien Cadoret / Circuits + Currents Athens School of Fine Arts / Athens - GR / May - 2017
Training for performance Workshop (Part #1)
Part of program “Erasmus+ Traineeship” / In collaboration with Institut Supérieur des Beaux-Arts de Besançon / Athens - GR / July & August 2015 Participants / Claude Bernand, Martin Lavigne, Thomas Perrin
Workshop (Part #2) Part of â€œThe Marathonâ€? - Athens Performance Art Workshop / In collaboration with epitelesis Performance Art Foundation / Booze Cooperativa / Athens - GR / September - 2015 Participants / Angel Alado, Angeliki Chaido Tsoli, Anniken Weber, Claude Bernand, Katya Petetskaya, Lizzie Masterton, Sophie Terlega, Titika Stamouli
Workshop (Part #3) Part of “The Marathon” - Cyprus Performance Art Workshop / In collaboration with Sensorium Space / Point Centre for Contemporary Art / Nicosia - CY / September - 2016 Participants / Carla Galiparla, Colette Patterson, Cristiana Zeta Rolla, Emily Demetriou, Evdokia Charalambous, Giulia Màttera, Iivi Meltaus, Katie Louise Vowles, Lizzie Masterton, Nicholas Tee, Polymnia Tsinti, Salla Hakkola, Sanghoon Lee
Photography cover / p. 3 / p. 6 / p. 7-8 / p. 11 / p. 14 / p. 15 / p. 18 / p. 19-20 / p. 21 / p. 29-30 / p. 31 / p. 32 / p. 33-34 /
All rights reserved © Andreas Pashias 2017 / The content of this publication is solely intented for the viewing of the reciptient and may not be reproduced or published without the artist’s permission
Eftixios Shikkis Andreas Iacovou Vassiliki Spyrou Michel Durigneux Natalia Tsoukala Naomie Burlet Jenny Kontopoulou Pavlos Vrionides Marc Medina Clément Gérardin Eftixios Shikkis Clément Gérardin Thomas Perrin Petros Koumantaris
Website / www.pashias.art Email / firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook page / www.facebook.com/trainingforperformancebypashias
Presenting the development of a new series of artworks by visual artist PASHIAS, focusing on the relation of performance art and the field o...
Published on May 19, 2017
Presenting the development of a new series of artworks by visual artist PASHIAS, focusing on the relation of performance art and the field o...