CULTURE IS THE ANTI-WEAPON!

THE ART SECTOR WILL BE ONE OF THE SLOWEST TO RECOVER.

Interview by Loukia Richards



"Akrokeramo", 2021. Printed paper, bookcovers, wood, fabric. Courtesy of a.antonopoulou.art.

Visual artist, perfomer, curator, and educator Christine Mitrentse discusses the Metalibrary, the Greek independence revolt's international appeal, Helen of Sparta, London, and artists' war against Covid-19



SMCK: What do you see as the meaning of the Greek War of Independence?

CM: Faith, Intelligence, Civilization, Diplomacy. The outcome of the Greek Revolution was the pivotal point on which Europe’s whole geopolitical map tilted away from the 18th-century model of multiethnic, autocratically-ruled empires and towards the 20th-century model of the self-determination of nation-states. What made the Greek Revolution exceptional was that from the very start, it was never a matter for Greeks alone.

SMCK: How should we imagine the Metalibrary project?

"Totem I", 2021. Handcrafted & altered book collection. Courtesy of a.antonopoulou.art.

MT: I was honored with an invitation to perform this ongoing international initiative at Tate Modern, London, in late 2019. An interactive, participatory ephemeral, site-specific performance, experienced by a diverse audience of approximately 10,000 people who visited the museum over the course of one week. This project is part of 'Add To My Library' #ATML, which has has been exhibited in European countries, including Greece.
The core material: favorite books, selected and added by art specialists and the general public, construct the floor Emblem of this universe. People sharing their stories read and exchange belief systems. Metalibrary explores, amongst other discourses, the ways in which the human body shifts between The Book and vice versa.

SMCK: What are the benefits of paper as an art medium?

MT: It depends whether it's an acid free paper or not! Paper is nature itself – organic woods. It begins as a blank canvas much like humans do. It grows old as we do and bears the marks of a lifelong journey. It has a memory that is indelible. Paper's characteristics are shaped by the way it has been made, which allows a unique personality to emerge.

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